The O’s game last night was a lot of fun. J and M, the kind folks who scored us the tickets, were cool enough to handle driving duties, which meant all we had to do was show up. Being with the two of them is kind of like hanging out with a 20-year-old vaudeville act. They are constantly on, and constantly riffing off of each other, which makes keeping up with them a challenge.
The game was good, if not totally uninteresting—excellent defensive baseball and stellar pitching, up until the point Toronto was able to get a man on third and a decent sacrifice bunt to bring him home. Then Baltimore went through two relief pitchers and made a valiant attempt to even up the score, with no results.
Clearly, the best part about seeing baseball live is the experience. We had excellent seats up the first-base line, directly in foul ball territory (and were not disappointed: three near-misses, the closest of which was caught by a woman sitting directly behind Jen) and facing Sammy Sosa, who was about 100ft. away. As we sat down, we were treated to the sight of a young fan vomiting all over the seat in front of him, watched intently by his parents, who did nothing to direct the splash away from the folks in front of them. Later, they bought him nachos and soda. I’ll have to remember this excellent strategy when we have children.
Back in the day at Camden Yards, there used to be a vendor who sold Italian Ice with this peculiar (but memorable) sales chant:
He would sort of march up the stairs with two cups held out in front of him, yelling his sales chant in a hoarse voice that cut through the chatter, stomping his feet in time with the syllables.
He’s not there anymore, but we were treated to Clancy, the Bud Light Man, who just cut through all the bullshit and yelled, “Hey, BUD LIGHT HERE. CLANCY has your BUD LIGHT HERE.” Dude worked hard for the money, and we bought a round of beers from him, which incidentally are now served in brown plastic bottles that look like glass but don’t hurt when they bounce off your forehead. Then we had the hot chocolate man come down and tempt us with his wares: “Howwwt KEW-keww, gityer hoowwt kew-keww here.” (This is a Baltimore accent, the one that morphs Maryland into Merlin, ambulance into AM-be-lamps and police into PO-leece.) Strangely, the kew-keww is served in waxed paper cups, which seems to promote heat-related injury and lawsuits—ironic, considering the team owner built his empire on asbestos litigation fees.
It wasn’t as cold as we feared it might be, either, which was a relief. I packed gloves, a hat and a scarf, thinking the temperature would drop precipitously, but didn’t need to bother worrying. The guy in the purple wifebeater on line for beer in front of me made me feel stupid for wearing a coat, but he did have 200 lbs. and four beers on me at that point.
We wrapped the evening up with a cocktail at Matthew’s down the street, said our thank-you’s and crashed out. Hopefully, there will be more tickets in our future!