My buddy Steve and I went to a minor
league baseball game once, to see the St. Paul Saints play the Duluth Dukes. The Saints were losing, 9-1 in the bottom of
the 7th and Steve wanted to take his girls home because they were
cold, so we left. I read in the paper the next day that Bill Murray
himself (the team’s owner) came out of the dugout to coach first base and to
loosen up the team. He would call timeout to hug his pitcher after a
strike, kick dirt all over the opposing players, etc. Reportedly, he was very funny and he had the crowd in the
palm of his hand (according to the Pioneer Press newspaper I was reading, over
some very bitter coffee). The Saints came back to win it 11-9 for the
biggest comeback in Saints history and they carried Bill off the field.
I’m still a little angry at Steve, and to this day, it’s something we don’t
I love going to Saints games! They play outside, in a wonderful old outdoor
ballpark. A ballpark should have
“easy in / easy out” access for people, good sightlines, and one or two things
that make it distinctive. The train at Minute Maid field, the waterfalls
at Camden Yards, the cut limestone at the new Target Field, The ivy at Wrigley,
and Fenway’s big green monster are all unique elements of great ballparks!
Most of all, a baseball field should be a “park” which means it should be
outside! I’m not talking about a “window” that you can see the sky
through when the roof is open, either; I’m talking about a wide open view of
the skyline, where wind is a factor, players occasionally lose a ball in the
sun, birds fly in to check out the action, and the voice of the hotdog vendor
doesn’t echo off of the room of a dome.
THAT’s the kind of “outside” I’m talking about!
is here, my traveling friends! For me, this
is an incredible opportunity to grab a ticket for a seat at a ballgame. Single seats are almost always available, and
if you travel for a week at a time, you’ll very probably have a shot at a night
game while you’re there. Buying single tickets
or waiting to jump into an unused seat after the 2nd inning is over
is a habit of mine in new cities, and if your city doesn’t have a major league
team, look for a minor league game.
Minor league games offer more relaxing, traditional Americana
anyway. Sitting in a park seat in the
sun, with a hotdog in one hand, a cold beer in the cup holder, hearing the
announcer bark out the next hitter, watching the pitcher get set, and listening
to the father in front of you teach his son or daughter how to score the game
is a super way to take your mind off of the stress of your work assignment for
a few hours.
for me, I have yet to set foot in Minute Maid field in Houston where my core
family lives. I’ve seen games in San
Diego, San Francisco, Denver, Cleveland, Phoenix, Miami, New York (Yankees and
Mets), Minneapolis, St. Paul, Toronto, Atlanta, Philadelphia, and Boston, and
in the old Astrodome, but not in the newest park in my home state of Texas. My birthday is coming, ma…
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