With ticket it hand, we pass through the gates to a baseball stadium that awakens all our senses. The smell of fresh popcorn, the sight of a freshly raked diamond wrapped in a bed of luscious green grass, the sound of baseballs flying into mitts as the players warm up, the grasp of B’s hand as we quickly maneuver our way through the crowds, past our assigned seating section, in an earnest rush to get to. . . ah, finally, the taste of hand-rubbed, hickory smoked ribs, smothered in a concoction of two parts (read: pumps) sweet original and three pumps brushed-fire barbecue sauce.
The featured special at the Clipper’s game was City BBQ Buck-A-Bone Night and I
think know that is the real reason why we were at the game.
My B has a thing for Ribs: oven-baked ribs, grilled-ribs, smoked-ribs, homemade ribs or restaurant-prepared ribs, he loves them all. & so, a couple dollars later, we sat with strangers at a picnic table, gnawing on bones, faces covered in BBQ-sauce.
But hey, B is happy: we made it to the Rib Shack before the ribs sold out . . . success.
The rest of the night went as any baseball game night would go.
We made friendly chatter with the usher who dried our seats off and took our picture.
We ate freshly baked pretzel sticks, loaded with salt and dipped in warm cheese sauce. Mmm.
We sang-along to all the classic baseball game tunes: I mean, common, who doesn’t love a little “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”.
& yes, we cheered for the game.
In fact, I am pretty sure I caught B cheering for both teams. He says it’s because “it’s just exciting to see a good play” but I am convinced it’s because he was torn, the RedSocks are his team; but Columbus is his home.
During these summer nights, I am reminded that it’s not so much about what you do or where you are. It not about whether your seats are behind the dugout or in the bleachers. It doesn’t matter if you refuse to pay another $4.00 for another bottle of water & if, instead, you settle on refilling the one you did buy with drinking fountain water. (Can you guess what we did?) & although it’s fun to pick a team and root them on, it really doesn’t matter which team comes out winning.
But what does matter is taking the time to carve away a fun date night, create new memories, enjoy summer nights that are warm and maybe, if you’re really sneaky, steal a couple kisses.
& the added bonus: during the 6th inning, just when the game gets a little slow, the snacks run out, the seats become increasingly more uncomfortable . . . we let our attention shift away from the playing field, just in time, to admire all the colors of the sun as it made it’s final descent behind the stadium.
It was one•perfect•summer•night.