I thought that I was done attending baseball games for the season. I don't have any tickets left for the Cubs, and I have no road trips planned to see a game in another city. Then these events happened:
1. Hurricane Ivan-what is going on with the hurricanes this year? I am somewhat of a weather buff, and I am fascinated by the breakout of tropical storms this year. Of course, I can safely say that, since I am tucked away in the Midwest. I can't imagine what it has to be like living in Florida and worrying if you were going to be hit for a third time in the matter of a month. I'm sure I would think about leaving.
There's a stretch of Interstate 10 as you near New Orleans that crosses water, nothing but water as far as the eye can see. When I was there in the spring of 2003, I drove that stretch on a Friday night around 7 PM, and it seemed like I had the road to myself. The sun was low, only about fifteen degrees above the horizon, just perfect for sunset viewing. It was one of those moments when you wish life had Tivo, so you could just pause and rewind to watch it as many times possible. Today I see pictures of that road jammed with people getting out of town before Ivan stops by, and I can only imagine what it would look like to see the storm approaching from that vanatage point.
Anyway, the danger of Ivan and the uncertainty of where it would strike led major league baseball to move the first two games of the Florida Marlins-Montreal Expos series to Chicago from Miami. The Marlins were in Chicago last weekend to play the Cubs, and since no one wants to see baseball in Montreal, they decided to play the games here.
2. My nephew, who commutes daily from my mother's home to school downtown, called me at eleven Tuesday to let me know that his classes for the remainder of the day were cancelled due to a power failure on campus.
3. It was 85 degrees and sunny.
4. Tickets for the 1 PM game at Comiskey Park (its real name, I don't care what Joan Cusack says) were $15 for general admission, with $5 going towards hurricane relief funds.
As they say in driveways all over the land, "Game On!"
We sat ten rows behind the first base dugout. There were no more than 3,000 people at the game, everyone concentrated in the lower deck and not far from the playing field. It was a great vantage point to see a game, and a bargain for fifteen dollars.
The Marlins won 8-6. Florida is currently in a five team battle for the National League wildcard, a group that includes the Cubs. Since the game was being played in the home park of the White Sox, there were plenty of people rooting for the Marlins (remember, the charter of being a White Sox fan calls for hatred of the Cubs before anything else, including White Sox victories); there were plenty of Cubs fans rooting for the Expos as well. It was a good day, the first time I was able to experience a major league game in what I would call a minor league scenario.
I was put off by one thing, though. I have never understood what the point of heckling is. There was a small group of people with very loud voices who spent a majority of the game targeting insults at certain players. What's the point? Are you jealous of the fact that someone makes millions of dollars to play a game while you scrape to get by? I never saw a single player acknowledge any of the comments screamed at them yesterday (which isn't always the case, sadly).
I think it reaffirms what I was thinking about a few days ago, that there is a lot of anger among men in this world. None of the people screaming insults and obscenities (within hearing range of several kids by the way, lovely example-welcome to Chicago!) at players yesterday were women.
It wasn't enough to ruin the experience yesterday, not even close. I enjoy the game enough to not let obnoxious jerks ruin it. But I wonder what the motivation could possibly be.
It wasn't a bad year for me, baseball-in-person wise. San Diego, Cincinnati and Pittsburgh along with a few games in Chicago. I suppose there is still the chance of coming across a Cubs playoff ticket or two...