Tuesday, July 6, 2010

That one time I went to a minor league baseball game

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 ;)

J, back when he was somewhat reminiscent of Leonardo DiCaprio circa Growing Pains.


Andi said...

Ironically my bf, aka "J", just went to our minor league team game a few weeks ago. He's a big baseball fan as well and thought it would be fun to go since it was with his son and the other dads and boys from his little league team.

He said it wasn't worth it. It was too expensive for what it is: ticket, parking, and beer all overpriced. Not to mention he did say something similar to it looking like a high school game.

The best part is that apparently the highlight was his conversation about the show West Wing with one of the dads -- 2 days later he shows up with the entire Season 1 in hand. LOL! So much for baseball!!

Tami said...

I would never go - they could stay home (or go to a warm sports bar) to watch any sports game and still have the same men's chatter. ;)

Anonymous said...

I still love the name Clothilde. I cannot imagine the horrors you witnessed. I can barely make it through a major league game. Why do we go to events like these? Why do we waste a great afternoon when we could be sipping a delightful drink while reading a book, painting our toenails and listening to Hall and Oates? Ugh!

BTW...J does look dreamy back in the day!

COL said...

I would have had to take a pass on the game... sorry you had to endure it.

Your description of Lancaster was spot-on! When I lived in LA it was part of my sales territory and dreaded every. single. trip there! Of course, for the people that live in Lancaster, they would swear it's *just like* MLB. But again, most are hick meth addicts so to them it probably is...

Mandy said...

See, I'm the opposite here! I have only been to one major league game -- The Oakland A's back in 2001 -- and that might as well have been a minor league team b/c the crowds were so thin and their players weren't doing well at the time.

I love baseball even with all the horrid beer bellies and cheezy YMCA dances! I think it's such an American sport -- one that is still affordable to take your family to see, unlike football or basketball (which who wants to see those anyway?) Maybe it's my high school boyfriend days of attending every baseball game of my first love outfielder? Or maybe it's those nachos, peanuts and hotdogs and the crazed fans running around the bases after the mascots? But I just love it, I really do!

Next time you just need a crazy girl like me sitting next to you to make it more of a fun experience!~ :-)

P.s. - love the J in uniform photos. He's more Bull Durham Kevin Costner than Leo DiCaprio though.... :-)

Anonymous said...

Ha - one of my Twitter pals posted a blog recently about her experience at a minor league game - their game experience was a little more lively because the manager, some players and even some fans were thrown out of the game! Actual quote from her blog: "The scene turned into the manager actually trying to physically attack the umpire/official/whatever. And then the fans started throwing bouncy balls at the players."

That might have made your experience a little more exciting. ;) I personally like minor league games, but that's because I'm a little sports obsessed.

Maritza said...

Haha Oooh Lancaster. I actually grew up in a navy base town 1 1/2 hours north of that, close to Death Valley. =) Next time, just go to the Giants or A's games! Always more fun and always a bar ;)

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