Yesterday evening Aven and Kay called and invited me to a Jackson Senators
game. For those of you not in the Jackson area, the Senators are our local independent
baseball team (we have managed, in classic Jackson style, to under-support and
therefore run off a Triple-A Mets team and a Double-A Astros team).
We lost the game decidedly (6-1 I think, but it was never close enough to keep
up with) and I was able to see some of Aven’s complaints with independent league
baseball (Aven enjoys yelling to players ‘This is why you aren’t in the big
leagues!’ whenever they flub a play). Most of the guys were not very big and
power hitting was nonexistent, but that at least makes for the old-timey style
of baseball with a lot of base hits and a lot of base running.
Two high points of the game, neither of which had anything to do with the game:
- Aven and I were sitting at the top of the stadium so he could smoke a cigar
without drawing the ire of his neighbors and a guy from MS Outdoors threw
a promotional squishy baseball (think stress ball) all the way up to me and
I caught it. Based on some of the fielding I saw that probably qualified me
and the guy who through the ball to run down, slap on a jersey and deliver
the Senators to sure victory.
- The Pickle contest:
As small local baseball teams are want to do, there were contests pitting
small children against each other for various prizes. My favorite was sponsored
by the ‘official pickle’ of the Jackson Senators, Peter
Piper’s Pickles. Two girls around 10 or 11 years old were brought on top
of the home team dug out and asked to say the tongue twister ‘Peter Piper
picked a peck of pickled peppers’. The winner would be decided by fan applause
and would receive a free jar of pickles. My interest was peaked. A fevered
contest with a jar of pickles to the victor is just the kind of weirdness
one needs between the 5th and 6th innings of a game where the home team’s
getting rocked. The first girl went and couldn’t get passed ‘picked’. It was
not a very memorable performance. But the next girl… She makes it a little
further than the first, getting stuck on ‘peck’. Not only did she get stuck,
but she somehow mentally melded ‘peck’ with ‘peppers’ resulting in ‘peckers’.
So for all four of her tries the audience was treated over the PA to ‘Peter
Piper picked peckers’. I almost fell out of my seat. The second contestant
won the jar of pickles. Ten bucks says she majors in sports marketing.
For the first time this season, Smith-Wills Stadium, home of the Senators,
has a sports bar and grill called Filibusters open during and after the games
(get it? Senators/Filibusters?). This was my first game this season, so I’m
ready to leave after the game. I happen to run into some pals who are apparently
much more in the know. They are all heading to Filibusters (at this point I’m
still thinking that half of the attendees probably consider a Filibuster is
a tractor accessory), so I follow suit. And I have to say I’m pretty impressed;
mostly with the huge funeral/event tent in front of the bar with a pool table
underneath. I have never played pool outdoors, and based on my record (2 for
3 partnered with Blythe, 2 for 2 partnered with Virginia) I think I like it
better than indoor pool. What better way to shoot pool than to be outdoors on
a cool June evening with a group of friends, barefooted, with the smell of a
ball field in your nose, and a bar full of Budweiser no more than 12 paces away?
My state may have the highest teen pregnancy and illiteracy rates in the nation,
but we are professional relaxers, beyond compare.
Oh, I got the crew at Filibusters to sign the squishy ball I caught, and here
is what they said:
- Hollie – Hollie Body, she likes to…
- Brian – Brian, #43
- Eric – Shut your man pleaser.
- Virginia – U play some ball!
- Neely – To Carner: the best boy NAMBLA ever had.
- Chris – Bust-a-Fil
And my personal favorite:
- Russell: Dickhead Blowjob
(which was the nickname given to Russell by his high school football coach,
as in: ‘Don’t show up late for the team picture like Dickhead Blowjob Russell
did last year.’)
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