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A Modern Marvel of Human Engineering
A Wonderful Night at the Ballpark
On Wednesday evening I had the joy of attending a baseball game at Globe Life Field, home of the Texas Rangers. Dane Dunning took the hill for the Rangers, pitching 8 2/3 scoreless and striking out ten before conceding a two-run home run to Kerry Carpenter of the Tigers, which ended his night. Yerry Rodriguez then came on and took the ball from Bruce Bochy, and secured the final out in a Rangers’ 10-2 win. The game lasted 2 hours and 27 minutes. Praise God for the pitch clock.
Adolis Garcia, Josh Jung, and Ezequiel Duran homered for the Rangers. Miguel Cabrera was ejected from the game. It was dollar hot dog night. I had two. David had a slice of cheese pizza and a souvenir-sized Sprite. We were on the fourth row in right field; my lifelong best friend bought tickets and was with me at the game, along with two of his children.
The Mavs Maniacs were in attendance. I couldn’t make out why. Then, Nico Harrison, General Manager for the Dallas Mavericks, threw out the first pitch. While Rangers Captain called a strike, it was delivered outside. I could see that from right field. After the pitch was caught, the speakers blasted The Who’s “Eminence Front.”
Globe Life Field opened in May of 2020. It is right across the street from what was formerly known as the Ballpark in Arlington, now Choctaw Stadium. Globe Life Field has a retractable roof which was, thankfully, closed on a day with temperatures in excess of 100 degrees.
Right before turning down Stadium Drive, David asked, “Will the game be inside?” I said yes, in the air conditioning. He marveled, “It’s hard to believe they can air condition a place that big.”
“Well, yes it is;” I said, “Behold! A modern marvel of human engineering.”
Attendance was announced at 27,192 people. I saw kids going nuts in the stands after receiving a baseball from Adolis Garcia. There were all kinds of people around me, just like there are all kinds of people in the world. I talked with my best buddy for a little while, something I don’t get to do too often. My son lit up the first time the fireworks exploded over his head following a home run, when another ball became history. I laughed when my son watched this video during a pitching change and said, “I get why they did that.” I liked hearing The Imperial March on the organ while a gif of Darth Vader from Empire Strikes Back was projected on the big screen, imploring the crowd to make some noise.
As I walked out of the stadium I passed a miniature 7-Eleven market. No gas pumps, it felt out of place, but if I would’ve wanted a Slurpee, I could’ve dropped in. A few people stopped nearby to take a photo with a statue of Nolan Ryan, around which there is, apparently, a controversy. I walked behind a woman wearing a Rougned Odor jersey and recalled this wild moment. I looked across the way at what is now AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys. My son wondered aloud why the Dallas Cowboys played in Arlington. I did not care to explain voter approved stadium bond packages and other corporate incentives.
But I did think, “What a country.”
I do not recall my very first professional baseball game. But I do remember going to Arlington Stadium, sitting in the outfield metal bleachers with my dad and with my brother, feeling the entire place rumble whenever the fans stomped their feet. I was present at a game when the fans booed Bo Jackson, who I think was still with the Kansas City Royals but who could’ve, by then, moved over to the Chicago White Sox. I remember the booing, not because Bo did anything unsportsmanlike, but because a man sitting behind my brother and I responded to the boos by saying quietly, “Yeah! Go, Bo.” When we turned quizzically, he said, “What? I like Bo Jackson.”
These teams, these sports, have been part of my life. They’re still part of my life. Now, they are part of my kids’ lives, too.
I finished reading Father Arseny, 1893-1973: Priest, Prisoner, Spiritual Father and Stanley Hauerwas’s Fully Alive: The Apocalyptic Humanism of Karl Barth.
Sights and Sounds
Still watching Nickelodeon’s Avatar: The Last Airbender (2005-2008). We’re twenty five episodes in. There are sixty two episodes total. “Secret tunnel! Secret tunnel! Through the mountain! Secret, secret, secret, secret tunnel! Yeah!”
In movies, I’ve watched The Producers (2005), In Time (2011), and Fever Pitch (1997). In Time isn’t a cinematic classic, but it is the kind of futuristic dystopian science fiction I enjoy because it raises the kinds of philosophical questions I like exploring. In this instance, “What would the world be like if immortality could be had, and time really was money?”
On the blog: nothing new.
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Be well this week. Bless others.
P.S. - Not a high quality photograph, but a great memory, and a great kid.