I had the rare privilege on Saturday night of attending a ball game and hanging out with a rash of cousins. Heat rash is more like it --it was in the 90's and humid. It's a good thing I had those two beers before going into the gate. I needed them to wash down the brat, chips, deviled eggs, corn, and other assorted foodstuffs that made their way to my mouth, during Jim the Younger's Extreme Tail-Gating Extravaganza. Laura said it best when she said his grill was so big it was like a cartoon grill. It grilled awesome things very awesomely. It's just too bad that cousin Hal had to miss it, due to a flight delay, that was due to an air show. Hal, who is a Michigan dude, obviously has a generous streak, because he treated us all to the game between the Kansas City Royals and the Detroit Tigers. Or maybe he just wanted to rub victory in our faces, because Detroit won. (By only one point.)
I can only remember seeing the Royals play one other time, when I was on a date during my college years, around 1985 or so. I wasn't that interested in the game then, or the boy who took me, for that matter. But this time I totally enjoyed watching the action on the field. My only problem was trying to follow the trajectory of that ball, so white, so little, against the bright lights of the stadium.
As much as I liked watching the players, my favorite thing of all was the organ. Its chunky sound is a festive, aural sepia that conjures up peanuts and crackerjacks. I read that Chicago's Wrigley Field started the whole baseball organ thing in 1941. They only meant to use the organ for one game, as a gimmick, but people liked it so much they kept it, and soon other ball fields copied them.The organ at the Royals stadium is woefully under-utilized. It teased us with brief riffs that disappeared as fast as the weak, occasional breezes that vanished before we could really feel them. If it were up to me, the organist would be throwing down some wicked organ solos while the teams switched on and off the field. But the world doesn't operate by my crazy rules.
At least they still play "Take me out to the ball game." I was compelled to sing along. I have liked that song ever since we sang it at my Kindergarten graduation.