Tuesday, May 15, 2007

Minor league baseball, major fun

You want to enjoy American roots again? Try minor league baseball.

Last night, the Mystery Woman took me to see the Saint Paul Saints shellac the Sioux City Explorers 10-2. Although some universities have better stadiums, there was plenty of green grass, blue skies and lots of unabashed goofy fun, including:

-- a piglet mascot named Garrison Squealer,
-- men in dresses dragged the infield during the seventh-inning drag,
-- pre-game tailgate parties,
-- barrel-rolling contest for kids,
-- and some pretty good baseball, all for a ten dollar ticket.

They call it the Beer League. And vendors in the bleachers wore T-shirts proclaiming "Free Beer." In small print, "Tomorrow."

Speaking of beer, it flowed. But I didn't see anybody get sloshed. We left early (metal bleacher seats) so I don't know if all teams follow this custom, but in San Francisco, they stop selling beer in the stadium after the seventh inning so nobody drives home drunk.

Now, if we could just get steroids out of the major league.

Commercial segue.

File this under shameless self promotion. See that book cover in the upper left corner of this blog? Four of us wrote the book. It's about our experiences covering the JFK assassination for KRLD-TV in Dallas. Two of the co-authors, Bill Mercer and Wes Wise, are old sports writers who have covered baseball (and other sports) for centuries. Both guys have been inducted into the Texas Radio Hall of Fame. Wes, of course, went bad and became Mayor of Dallas.

I'm not kidding about covering sports for centuries. Both men did play-by-play from a ticker tape without ever being at the games. That was before electricity and expense accounts were invented.

Buy the book on Amazon. When the News Went Live. Third printiing soon.


sph said...

I know what you mean! We all went to the Round Rock Express game last Tuesday and had a great time. The only disappointment was the "pretend" prize in the Cracker-jacks. I remember when the prize was as good as a Christmas present.There were 5 home runs and fireworks with each!

George Phenix said...

Since posting the baseball stuff above, I've heard from Mike Capps who currently does the RR Express broadcasts but worked for the Saints years back. He filled in some gaps with these tidbits: "The Saints had nuns who gave neck massages, a lady who painted kids faces...and that pig carried baseballs from the dugout to the umpire." Nothing has changed. Except the pilet is new this year.


George Phenix said...

Late breaking news. I just learned that Bill Mercer's new book is due out next month. "Play by Play" (and someother words). It was originally titled "Bats Balls and Body Slams" but the great minds at the publisher liked the new title. Anyhow it covers baseball, football and wrestling with some historical radio and tv highlights tossed in. Those are the three sports Bill covered over the past 57 years.

ArchGrafiX said...

Hey, George, it's off-topic a little, but I lived in Ft Worth as a kid and used to watch a television puppet show called "Mickey & Amanda" before I knew what station was what, probably around 1957 or so. Did KRLD-TV have that show on or was it a competitor? It reminded me of the Muppets Show and I thought maybe a young Jim Henson did it locally in Ft Worth before he got more polished and pronounced. Seemed a precursor to Kermit and Miss Piggy. Mickey was a turtle and Amanda was a 'possum (WHA....?). Maybe you have no idea. Anyway, keep on bloggin'!

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