My friend Jim Jones alerted me through his blog that tonight, August 6, was Lou Gehrig night at the Sarasota Reds vs. the St. Lucie Mets minor league baseball game at Ed Smith stadium in Sarasota. Colin, our eight year old, had wanted to go to a baseball game, and since this was also $1 night at the game ($1 admission, $1 hot dogs, $1 soda, and $1 popcorn), it seemed like an idea that couldn’t miss.
It was great. Four highlights should suffice:
1) Met HPC members George and Linda Donato. George used to play minor league ball.
2) In the fifth inning, a Mets player swung and missed a third strike and lost his grip on the bat. Things became surreal at that point. The bat flew threw the air as if it were floating through open space. It took a while for it to register in my brain what was happening. It landed eight rows back in the section just to the left field side of third base. No one was injured, and a kid (not mine) got to keep the bat. (I told my daughter and she suggested that ball players be required to have the bat secured to their wrist like the Wii controller. I have brilliant kids, of course, but I don’t think that’s an idea that’s going to take hold.)
3) In the sixth inning, while arguing a call at first base, the Reds manager Joe Ayrault (whose major league career consisted of six plate appearances more than mine) put in an Oscar winning performance. He continued screaming in the ump’s face for two or three minutes after being thrown out of the game, tearing up his line-up card into a dozen little pieces and scattering it around the field in the process. Lou Piniella would be proud.
4) The highlight had to be this: We ran into Jim and his wife at the game, but they were having to leave early. They had purchased a couple raffle tickets at the ALS booth, taking a personal interest since Jim’s dad died of the disease. They gave the tickets to us. By the end of the night, Colin was the proud owner of a Dusty Baker autographed bat as the winner of the raffle. Here he is holding it proudly.