I know everyone loves minor league games but somehow, until a week ago, I missed that item on my life’s to do list. I’d been to exactly one Cubbies game and one Yankees game, but never a minor game. Are the minors more fun than the majors? I’d always heard they were. The Cubbies and Yanks were a blast, but I will say the parking for a farm team game is easier. You can actually find a spot within walking distance of the park.
The game? Reading Phillies vs. the Harrisburg Senators. I was disappointed to discover the corny music has been upgraded with new tech and is now canned. I missed the Wurlitzer, but there was other fun to be had. When the foul balls went up and out of the stadium, they played a recording of a windshield getting smashed. Whenever the pitcher threw to first in an attempt to get the runner not quite on the base out, they played a recording of a yawn because the runner had so much time, he leisurely strolled back to tag up. In between the fifth and sixth inning, the tooth fairy came out and brushed the bases off with an eight foot toothbrush. She wore pink lace-up boots with 6 inch heels and had a little 5-year-old fairy skipping along behind her. There were ten annoying mascots. The yellow section (we were in the red section) had an unusually large amount of spirit. They followed along with the dancing, butt-wagging mascots. Fortunately the blue section was between us and them so they didn’t bother us much. However, being old and stiff, we were jealous of their energy. We thought perhaps the yellow section vendor was selling something besides peanuts and popcorn and cracker jacks. Although the temperature was only fifty degrees, our vendor wore shorts and had no socks. He was feeling no pain, but not sharing his secrets. It took a while but he finally noticed that no one was buying the “ice cold beer here,” so he sagely switched to watery hot chocolate which the undiscerning red section fans snapped up immediately. It was the most wonderful Swiss Miss I’d ever had. No one in the red section sang the national anthem except for Liz and me. No one in the red section sang during the seventh inning stretch except for Liz and me. Liz and I also sang along whenever they played eight bars of some worn out classic rock song, like Van Halen’s Jump or Stevie Ray’s Pride and Joy. We don’t know the words to Hendrix’s Watchtower, so we just hummed along with the guitar part. We sang “shave and a haircut, you’re out,” whenever our team caught a fly ball. For any kind of ethnic music—Hungarian, Russian, German, whatever—we sang “hava nagila hava.” The game was so boring, we started cheering the sponsors when their ads showed up on the billboard: “Go Capitol One,” or “Ar-by’s, Ar-by’s, Ar-by’s,” or “National Penn, Yay!” We drank no beer, smoked no dope, yet somehow had a roaring good time. We missed the edge a good chemical enhancement pushes you over, though, so afterwards we went to the local wine bar, got a little tipsy, and solved the world’s problems the way you always do when you have money left over after the game.
By the way, the Senators—the bad guys—won: one-zip.
Sue Lange’s bookshelf at BVC