Last night, I became a true American.
There are many things I’m trying for the first time this year as a result of my Lollipop Tuesday series. Some are surprising new forays into the underbelly of society, and some are just things I never experienced because I’m a crotchety old coot. Last night I ticked another of the latter off the bucket list by attending my first baseball game.
Happy Lollipop Tuesday, ladies and gentlemen.
I have to say — I was incredibly surprised at how much I enjoyed the experience. For starters, up until this year the Bucs have sucked pretty hard. Pittsburgh has some pretty hardcore (and admittedly obnoxious) fans, but even the steeliest ‘burgher had a hard time mustering an ounce of pride for the team with the longest consecutive losing streak in baseball history (18!) .
Besides being tickled to see the Buccaneers soar to the top of the division, the entire experience was littered with good times. I arrived a bit after 7pm to see a few balls thrown before a torrential downpour brought the game to a long halt.
You’d think that in 2011 there would be some sort of high-tech method for protecting the ball field from rain, but there isn’t. It’s just a an energetic pit crew pulling a huge tarp over the grass, and it’s highly entertaining. What, with all the bright yellow boots and the raking and dirt buckets and puddle dispersing, who needs to watch the game to have a good time?
At about 10:00, the game got up and running again and I was privy to a host of activities I wasn’t expecting. Like the Buccaneer Brigade: a team of women armed with canons that launch t-shirts and hot dogs at the audience. Or a pierogi race. Literally – 4 giant costumed pierogies racing each other around the field. And watching the ocassional foul ball or wiener smack an unsuspecting patron in the schnoz never got old.
Who knew there was so much activity at a ball game that had nothing to do with actually playing? Not this girl.
I have to admit the food is pretty darn delicious. Even with the national anthem at the top of the game and the fireworks behind the American flag when we won, I couldn’t cross the threshold to truly embracing my inner Americana until I chowed down on a footlong hot dog.
True Americans eat hogs.
Of course, I’m actually Native American so my idea of returning to my American roots should be more like eating a buffalo burger. But I digress.
To be honest, I really didn’t expect to have a good time last night. I expected to sit there and pay my dues and try to learn a thing or two from the two baseball veterans I brought with me. As it turned out, I learned a lot of interesting strategy hubbub about the game and was content enough to sit in the rain for 2 hours until it started up again. In fact, I might go back.
After all, I’m curious as to what getting hit by a hot dog shot out of a canon feels like. ♣