Darn near saw a baseball game tonight

One of the guys at my office, Eric, found a way to score an entire luxury suite for a professional baseball game. That’s pretty cool. My oldest was an intern at a law firm this summer and they took all the interns to both Wrigley and The Cell (the White Sox play in prison?) for the skybox experience. She said it was great (I wouldn’t know – I didn’t get invited, not that I’m disappointed that she couldn’t think of her favorite Father for something like that, or that I would hold a grudge forever or anything). Eric, being a super-cool guy who likes the people he works with, decided to sell some tickets to people at the office. Reasonable price, sounds like fun, so me and The Wife are in, along with Peanut and one of her friends. Parking was included with the tickets, he said, and off we go to the ballpark!

It was cool, but not nearly as cool as you might think. 1) it was indeed a professional baseball game, it just wasn’t a Major League game (tonight that would have been Detroit at CWS) – it was Minor League baseball. 1a) It wasn’t Class AAA (which is quite good baseball) or even Class AA (which definitely resembles baseball played skillfully), nope, it was a Class A Northern League game: Joliet Jackhammers at the Schaumburg Flyers. 2) It was a SUITE and it was luxurious (it had 2 couches and a flat-screen TV), but it was at a Class A Minor League park – Alexian Field in Schaumburg, IL. 3) Did I mention the thunderstorm yet, or 4) how I get to go back and do it all again.

But it’s still a baseball game at a ballpark and that means 2 things: Beer and Hotdogs! I like beer, but I’m picky and I don’t know if they’ll have any I like. I know it will be overpriced (because it’s a ballpark) and extra cold (because I’m picky and know the correct serving temperature for different kinds of beer). And the food will be overpriced and under-flavored. But hey, it’s with some friends and the suite is air conditioned and there might be baseball on the field.

Here’s the box score of what we saw (up until the rain hit – coming to that in a bit, so hang on):

1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 R H E
Joliet Jackhammers 4 3 1 1 9 13 0
Schaumburg Flyers 0 0 0 0 0 1 1

I’ve never seen either of these teams, but I have seen my share of baseball games. This game was not as close as this box score indicates (and that’s not close): I don’t know if the Jackhammers are that much better than the Flyers, but the Flyers stunk tonight. I’m sure they were thrilled that it got rained out.

So about that rain – a nasty thunderstorm blew in, quickly, so the game was stopped in the bottom of the 4th. The grounds crew got the tarp onto the field and after about 15-20 minutes it turned into a gentle rain. During that time 2 interesting things happened.

  1. Some joker on the Flyers ran (without his shoes) onto the tarp, pretended to throw a pitch, pretended to hit the pitch, and then trotted around the bases all the way until about halfway down the 3rd base line then sprinted and face-first slid across the tarp, spraying water all around. It’s like a giant Slip ‘n Slide. The same guy did that a couple more times, sliding into second or third.
  2. Peanut and her friend decided that running around in the rain would be fun. So, they did that too – watching the staff dance in the rain atop the dugouts to lame music, ….

After about an hour and a half, the rain stops enough for the umpires and ground crew to walk the outfield. A little discussion and VOILA the game is called. Because it wasn’t a complete game, we get to come back – Eric arranged for us to get another suite for the next game (in 2 weeks) and we get to go back. yay (said unenthusiastically because the baseball was really bad).

Yeah, the game stunk, but the suite was nice. It was about 20×15, give or take, and it was pretty comfortable. There were about 20 people, and we all fit inside without running into each other too much. And we get to go back.

Finally, my wife and I both had a nice beer – New Belgium’s Fat Tire – in a big 22 oz bottle. Yes, it was way colder than I would have liked (somewhere around 37F), but it didn’t take too long to warm up to a nice temperature (in the 45-54F range). That sounds warm to many people, but when you have a beer with a little bit of good flavor it’s nice to be able to taste that. Bad beer has to be ice cold because if you could actually taste it you’d probably question your own sanity for drinking it.

Looking forward to 2 weeks hence and at least a tolerable game.

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