Monday, June 09, 2008

Baseball Is Not Just A Game

We went to the Astros-Cardinals game Sunday. Too bad, the Good Guys lost. Too bad our friend Jan could not be with us. The Club Level seats were great with a great view across first base. But, on occasion we had to be wary of foul balls which seemed to fly in our direction.

This was not the first time we had been to a Houston Astros game. I remember going to some in the old Houston Astrodome. The kids enjoyed being part of a little summer program where they got special things and got to go down on the field and talk to some of the players.

While watching the game at Minute Maid Park Sunday I thought of what it must look like to a person who has never seen a game in a stadium like we have. Seeing baseball on tv is good since you have a close up view of the batters. But to be there in the seats gives a completely different view. Everywhere you look are bright, flashing lights urging the fans to support the GoodGuys. Of course there is a really big screen tv to show the replays. The stadium even has the old scoreboard which used to be in the Astrodome. When the Astros hit homers the sign flashes with the huge bull with steam venting out his ears while the cowboy ropes him. Woe unto the opposing pitcher who gets pulled and sent to the showers. He'll see a cartoon of a pitcher being showered. There are some wild and fun graphics with this board.

The organ music is entertainment in itself. Several Astros have their own "theme" music as they come to bat. Or there is music to taunt the opposing team for their mistakes. Of course their music to encourage the fans to react. You would not think that a place like this could vibrate but it does. Then of course there is the train which sits high above the staduim. Just listen to the whistle blow and the bell clang!

All over the place fans bring homemade signs for their favorite players. Hunter Pence has his "Peeps". Carlos Lee has his fans who gather in the area called the Crawford Boxes with their toy stick horses and sombrero hats. They get animated when he sends a home run their way.

Even though the roof is almost always shut, except during the World Series (MLB rules) it can open. That is a very strange feeling to be sitting in the stands while the roof pulls back. Suddenly the air feels different and you get a little bit of a funny feeling. I suppose it is all in the mind. Most of the time it is closed during the games because of the heat. But sometimes late in the night games the roof will open. It is a visual game for your mind watching it open.

Movement is something that is not so obvious while watching a game at home on tv. Sitting in the stands you realize how far away the outfielders are and how much ground they cover when chasing a ball. The entire Astros' infield moves in toward the batter as the pitcher throws to the plate. All at once, like some kind of orchestrated dance move. Then there is the occasional bird that flys high above the field or into the rafters. How did those birds get in? Through the doors of course. Or the roof.

Sometimes I just wonder what a child who has never been to a Major League baseball game would think of a place like this. So much to see, so much to hear. So little time for the game. What do they think of it all. It is almost too much to take absorb in just one game. That goes for the kid in all of us.


Dr.John said...

Sounds like you enjoyed the game. I like that roof. If only the Packers had one.

anniemal06 said...

I loved going to the games with ya'll. I'll never forget them. And I can't wait to take my boys!

Anonymous said...

Are you a LeMaistre? if so we are trying to say hello. Uncle Mickey and wife Andi

Jill said...

Yes,Norm was my Dad.

Anonymous said...

we would love to get together with you -