17 September 2009

Buy me some peanuts and cracker jack

August 2009
Tucson, Arizona

The stadium wasn't so fancy when we were kids. In those days, the Toros were still a farm team, and everyone was particularly thrilled when they were part of the Oakland A's system in the 1970s. It was always nice to go sit out on the bleachers on a hot summer night with a little bag of peanuts and watch them play, hoping for the moment when someone hit it out of the tiny park. Everyone would wait breathlessly for the crash of breaking glass or the solid thunk! of ball hitting metal as a homerun made contact with someone's car. And only then would everyone cheer.

Bliss! we thought as kids. What a souvenir.

We were meandering sort of aimlessly en route to Kartchner Caverns in August, and I directed the spouse into Randolph Park, and to the stadium parking lot. The kids were utterly appalled when I found an open gate and walked right in--"Like you own the place, Mom!"--but I wanted to take a look at the field. It seemed so much larger when I was a kid, and the old wooden bleachers covered with peeling paint were long gone.

"A quarter," I mused to my family. "I think it cost a quarter for the bleachers."

The son and daughter glanced around, but Hi Corbett held no charms for them. They've been going to major league games since they were babies, and although I've taken them to spring training games in small parks, what they were seeing seemed very small potatoes.

"It's hot," someone complained.

No matter, I thought to myself, as I took one last look while the others filed out. This was where I learned the heart and soul of the game.

Go sing a good song: "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" lyrics by Jack Norworth, music by Albert Von Tilzer.

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