Thursday, May 03, 2007

Take me out of this ball game

Did you know there was such a thing as a “14th inning stretch” in a baseball game? Neither did I. My friend and I found out the hard way last Sunday.

It was a true SoCal game, with the San Diego Padres taking on the Los Angeles Dodgers at Petco Park in San Diego. My friend and I sat on a high level overlooking left field. It was a nearly packed house, with about 44,000 people enjoying the game. And it went quickly through until finally, at the bottom of the ninth, the score was tied four to four. Yay! We're going into overtime! Then came the tenth inning. No score. Then the eleventh. No score. . .

The stadium began to empty out. As my friend said, “They have to leave!” The next day was Monday, a work day, and particularly if you had to make the 2-hour drive back up to L.A after the game, you really couldn't afford to stay for much overtime. The family next to us left behind their free kids' glove, so I got a souvenir.

On and on it went, until we hit – the fourteenth inning stretch. It's the same as the seventh inning stretch, basically. Everybody gets up to sing “Take me out to the ball game.” The only difference is that the line, “I don't care if I never get back” begins to lose its meaning. :) Yes, friends, this game was turning into a challenge – for the fans, that is. I began to root for ANYBODY to get a point.

My friend and I began to play a trivia game. Name all the movies that were named after famous songs that actually have the song included in them. (“Valley Girl” wouldn't count.) “Can't buy me love” is one. So is “Who'll stop the rain.” Yes, we were hurting.

They showed clips from several popular movies during the innings in an effort to keep everybody rallied up. We enjoyed clips from “Animal House,” “Wayne's World,” and most significantly, “Star Wars!” They showed clips from the end of the movie, when the rebels are attempting to blow up the Death Star. The twist was that they put the Dodgers logo over the Death Star. Cute. The Padre crowd roared its approval after the Death Star was destroyed!

The highlight of this endurance test came when a pigeon stepped out onto the edge of a long row of seats to my left. He looked down at the playing field far below, and I could tell that he was as despondent about the situation as I was. “Don't do it!” I yelled. “You have so much to live for!”

“Think of the new nachos!” my friend added.

“That's right!” I said. “And you don't even have to pay for them!”

But our pleas were to no avail. The pigeon stepped off the edge and began to head downward until it remembered that it could fly.

The game finally ended after 17 full innings and about five hours. In real life the “rebellion” didn't destroy the “Death Star.” The Dodgers won 5- 4. This event now holds the record for the longest game I've ever had the . . . okay, the pleasure of going to. As my friend said, we certainly got our money's worth. It was almost two games for the price of one.


Baseball history in San Diego would be incomplete if we didn't talk about the chicken, right? Enjoy my post about the historic mascot here:

======================================= ====================

HISTORIC HOST: It was a little over a year ago, on May 2, 2006, that “George Washington” died. No, not the father of our country, but the father of “Wall Street Week” on PBS. Louis Rukeyser hosted the popular show for many years, and for us kids who didn't understand much of anything about Wall Street, Rukeyser was simply known as “George Washington.” Hey, the hairdo resemblance was striking! You can check out a picture of him at these sites, and also learn more about his legacy:


ON OUR KNEES: Today (Thursday) is the national day of prayer. Most of us are guilty of only praying when we absolutely need to. But there are plenty of good opportunities each day for prayer. Here are some you probably haven't thought of:


When “Elmo's World” comes on.

When the ball game you're watching goes longer than fourteen innings.

When you're driving home after the game.

When you invite all your friends to lunch and nobody shows up. :)

When you get bit by a dog in Downey, California. (Long story, folks)
When gas prices go up at the same time your drive to work gets longer.
As you're waiting for your YouTube videos to load with a dial-up connection.
When you realize that you haven't actually cleaned the bathroom in over a month.
When your parents ask for your help with some sort of computer issue.
And the number one. . .
When you have no idea what to blog about!

Seriously, I've got a lot to be thankful for, and an awful lot that I need to pray for. I'm glad there's someone wonderful who is listening. Thanks, Lord, for all you do.

ON YOUTUBE: SPIDEY VS. THE WALL. I mentioned this one in an earlier post, so now you can watch it for yourself in all its glory. Your friendly, neighborhood Spider-Man enjoys a baseball game, but not for long. It's a terrific example of the humorous “Spidey” shorts that made “The Electric Company” such a fun show. Watch for Morgan Freeman as the umpire. Check it out in my favorites folder on my YouTube page in the links section. WARNING: YouTube has been very slow in updating my favorites. If you can't find Spidey in there, please try again later, or do a search in YouTube for "Spidey" and "wall." That is all.

NEXT TIME: Aaaay, Richie, if you want a preview of a future blog posting, check out the review of "Happy Days, season 2" in the "Happy Days Online" web site. You can find it in the links, dig?