Unfortunately he blew out his shoulder and he never got to play for the big league squad. But he pitched in Yankee Stadium, shared clubhouses with the likes of Mickey Mantle, Whitey Ford and Roger Maris, met Joe DiMaggio, roomed with Roy White and he pitched in a minor-league All-Star Game. Sounds pretty fucking great to me.
Anyway, that's not what this post is really about.
I've grown disgusted with the spending going on with baseball and with the Yankees, in particular. I know that the revenues are there, but it seems that the only ones who are getting screwed by the high costs are the fans. It is way too expensive to enjoy a day at the ballpark nowadays. I used to go to 30-40 games a year at the Stadium. Sure, a lot of times I had free tix from work, but I still would eagerly await the day that tickets would go on sale so I could pick a dozen or so games that I really wanted to see. In the past few years I have only been to a handful of games, yet I've tried to buy tickets for a bunch of games this year only to be denied by high costs and unfortunate ticket selling policies on the part of the Yankees.
Anyway, that's not what this post is really about either.
This is what this post is about.
Isotopes Park, Albuquerque NM*
Gia and I want to move to a small town that supports a minor-league team. Some town that loves their minor-leaguers and comes out every night to see them play. Someplace warm and lazy where life doesn't move very fast at all. We want to drink cold beers on a porch swing as we wait for game time to approach. We want to casually stroll into town where a small ballpark filled with green grass and brown dirt awaits us.
We want to keep score and root for the home team. We want to see a fresh-faced phenom out of high school or college learn his craft as he pitches against a veteran trying to get back to the Show. We want to see kids with their mothers and fathers and grandparents eating popcorn and cotton candy and hot dogs until they pass out in their seats. We want to see the team mascot do silly things in between innings to entertain us. We want to fall in love with the game and each other all over again.
We want to sing "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" during the 7th inning stretch.
And we want to mean it.
UPDATE - Rob Neyer over at ESPN just wrote about the economy and its' effects on major-league and minor-league attendance this year. Kinda interesting.
*We don't necessarily want to move to New Mexico. I picked a picture of this park because it has been receiving high praise since it opened back in 2004. And I know that I have minor-league options close to home. But the LI Ducks play an awful brand of baseball and we were looking for something a bit more small-townish than Coney Island, Staten Island or Trenton. You dig?
Note: Remember to play the Bug-Eyed Trivia Challenge every day. Just take it easy, ok?.