I took myself out to the ball game Tuesday night for a cracker jack of a playoff contest between the hometown Vancouver Canadians and the invading AquaSox (yuck!) from delightful downtown Everett, who lived up to their invader status by starting a pitcher named Zokan.
I realize there are those in the world who are not fans of the grand old game of baseball, but I defy anyone to have sat in the stands at old Nat Bailey Stadium on such a balmy evening, looking down on a lush green paradise of grass, lit up by the lights, and not swoon at the magic of it all.
That’s one of the great benefits of Single A baseball, as she is played in Vancouver. Yes, we are rooting for centerfielder Chazwell Storm Frank and the boys, but our hearts are hardly engaged. The score is secondary to the experience of just being at the ballpark and watching something beautiful unfold that is not all that unchanged – despite everything – from a hundred years ago.
Baseball, at least at the minor league level, is the sport for those who say they don’t like sports. You’re outside, you’re relaxed, you’re sipping a beer. It’s like being at a picnic.
Baseball names are traditionally fun, too. The Vancouver Canadians have the aforementioned Chaz Frank, plus Mitch (Say Hey!) Nay, while Everett featured the great Chantz Mack (no relation to Connie), who prompted a wise guy in the crowd to shout, inevitably: “Not a Chantz, Mack!”
And I got to hear 77-year old poet and crusty baseball nut George Bowering retort to someone disturbed by his running commentary: “This ain’t the opera, you know.”