Sunday, May 16, 2010

Take Me Out to the What Now?

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a soon-to-be seven-year-old, upon being taken to his first professional baseball game by his Uncle Melvin, will find the best part to be a blue bubblegum-flavored Italian ice. (That he and said uncle actually share a birthday is almost as cool as Kennedy and Lincoln both having a vice president named Johnson.)

As genuinely fun as this was, it's a bit of shame the Nephew wasn't attuned to the finer points of the experience, because we had great seats—first row, down the right-field line, with the home bullpen directly in front of us—in a ridiculously nice stadium for a single-A team. The Fort Wayne Tincaps had a prior incarnation as the Wizards, and at that time they played in an apparently unlamented cavern on the sprawltastic ring road that circles the downtown. Now, they play at Parkview Field, right downtown:

I have it on good authority that the game was a bit of a seesawer, though in the end the Bad Guys (a.k.a. the Lake County Captains) prevailed. Unfortunately for a baseball blog, that's about all I can tell you, as I spent the afternoon "chaperoning" (or, rather, "not chaperoning") the Nephew and his Bespectacled Pal, who got to come along for the ride. So the boys did wiffle-bats, shot hoops, tossed toy footballs, bounced in the Bounce House, climbed a disturbingly turd-shaped climbing wall, and sucked down popcorn, potato chips, and those fantastic ices, all with minimal bruising. Not for nothing do the Nephew and his brother call me Uncle Fun.

Watson was along for the ride, which made the seven-hour saccade from Chicago and back far more bearable. We lamented the flatness and pointlessness of northern Indiana, for all the good it did. Next time, we might stop in Valparaiso at Industrial Revolution, however, to watch the locals get Taylorized, deunionized, and lung-cancerized. Who says history has to be dull?

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