Thursday, July 26, 2007
Take me out to the ball game....
Tuesday 24th July - my church was giving out a few tickets to a minor league baseball game, so we went with Emy whom I met at church.
The teams were the San Jose Giants vs. the Oaks - from somewhere like Fremont? The San Jose spectators weren't very nice to the opposing team, yelling out "miss the ball!" and other rude things. But I was assured by Emy that when they play at the Oaks' home base, they will get the same thing. Still... ah, boys....Tina and Brendan with the SJ Giants mascot - the team are reserves for the SF Giants
The first thing we noticed was the food! They sold the traditional peanuts and cotton candy etc etc in overpriced stalls under the seats. But they also had people come around and pass around menus, which you ordered off and then passed money from person to person down the row to the salesperson waiting patiently at the end of the aisle. I have no idea how they worked out who got what, or why people didn't hold on to the money. But the money was being very carefully watched. Emy told us half the people don't go for the dame, they go for the food. She ordered some pork chops covered in sauce - what must be the most messy meal ever!! She and Brendan were covered in sauce by the end.
There was also the beer batter. Brendan and I naturally assumed it was something that came on your fish and chips, but no. Far from it. The Beer Batter was actually a person. It was a member of the opposing team (the Oaks). When he batted, if he got "out" then a certain type of beer cost half price - people booed him all the time when he came up to bat to try and make him miss. Way to be supportive (or not), people! I felt sorry for him.
At the half-way point during the game, everyone did something I had seen in movies, but though it only happened in movies - all the Americans actually sang! "God Bless America", a very patriotic song, started blaring over the loudspeakers. Everyone stood up, opened their mouths, and sang. Then they sang, "Take me out to the ballgame". Seriously. I am not kidding. I thought it was so funny: I can't imagine Kiwis doing that. The national anthem is about as close as it gets, and that's done grudgingly.
Sometimes balls flew over the top of peoples' heads, and half the crowd tried to catch them. They often flew right over the top and landed on the roof! One batter in particular hit the ball three times, and each time the ball flew backwards to land on the roof right behind us. I was very disappointed.
The funniest thing was the little sub-games as the innings changed. These included things like having tug-of-war, little kids holding giant colanders over their heads and a guy trying to throw water bombs into the colanders (when they hit, they soaked the little kids!), and a nine-year-old dressed in adult-sized gear with a hockey stick trying to hit a ball into a goalpost guarded by a real ice-hockey player (on the grass of course) - he succeeded when the mascot tackled the hockey player to the ground!
So all in all it was a good night, topped off by the British guy and his American friend asking us as we left the carpark, "Do you call the back of the car the boot or the trunk?" We agreed "boot" 'cos we're Kiwis, and the British guy turned to his friend in triumph. And then, the American guy made a very funny analogy, but I can't remember it. Except it involved Elephants and trunks, and was hilarious. Ad the British guy countered with a shoes analogy, and I also can't remember that. Cos it was all a bit long ago now, so you'll have to take my word that it was funny. Sorry.