Let's see...what did I learn from this 4th of July weekend? Ah yes: If you're ever invited to a minor league baseball game always remember to politely decline unless you don't mind sitting in a crowd of people too lazy to drive the 45 minutes it takes to see an actual major league baseball game.
It started off innocently enough. J's bro and his girlfriend (long-time readers: you might remember them of Burt and Clothilde fame) called with an offer J couldn't refuse. They had just scored four free tickets to the San Jose Giants minor league baseball game the next night (because GOD FORBID anyone I know could ever score free tickets to a Hall & Oates concert or a glitzy movie premiere or a Medieval renaissance festival where drunk Scotsmen in kilts perform caber tosses for us spectators in the stands. NOPE. Whenever I'm offered free tickets it's never to any of the above. Sigh)
J is a huge baseball fan, stemming from his years in Little League up to playing college baseball his freshman year when, as a pitcher, he ruined his arm and his MLB dreams were swallowed along with a few bottles of aspirin for more realistic life goals. Obvi his initial response at the tickets was "Yes!" I, on the other hand, was a bit more suspicious but thought it would be fun to see Burt and Clothilde and so we went.
Three hours later, I was shivering on the cold, steel bleachers, ready to take the bag of sunflower seeds J was holding and dump them all over his head. Was the event completely horrible? No. Do I hate baseball? No (for the record I am a Red Sox fan). Did I care who was playing and what the score was and whether the GMs of either team were remotely attractive like I usually do at (major league) baseball teams I attend? No. It's hard to get into the spirit of things when:
1.) The crowd is thin to begin with and vaguely reminds you of attending that high school game all over again,
2.) "Your" team is playing a team you initially thought was called the "Landblasters" because you are near-sighted and cannot read sports jerseys that well from a distance and you know you should wear your glasses in such instances but always conveniently forget them like Marilyn Monroe did in How to Marry a Millionaire,
3.) You find out that said jerseys actually say "Lancaster" on them and then you really become disinterested because Lancaster is a small hick town on the outermost outskirts of Los Angeles where meth addicts and other pillars of society tend to congregate slash reside in.
The highlight of the night was when I spaced out for a third -- or was it fourth? -- time, rereading the "Blue Cross of California" banner ad (really, that's all it said) in left outfield, when a rather large man wearing a "Big Belly Crew" shirt climbed past me on the bleachers, wheezing the entire way, extra large plastic cup of beer in hand. Oh no, wait. The highlight was actually when three-quarters of the crowd stood up to partake in a rousing rendition of YMCA, including BBC behind us. All I thought, as he reached to the heavens to spell out those sacred letters, was "raise your hands higher...I want to see your glorious belly!"
Judging from J and his brother's conversation (and all the conversations around us), minor league baseball games are where men go to talk about other, more professional sports. World Cup Soccer, Major League Baseball...you name it, they were talking about it. It's as if the actual real-life game we watched was just something on TV in the background to set the stage for all the sports chatter happening in the stands. Chatter that was punctuated with dozens of square tip acrylic nails.
Again, it wasn't all terrible and we were in good, immediate company. But if I was ever invited to another minor league game I would pass. Et tu, reader-friends? Or am I in the minority?
And now, just because he talked me into going, here are a couple pictures I'm taking public of J playing varsity baseball in high school ;)