Flip Flop Flying

Four years ago this evening

with 7 comments

On July 27th, 2005, I went to a baseball game for the first time. New York Yankees vs. Minnesota Twins at the dearly departed old Yankee Stadium. I could never have imagined how much it would have affected my life. If one could study baseball at university, I’d have a degree by now. And, well, if you’d have told me I’d've ended up a Yankees fan, I’d have laughed in your face. But, life is strange like that, isn’t it? Anyway, in lieu of anything else that I want to blog about today, I thought it might be fun to repost the blog post that I posted the morning after that game.

It just got hotter and hotter yesterday, then out of nowhere, the wind picked up, the heavens opened, and it was cool for a while. But that was just as I was on my way up to The Bronx to go and see the New York Yankees vs Minnesota Twins. I’m totally a novice when it comes to understanding how baseball works. Over the past week, I’ve seen snatches of it on TV and I’ve slowly worked out the basics.

Outside the stadium, it’s just like going to a football game. Loads of people milling around, drinking beer, folks selling merchandise, ticket touts touting tickets. Inside the stadium, I got a little bronze statuette of some old Yankees player that they were giving away to the first 18,000 spectators (which, after the game, were desperately sought by statuette-less children and parents). And then… the hot dogs and beer.

How different to going to a football match that was. People coming ’round every five minutes or so selling hot dogs, beer, cola, peanuts, candy floss… rather than “excuse me excuse me sorry excuse me sorry excuse me”-ing your way out to an aisle, then having to queue for ages to get a drink like what happens at a football match in Berlin.

So, the game’s about to begin. But first, of course, the national anthem which seems like a pretty popular song. Just like The Macarena or something. And it was sung very very passionately with a bit of vibrato by a finely moustachioed gent behind me.

And they’re off. And good Lord they throw that ball fast! 90-odd mph sometimes. And the batting chap is pretty close, so he doesn’t have much time to react.

The game itself was quite long (nearly four hours). The Twins were 1-0 up in the 3rd innings and it stayed that way for quite a while. Then in the 7th innings, they got three more. Yankees heading for defeat.

Out of nowhere, half way through the 7th innings, just before the Yankees were to bat, the game stopped, everyone got on their feet again and sang God Bless America. Cue quizzical look on my face.

Two more for the Twins in the 8th, but then the Yankees got three, making it a bit more interesting… but to no avail: another run the Twins and the game finished 7-3.

And after stopping to spend more money on merchandise, everyone traipsed back to the subway, but this guy still seemed happy after the defeat.

Considering I knew virtually fuck-all about the game, I really had a lot of fun there. I wonder if they show baseball on German TV…

Finally, here’s a photo of a pitch invader being carted off by security and the police. He managed to get a good slide into second base before they caught him…

It makes me cringe a little bit reading that; like reading a teenage diary. And it also makes me wonder: will I be embarrassed in 2013 about the things I’m writing about now?

Written by Craig

July 27th, 2009 at 8:08 pm

Posted in Uncategorized

7 Responses to 'Four years ago this evening'

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  1. I know that guy who's happy in defeat!!!!!!

    I used to work at Shop Rite (Grocery Store in NJ) with him, he's a nice guy.

    Robert

    27 Jul 09 at 8:58 pm

  2. You could be a professor of baseball, darlin'.
    Nice to see where it all began…

    lisa

    28 Jul 09 at 4:02 am

  3. Nothing to be embarrassed about: your photography has improved, but you've got this wonderful knack of juxtposing seemingly unrelated things (like the national anthem and the macarena) and noticing things the rest of us miss. It made me look up the seventh inning stretch. . .which I always heard had to do with our 300+ pound president in 1910 standing to ease his substantial bum. . .only to be imitated by all the other fans. Turns out it's a lot older. Thanks for making me look.

    Walt

    28 Jul 09 at 6:51 am

  4. dammit i'd fancy a hotdog now.

    well, actually this month from 26th or something like that for about 3 days the "baseball weltmeisterschaft" will be in ratisbon.

    yeah…

    Anonymous

    28 Jul 09 at 11:37 am

  5. I'm a HUGE baseball fan. Well, actually I'm rather smallish but my passion for baseball is large.

    I lived in NYC for 15 years and have been to the old Yankee Stadium countless times. (I'm a fanatical Red Sox fan, but no matter, I always enjoyed the Stadium unless they were playing the Sox, in which case I, and my Boston hat, usually stayed away.)

    I loved reading this. I loved an outsider's view. I love how you called the guy who ran onto the field a "pitch invader." I love how God Bless America perplexed you. (One of my least favorite bits of jingoism following 9/11.) I was surprised that you made no mention of the YMCA dance the grounds crew does when they rake the infield.

    If you get a chance, and if you haven't already, try and hit Fenway Park and Wrigley Field. Baseball as it used to be. For better and worse.

    Thank you for your site!

    Derek

    30 Jul 09 at 7:20 pm

  6. Long time reader, first time contributor. I am a 33 yr old Scottish woman with no right to follow baseball..and I don't. However back in the 80s when others pretended to embrace the Superbowl, I flirted with Baseball. The Minnesota Twins were "my team" in whatever way you can have a team that you couldn't actually follow. Twenty years later I enjoy your basebally things with a limited understanding. Today you were the source of my realisation that the Montreal Expos have moved south. This feature of US pro sport has always perplexed me. Can you imagine a European football club moving city (and country!) and the fans buying it? What do I know. Good luck to the Nats anyway.

    Anonymous

    30 Jul 09 at 10:51 pm

  7. Blaise: That's quite amazing that you know him. He has the look of a season ticket holder about him.

    Lisa: You're too kind.

    Walt: Thank you. I was looking at the unpublished photos and they are, for want of a better word, shite.

    Derek: In the wake of the GBA/Yankee Stadium court case, I made sure I went to the bathroom as it was played. Wrigley is very nice. Enjoyed it a lot. Not been to Fenway, sadly. Next time…

    Anon: It's sad that the Expos left Montreal. From an aesthetic point of view, they look way better than the Nationals do, and, the fans were treated rough by the owners it would seem. The constant threat of relocation hanging over their heads. As for the Nationals: fuck 'em.

    Craig

    30 Jul 09 at 10:59 pm

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