Friday, May 13, 2011

Up Batta Batta Batta

The Great American Pastime, 2011

I did something yesterday I don't usually do. I went to a baseball game in the daytime. I don't usually go to many baseball games at night, either. But that's more a matter of laziness than a dislike of The Great American Pastime.

Years who, when I used to spend a lot of time in our firm’s Cincinnati office, we used to slip down to Riverfront Stadium around lunch time to catch the Reds playing in “businessman’s special” ball games.

We don’t have Major League baseball where I live. To be completely honest, I only went to yesterday afternoon’s minor league Norfolk Tides game against Syracuse because Keith Parnell of the JASE Digital Media Group was kind enough to invite me to join a group of people he was taking to the game.

Speaking of reds—remember? Cincinnati?—in the movie The Shawshank Redemption the character Red delivers this line: “We sat and drank with the sun on our shoulders and felt like free men.” That’s pretty much what it was like yesterday. Only I don't think any of us were drinking beer. And with at least two of us being of the diabetic persuasion, we were also mindful of the sodium in the hotdogs.

I know that makes us sound like a bunch of geezers. But at least half of the group are on the younger side of fifty. So there really wasn't all that much geezer talk unless you count the famous artist Wally Torta going on and on about his blood sugar. (Talk easily quelled, I learned, by changing the topic to light rail and affordable housing.) By the way, if you’re on Facebook you can see his take on the day here.

The Great American Artist, 2011

Still, it was a beautiful day. Norfolk’s Harbor Park is a great perch from which to watch baseball and the working boats on the Elizabeth River just beyond the outfield fence. Every now and then you feel the rumble of coal trains headed for the Norfolk Southern piers down river. We had terrific seats in the sun. Keith is a generous host. I can't say the game itself was too exciting. Too many fly balls made for not much scoring or base play. But that's easily overlooked in light of the kind invitation to attend and the dignity of spending a few hours away from the office sitting in the sun and shooting the breeze with a congenial bunch of free men.


  1. That sounds fun. I love the shot of Walt doing his thing. Have a great weekend.

  2. I always wander away from here thinking and this is no exception. The last minor league game I attended in Tidewater was at the old Met Park and then only because one of my girlfriend's co-workers was dating Ric Flair and he invited a bunch of us to go with him. I'll bet he spent at least $1000 on beer alone!

  3. I've only been to two minor league games in recent time, They remind me of the easy going times watching the Brooklyn Dodgers in Ebbets Field.
    That was before the Dodgers left town and baseball became BA$EBALL.