Writing > Chatting

May 10, 2011: Chatting

Diablos Rojos del México 10 Leones de Yucatan 2
7:00pm Tuesday May 10, 2011
Time: 3:18
Attendance: 3,550
Weather: nice, although it was spitting with rain for a few minutes

After a few weeks where the only Diablos home games have been weekend games, it was nice to be at an evening game. It may sound dumb, but I enjoy the games more when there are less people around. I like that relaxed feeling of being at a Mexican baseball game, a few beers, maybe a couple of tacos. And when there are less people it kinda means there are less people who don't care too much. I've got nothing against the casual fan, but on a Tuesday evening, it tends to only be those who actually give a shit who are there.

After what had been a moderately stressful day, it was nice to be at the park. I love that moment when, ten minutes or so after arriving, you've got your beer, you're comfortable, and you suddenly realise that stress that was bugging you so recently has drifted away.

It was Mother's Day in Mexico, so ladies got in free. The only pink bat I saw was one being used for some pre-game pepper. The bases were pink, though, and the umpires wore pink caps. Three mothers near me looked like they'd been dragged along, as their sons watched the game and they chatted and, I swear this is true, spent the game flicking through magazines full of wedding dresses.

I was keeping score this evening. I don't have a proper pad, just a graph paper notebook. Suits me fine. I ordered a second beer from a vendor, and when he brought it up to me, he saw what I was doing and waved his hand in a dismissive-but-playful "you're crazy!" fashion. He sat down a couple of seats away and began chatting to an old timer who I see at every game.

I tend to sit in the same ten seat radius as him all the time. Night games, close to the field. Day games (when it's too hot and sunny), higher up on the third base side. Although I soon came to realise he'd never noticed me. My Spanish isn't good enough to have a particularly great conversation, but when I told him I was an artist, he began reeling off a list of good places to see. He spelled names for me, was very thorough with street names and cross streets. By this time, keeping score had all but stopped. This man was a future me: short sighted, smoking, comfy-looking shoes, chatting with anyone who'll listen, at the ballpark for every game.

As our chatting progressed, a couple a few seats in front started chipping in with suggestions. And suggestions farther afield, in other parts of the country. The male half of the couple was a Yucatan fan, so when Fernando Valenzuela Jr. hit a home run, he was happy. I'll repeat that, cos it makes me happy: Fernando Valenzuela Jr. Here's a photo of him at bat. By that point, though, the Leones were already 10-0 down. It didn't get much better for them. They lost 10-2 giving up 21 hits and four walks. They'd burned through four pitchers through seven innings, and in the eighth, their DH came out to pitch. Yep, Fernando Valenzuela Jr. pitched an inning. He gave up a hit, followed by a double play, and a strikeout. That's what I remember happening. Although the box score on the MiLB web site says he struck out two. I'm sure the MiLB web site operator hadn't been drinking Coronas and chatting to strangers all night, so maybe I'm wrong. But who cares? I saw the son of a legendary player, and had a lovely time chat chat chatting to friendly strangers.