This week was filled with baseball for me.
The Iowa Cubs returned home for their longest home stand of the season with 13 on the schedule. The first 5 are against the Memphis Redbirds, the Triple A affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals. These are the games I can wear Cardinal gear into Principal Park.
Wednesday night a double-header was scheduled to begin at 505p. There was rain for most of the day, but light enough to not wash out the game. The game did start with an hour plus delay until 615p. Then the game went into extra innings (the 8 because the PCL plays 2, 7-inning games in doubleheaders).
So, the second game didn’t begin until 920p.
Throw in the fact it was a damp, cool, mid-week game, the crowd was thin.
Then the first game ended and more than half the crowd departed.
Four of us from our section were at the game. We made our way from the protected overhang to our normal seats. Plenty of good seats were still available. If I had to guess, there were no more than 140 people in the stands at the start of the second game. Some of the brave souls had liquid encouragement and were not afraid to let comments fly.
We all could hear their comments which made for almost more entertainment than the game itself.
Our crew was lively and started our own in-house caption contest. Then we opened it up to cyberspace.
Here’s what you all came up with.
Kristine W.: “The quarterly meeting of the Bob Vander Plaats Fan Club””
Luke Baldwin: “”Free Umbrella Night” Proves Unsuccessful In Luring Fans To the Ballpark”
Kristin Roberts: “Ganett’s remaining workforce @ the Register…”
Kristin Roberts: “@ Austin…Sorry for the typo, but they fired the proofreaders. ;-)”
Julia Jones: “Rapture- June 22nd, 2011”
Brian Stocking: “A good attendance night for the Florida Marlins (last in MLB attendance).”
William S E. Coleman: “I was among the weather wimps.”
Brian Stocking: “A vivid recreation of the crowd at the end of a blowout NFL preseason game.”
Paul Yeager: “Come as your favorite empty seat costume contest a smashing success.”
Scott Harves: “The Pujols effect.”
Bob Palmer: “Boy…people like to stay after the game, right?”
Tony Lutz: “Someone is sitting in my seat without permission.”
Beth Haag: “Where is Ryno?”
LuAnn Weber: “Free Beer?????????????????”
drewmurphy00, Drew Murphy: “The iowa chops have returned as a baseball team.”
Trundlebedtales, Sarah Uthoff: “The few, the loyal, the brightly dressed.”
RHS76, Romelle Slaughter II: “The average crowd at an Oakland A’s game. Until the Yankees come to town.”
and “Apparently, Bernie Madoff Bobblehead Night didn’t go so well for the Mets.”
Any new entries?
Earlier in the week, the Famous San Diego Chicken made another appearance at Principal Park. He did some of his classic bits to entertain the crowd. He works the field, umpires, players and the dugouts.
Some of the antics may seem tired, but he’s been doing baseball rounds since the 1970s. You’d be tired, too.
I enjoy this baseball throwback to the 80s when I grew up watching the game and the antics of the mascots was the main cutaway on the sports highlights. It was pre-ESPN going mainstream.
But really, he’s working the crowd. The Chicken loves the fans. He offers trinkets for sale, but he will sign everything for free after the game.
According to his website, I know the chicken having a website seems incredible, he once signed autographs until 220a in 90 degree Texas heat.
He was doing his bit with the fans in Des Moines as well. He had the long line and was making the kids laugh.
I know I did.