Thursday, July 5, 2007

Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack...

Ah, the Great American Institution of Baseball. My husband loves this game. He can't remember where we had dinner last week, but if you ask him who won the World Series in 1962, not only can he tell you which team won, but how many games it took, and what the score in the final game was. I learned to love this sport from him, and some our happiest moments have been sitting up behind home plate in a minor league ball park, eating hot dogs and drinking beer.

We finally made it to our local team's game yesterday for the Fourth of July. As you can see, they play in an older stadium, it's not new or fancy, but given that we're in Savannah, a new ball park would make much sense. That, and the Savannah Sand Gnats (a New York Mets affiliate) only play Single A ball.

Oh, quick aside for folks who don't know anything about minor league baseball:

AAA (Triple A) league is closest to playing in the majors. Guys who play AAA usually move up pretty quickly.

AA (Double A) is the next league down.

A (Single A) is the bottom rung, where the youngest players are, or ones who need more development.

Here are some of the guys doing warm-ups before the game.

Attendance, as usual, was a bit low, but it meant we got those much coveted seats directly behind home plate, just up a bit.

We weren't the only ones interested in those seats. In the section just in front of us, talent scouts were everywhere with their radar guns and video cameras checking out the pitching prospects. My husband explained to me that the major league trade deadline is nearing, and so the scouts and "player development" folks were out in droves to see who might make a good trade for a major league prospect. Or some extra equipment maybe. Okay, just kidding on that one.

Here my daughter is being attacked by a giant Sand Gnat, the mascot.

His name is Gnate, he took over for his brother Gnic a couple of years ago. And Gnate has his own MySpace page. He's a tad vain, so friend him.

I tried to get a picture of Frank the Beer Man, the guy who roams the seats and bleachers selling the brew, but every time I bought a beer I was too busy paying him to get out my camera. Frank is going to be leaving us after many years as the beer man for Grayson Stadium, because he's getting married, which I think is lovely. Frank is a retired Army Major, and he sells beer here and at Jacksonville Jaguar games in the fall (football team, AMERICAN football, mind you). He went back up north to his high school reunion, met his old high school sweet heart and fell in love. I think it's a great story, and there was much congratulations all around from us. There's a link to the story about it in our newspaper, here.

There was a young guy behind us who was very vocal, but he always tried to keep it clean because he knew The Four Year Old was there. There was an old guy sitting next to us who talked Ray's ear off, because he used to be in radio, too. There was a family sitting up a few seats over and behind us, and their son got into a horn blowing contest with TFYO. They were practically nose to nose, blowing these silly little party horns that the stadium staff were handing out to the kids.

The grown ups also got some really cool stuff, including a bag full of skin care products from a foreign dermatology company and single servings of microwaveable Hamburger Helper- Just Add Water, Dried Beef Included! I'll have to make some of it, and show all of you unfamiliar with the dreck Hamburger Helper is. But they are one of the team sponsors, so we get free Hamburger Helper.

Oh, yeah, and we won, 6-2. Not bad, considering we lost pretty much the first half of the season.


Mya said...

Hi Jen,
Thought I'd come over and say hello!

The baseball looks and sounds great - puts me in mind of a film I saw ages ago with Kevin Costner in it - can't remember the name now, but it was really good. Field of Dreams, that was it.

Poor RC being tagged twice - do you think she might be like the Queen of England? Maybe she has an official birthday, then an unofficial one too?!

Mya x

Dumdad said...

I'm like your husband, except it's cricket for me.
There is a baseball diamond in Bois de Vincennes that i cycle past some days. Strange to see all these men dressed like NY Yankees but shouting in French.

The Rotten Correspondent said...

Great pics Jen, and what a fun day. That's the kind of thing you're supposed to do on July definitley included.

Mya - could also be Bull Durham (the Kevin Costner film). Fine, do I have to come up with an unofficial birthday, too?? What about same date, different decade?

Jen said...

Does this mean I have to send two presents to you RC? Is it like having an "unbirthday"? Or does it mean we have to stand and play "God Save the Queen" every time RC comments in our blogs?

Saphyre Rose said...

Why don't you come up to Charleston on the 8th?
The Savannah Sand Gnats will be against our Rover Dogs.
I prefer the minors to the majors. Once they get those contracts for big bucks, they get uppity.

I am an NFL nut. I root for my childhood team the Steelers, but I root louder for the Carolina Panthers.
I always hate it when the two face off at each other.

If you decide to come up to Charleston, let me know and we can meet!
I can show you Charleston, although you probably already have seen it.
Y'all's welcome anytime!

Jen said...

Hey Saphyre Rose,

We'd actually talked about coming up for the game (one of my coworkers is the voice guy for the Sand Gnats), but I have to work Saturday :( My radio station is doing a giveaway, and I have to be there. But I promise, we'll be up soon, since we love the town so much! It'll be fun to meet you in person *grin*

taqdeer said...

lol, it's nice that people enjoy hitting or kicking a ball, but I'm a waterbaby :)

Nice to hear you hade great fun :)

mjd said...

I found you through Willowtree's A Dingo's Got My Barbie. My husband and I went to a local baseball team game on the 4th too. The hometeam, the Gary RailCats, lost to the Fargo, Redhawks. These teams are in some independent league and not part of the farm system of the majors. Sand Gnats is a very interesting name.

Gurnal said...

Ah...the Sand Gnats. I remember many a series when they came up to face the RiverDogs and the game went...

Oh..I'm rambling.

I'm glad you had a goood Fourth with the family.

Jen said...

Hi mjd, thanks for stopping by! A sand gnat is a pesky little creature, sometimes called a no-see-um. They're tiny, they bite, and they leave nasty welts on your legs. At least they do on mine. So I suppose it was natural to name a Single A ball team after an annoying, biting insect.

Dumdad, I'm trying to imagine the Yankees swearing in French. I think I'll need a picture for proof.

Thanks again, mya, for stopping my little slice of blog heaven. YOu might be thinking of Bull Durham, which was a great film. The company I worked for in Raleigh actually owned the Durham Bulls. They've got a lovely stadium.

Hey Taqdeer, I've never tried baseball in the water LOL Water polo may be as close as we get.

And Gurnal, you can always ramble here. If I outlawed rambling, I wouldn't get to post here anymore...


Jo Beaufoix said...

Hi Jen,

Looks like a fab day.

I know nothing about baseball but I do remember Kevin Costner in Field of Dreams Mya, where his dad's team all came back as ghosts to play on the field he was building or something.

There was probably much. much more to it than that but I forget.

If we do have to call RC maam or anything please let me know you lot.

I would hate to make a terrible faux pas. (This may be spelt wrong. I'd check but I'm in a hurry. Wine and a dvd are waiting)


Poetess said...

Hi Jen

It was good to see you over at my blog. Thanks for your comment. The poems flow really unless I have the odd brick wall day when inspiration takes a hike. Glad you liked them.

I hope you had a great July 4th. I always remember our friends over the pond on this day as it is my brothers birthday.

Will call back to your blog soon.


Willowtree said...

I like to think of it this way.

AAA. You get to eat steak and wear new uniforms. You also fly sometimes.

AA. You get to eat hamburger and mostly the uniforms don't have holes. It's buses for you.

A. You eat the left over hotdogs, and wear left over uniforms. Sometimes you might have to hitch hike.

Just kidding! I'm actually a certified Baseball coach, and in fact I've coached guys who have made it to AAA. I've also coach against guys who have made it to the Majors. And yes I am Australian, and so were they

Rashi said...

nice post !!
like the way u write..

Jen said...

Hi, willowtree, thanks for stopping by. My husband is obsessed with baseball, and he wants to know if you know about Joe Quinn, the "best Australian major leaguer ever" is how he put it. The starting pitcher for the AA Carolina Mudcats was from Australia, never met him, but the girls loved him...

And Rashi, thanks for coming by as well. My little blog is turning into quite the international community!