25 Random Baseball Things



Quality baseball blog Big League Stew currently has a running feature where folks post a facebook-esque “25 Random Things” confessional, but they gear it towards baseball things.  Good idea.  Here’s my stab at it, with more of a Golden League perspective:

  1. Since game 5 of the 2008 Golden League Championship was in Orange County, I listened to the game on internet radio.  I started out gardening while listening, but I’m a superstitious listener and stopped gardening as the Vipers started losing… then I moved to my computer room… and moved from there when the Vipes lost the lead again… so I moved to the bedroom (with my laptop and headphones), made game notes in the margins of a book that happened to be on my nightstand, and woke up my wife with a sad howl when the Vipers lost in the bottom of the ninth.  On a good note, though, Pat Arlis’s inside-the-park home run had me dancing in my socks.
  2. I did not attend a lot of Vipers games when they were in the Northern League.  I used to work a lot of evenings and weekends back then.
  3. I prefer the Italian Spolumbo to the Chicken Spolumbo.
  4. I usually sit on the third-base side of the ballpark, but the first time I intentionally sat on the first base side, it was with the intent of catching a foul ball… and I did.
  5. Although I buy three tickets every time I got to a Vipers game, I have never even come close to winning the 50/50.
  6. During a Vipers cancer fund raiser, I tried to buy/win a game-worn #10 Jorge Tang jersey at silent auction, but was outbid by someone at the last minute.  I later overheard the auction winner bragging to his friends about how happy he was to have won a jersey with, as he put it, such a funny last name on it.  After he was informed that the jerseys only had numbers, not names, on the back, he shrugged and said he’d get the last name sewn on then.  He looked dejected, so I doubt he did anything about it.  At least his money went to a good cause.
  7. I don’t think I’ll witness a more improbable win than this: on July 20, 2008, the Vipers scored six runs in the bottom of the 9th to tie the game (capped by a Drew Miller three-run bomb), and then won with a bases-loaded walk-off hit-by-a-pitch.  That’s a lot of hyphens needed to win a game.hmm
  8. I love the idea of the home run bucket.  I have no idea what the players do with the money they get from it, but I’d like to think they buy a case of beer or two for the clubhouse.
  9. When my curiosity finally got the best of me regarding that song they play at the Hallowed Grounds of Foothills Stadium to get that kid to dance on the top of the home team dugout, I found out it was “Apache” by the Sugarhill Gang, and I’ve had their best-of CD for almost a decade, but I’d only ever listened to “Rapper’s Delight”.  Part of me now feels like it was a wasted decade.
  10. I like seeing pitchers bat as opposed to designated hitters, but I’m also glad the Golden League implemented the DH rule last season so that we fans could watch sweet Felix Jose swing the bat for a year.
  11. The only baseball I played as a kid was in our front yard with my brother.  He’d hit pop-fly tennis balls to me, and I’d try to make diving catches.  I play organized softball now, and I’ve played (with limited skill) every position except for first base.
  12. I’ve been to a lot of live professional sporting events, including NHL, AHL, NBA, MLB, and CFL… and I can say that, hands down, the best up-and-down-the-stairs beer crew (THWBCIC™, check the tag) work at the Hallowed Grounds of Foothills Stadium.
  13. Even though I started this blog as a way to save my friends’ inboxes from my barrage of lengthy pre-game Vipers emails, I’ve only told one of those friends about this blog so far – and that’s because she was the first to attend a game with me last season as a result of my emails, and I’m thankful for that.
  14. The only time I met a real live Vipers player, I couldn’t think of anything to ask him or talk about.  I get star-struck real easily.
  15. I am a firm believer in the power of the rally cap.
  16. I like to watch ball games from the stands above the Hallowed Grounds of Foothills Stadium via a different perspective every time.  This is probably why I prefer the unassigned red seats to the assigned yellows.toss
  17. Some young kid with glasses who checks your ticket at the door to the ballpark had my number last season.  He caught me trying to sneak in peanuts (I’ll pay for everything and anything, except peanuts!) once, and he must have remembered me after that because I got the business from him almost every time I got my ticket checked.
  18. I don’t know his name, but the fellow who did Vipers home games play-by-play on internet radio last season was terrific.  And the fact he kept the game interesting without the safety-net of a colour commentator is all the more impressive.
  19. I wish The Fan 960 would take up the initiative and talk more about Vipers baseball (and even broadcast a few evening games as opposed to pumping generic ESPN radio stuff at us).  I’ve even emailed the local sports talk radio station about this, but got no reply.
  20. I’m a fair weather fan in the sense that I hate sitting through a game in cold or rainy weather.  Yes, this is a sign of weakness on my part, but it’s also the truth.  A big part of the allure of baseball to me is the ball park experience.  I have suffered through cold baseball games, but I’m not going to lie and say I loved every minute of it.
  21. I do not feel silly wearing a ball glove to the games, in spite of my age.  It’s my Dad’s old ball glove, and I’ve worn it since I was a kid catching fly tennis balls.
  22. I have yet to attend a Vipers game by myself, but I’m certain that’ll change in 2009 as I attempt to go to a lot more games.  I wonder if I’ll feel silly with my ball glove when I’m sitting by myself?  Probably.
  23. I once described Mr. 400 Darryl Brinkley to my friends as the “Mark Messier of Independent Baseball.”  I think I hit that one out of the park.
  24. A.J Valentine is my favourite visiting player to heckle, and I don’t think I’m alone on that one.  I hope he returns to face the Vipers in 2009.
  25. I wonder how an MLB Blogger would react to getting a thoughtful, meaningful, and insightful comment on their blog from Bud Selig?  I know that when I got a comment from Kevin Outcalt, it made my day week.  Since I can’t even imagine the Selig scenario occurring, I’ll just have to attribute this to another one of the beauties of Independent Ball.
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2 Responses to 25 Random Baseball Things

  1. SaS says:

    #14 – Why you and J are a superb match. I’m still mad that she didn’t talk to Jake Gyllenhall.
    #13 – I’ll go again this year, Miss D loved the baseball!

  2. Pingback: A Farewell Letter to Jorge Tang « Ten Prairie Sticks

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