Saturday, May 22, 2010

In the catbird seat

I made the trek north to meet up with a friend from college and go to the Cincinnati-Cleveland game with him and his son. I hadn't been to what's now known as Progressive Field since 2004. (Hey, I'm a Reds fan. If I'm going to drive two hours to go to a game, I'll pick my lifelong team every time.)

It used to be that getting tickets for games in Cleveland were tough to come by. Not so these days, probably because the team isn't very good. So it was somewhat strange to be in the stadium as a fan of the visiting team and feel like my fellow Reds fans made up a substantial part of the crowd. I've been on the other side of this when vocal visiting Cubs fans drown out Reds supporters in Cincinnati, but I never expected to be among the invaders making an away park sound like a home game. To top it off, the Reds won.

Despite rain showers of various intensities on the drive to my friend's place east of Akron and then to Cleveland, the night was about as perfect as it can be for baseball. The sun was out. There was no humidity. It was even a bit cool during the latter innings.

The only thing that could have made an evening at the ballpark better was an improved perch, yet our seats high down the third base line eventually proved to be in an advantageous spot. The post-game fireworks display was laid out right in front of us. While skipping the fireworks would have helped get me home at a more reasonable time, who would I be to tell an 8-year-old boy that we can't stay because I don't want to be on the road until 2:30 a.m.? For what it's worth, the fireworks were pretty spectacular.

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