Friday, April 12, 2013

What we do for love of sports

This photo came from the video shot by Justin Cohn of the Journal Gazette.  The link is at the bottom of the page.

Pete and I have a tradition that we have kept for five years running now.  In 2009 Parkview Field opened in downtown Fort Wayne.  It is every bit as wonderful looking as the pictures suggest.  While professional baseball had been in town since 1993, the old stadium, was, well, to put it nicely, lacking.  Memorial Stadium was adequate, but just barely.  The ballgames were fun, but minimally memorable.  When a new stadium was announced for downtown we went to the presentation where the blueprints were unveiled.  It looked impressive.  As with all announcements of change in my adopted city, there were those who loved the idea, and plenty who wailed loudly about any impending change.  Well, change came and the results have been winning about any award that a ballpark can win.  So when the re-named team (went from the alliterative Fort Wayne Wizards to the historically linked TinCaps  (think Johnny Appleseed) put opening day tickets on sale, I claimed two of them.  My husband, the seriously sports minded member of the family had to work that night, so a mother-son event it became.
Some years the weather has been early April beautiful and other years it has been chilly or damp. Last night fell into both those latter categories at once.  For the first time Mike was able to get the evening off and so Pete and I planned to introduce him to the joys of TinCaps opening night traditions. On the official first day of spring we were at the ballpark to pick up our tickets.  Dreams of a warm spring night danced in our endless-winter-fatigued brains.  We got tickets for the third base side, so the sun wouldn't blind us during the game.  Let it be noted that Thursday April 11th was cold in Fort Wayne. And rainy.  All at once.

We took the bus to the game in the hopes of staying dryer longer.  Mike said his feet got wet almost as soon as he walked off the bus.  My son is allergic to umbrella use, so he claimed his hooded jacket was just fine to keep him dry.  We  arrived about 45 minutes before the game was scheduled to begin and joined the hundreds of other people who were staying under the roofed part of the concourse.  We filled out our tickets to win a game jersey or $5000.  (Didn't win either) We  looked through things in the team store (heated) and when it was finally time for the game to actually begin we headed down to our seats behind the visitors dugout. 

After two wet innings Pete and I went for the obligatory popcorn.  Just as we went back to our seats the rain began in earnest.  Before it had been a cold drizzle and tolerable.  Now it was just miserable.  I abdicated my seat and returned to the shelter of the concourse.  Eventually Mike join joined me, but Pete stubbornly held onto his seat.  Another inning or so on, the lack of company finally got to Pete.  I asked him if he was too wet.  "No, I was just lonely."  The game lasted through 5 1/2 innings before the umpires let the players out of their misery and suspended the game. Because it had gone over 5 innings, it counts as a complete game and the TinCaps came out the winners 4-0 over the Lake County Captains.

Here is how the Journal Gazette recorded the day.  If you watch the video we are the 3 fans sitting just above the 'x' in xfinity at the 1:57 timemark. 

We left when the game was called and headed home on foot.  Part way home the rain stopped and we walked without umbrellas.  I'm glad baseball season has resumed here in town.  I'll be even gladder when baseball weather is back too.
                        Taken on a day when the weather was really meant for baseball last season.

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