Monday, July 05, 2010

Fourth of July Fireworks - Two Kinds

In a roundabout way, I was able to get six front row tickets from our orthodontist to the Fort Wayne TinCaps game last night. I bought an extra SRO ticket and Hillary came along. As it turned out, the seats next to ours were empty so we didn't even have to hold Melody on our laps, though that's where she ended up for most of the game.
The TinCaps were playing the Bowling Green Hot Rods. Those poor guys had just finished a series against each other on Saturday night in Kentucky and then had to come up here to play again! I'm sure they were exhausted. Between that and the fact that this is low A ball played by some pretty young guys, the game was wild. The ball was flying everywhere and there were plenty of errors. In the second inning, Bowling Green scored eight runs and it looked like the game would be pretty mundane.

The TinCaps came back to some extent, though they still managed to leave the bases loaded at the end of the 6th. For the 7th inning stretch, Johnny Appleseed came down by us for the singing of God Bless America.

Note that Jeannette made sure Johnny's hands didn't wander at all . . .
MelodyJoy enjoyed Dippin' Dots at the game, celebrating her fifth Fourth of July as a US citizen.

In the ninth inning, we were down by four runs so I decided to go shopping for a TinCaps hat. From inside the store, I could tell there was a lot of noise in the crowd but when I glanced out the windows, it just looked like they were responding to a contest on the scoreboard. I finally made my way back to our seats and saw that the TinCaps had the bases loaded and were now down by just two runs with one out!
Bowling Green's pitcher, Alex Koronis, was in the process of throwing twelve straight balls, walking in three runs. (An aside: One interesting thing about going to a Single A game is watching young players completely implode and wondering if you've just seen the end of their MLB dreams.)
I was almost afraid to return to my seat for fear I might jinx Fort Wayne. After all, the rally started while I was modeling different caps and ignoring the game.
Fort Wayne's lead-off batter came to the plate and, rather than waiting to see if the pitcher might finally find home plate, he swung and missed on the first pitch. Moments later, he swung again and hit a weak little pop-up to the side of the plate. I've been on the receiving end of these little bloops while playing catcher in church league softball but it still was shocking to see the ball squirt out of the catcher's glove and hit the ground. I'm sure it must have been spinning like mad. Well, Jeudy Valdez didn't let this reprieve go to waste as he smacked the next pitch, I think, past the shortstop and two runs scored to give Fort Wayne the win, 12-11. It was a wild scene, with a couple of dozen young players, all dressed in red-white-and-blue uniforms for the 4th, leap into a dogpile on the field.

After the game, while we waited for the fireworks, they threw Taco Bell t-shirts and balls into the crowd. MelodyJoy said she would share her ball with Jameson.

The fireworks, shot from a cart in center field, were surprisingly spectacular and we really enjoyed the end to the evening.

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