Summertime is a time of fun, laughter, and warmer weather. Barbecues, grill outs, block parties, and other extravaganzas make a constellation of entertainment when grouped together across this backdrop of humidity and heat. Thanks to my wife’s workplace she and I had the opportunity to visit a minor league game in my home city of Peoria. The Peoria Chiefs had a a stellar game against the Burlington Bees last night, and I was privileged to see them win. They had talented hitters and a defense as strong as the Finnish Mannerheim Line.
I’ve never much cared for sports. In junior high I was a kid who was oftentimes picked last for any of the teams. The only sporting talent I had it appeared at the time was running. And the only other sporting talent that I actually used at the time was paintball.
I enjoyed the thrill of bunkering opponents and crawling under the cover of the serpentine bunker known as the snake.
In high school and college I ran cross-country. I cared about my team’s performance and my own performance in it. I still did not care about professional sports. I still don’t see why people cheer on a team when they have no ties to the team itself other than fandom. I’ll never forget in high school realizing that many of the Illini fans had few parents or relatives who attended the University of Illinois. Some went on to, and many did not. I guess it was beyond my comprehension.
I surprised my wife an later on myself and how into the game I got while watching it. I became intensely eager to see The Peoria Chiefs defeat the Burlington Bees. I was thrilled when The Chiefs had their defenses tested and their center fielders displayed their prowess with good communication and a rapid response.
“I’ve never seen you get into a baseball game like this before.” Amanda said this as we both finished our second bottle of water to keep cool.
It is a surprise.
“It is because I actually care about Peoria.”
What’s better than seeing your home city’s team triumph inning by inning. Although from my observations none of the team’s lineup has much ties to Peoria it was excellent to see a dedicated group defend the city’s honor. What better thing to do on a warm evening than sit in a stadium downtown in a city built on booze and bulldozers? After all the ball park is called Dozer Park.
And what is more American than going to the ballpark and having The Great American Lager on draught and spectating on the national pastime.
All in all, I would say you are missing out if you don’t go to at least one minor-league baseball game in your area. Celebrate summer, celebrate life, and celebrate America with a baseball and a Budweiser.
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