“It’s a beautiful day for a ball game.”
This was the theme song played before Chicago Cubs baseball games years ago. Of course, Ernie Banks added, “It’s a beautiful day for a ball game. Let’s play two.”
Indeed last Thursday was a beautiful day for a ball game. The temperature was in the low 80′s. The wind was minimal, and our seats were in the shade.
My grandchildren who live 3 hours away and their daddy and I were all set for baseball. My grandson was wearing the Cub shirt his daddy bought him last year at the ball park. He added a Cub hat for a perfect outfit. My granddaughter wanted a Cub shirt and had declared that Alfonso Soriano was her favorite Cub. We looked and looked – vendor to vendor – shop to shop – and no one had a Sori shirt in youth sizes. We decided to look after the game.
As we emerged from the tunnel to go to our seats, a roar went up from the crowd. I asked the children if that cheer was for us, but no. It was for the Cubs who were taking the field.
On the drive to Chicago my granddaughter had asked about keeping score at a game. Her daddy explained the numbering system to her.
If keeping score in a baseball game is a mystery to you, here is a short lesson from Major League Baseball.
In new ball parks like Busch the scoring is flashed on the score board after a play. Wrigley has a classic scoreboard with scores being hand turned by fellows inside the scoreboard. No fancy scoring assistance there – except for the H or E to indicate hit or error.
Daddy told my granddaughter that Grandma was the score keeper in the family. Yes, I have kept score at many a game. I love to buy the “official” score card that comes with a Cub pencil.
During the first two innings my granddaughter ate her chicken fingers, and I served as scribe writing down the 1-3 or the 6-4-3 or the K’s as she directed. She was doing a super job figuring out the numbers for the positions. I was impressed.
In the 3rd inning she took the pencil and off she went scoring the remainder of the game. She even knew which direction the K should go depending if the strikeout was swinging or called. Her younger brother really enjoyed knowing about the K and backward K and would monitor the card to see if she had scored the play properly.
In the 5th inning her favorite player came to bat – Alfonso Soriano. I suggested that maybe Sori would hit a homer for her. And he did. Much screaming and jumping and high fives to everyone.
The game had many great plays – Starlin Castro’s scooping up the ball, spinning and throwing bullets to first (yes, that is 6-3) and Reed Johnson’s diving catch in rightfield (a 9 on the scorecard). There was also a fiasco when Reed Johnson was caught between home plate and 3rd base. The run down required numerous throws to several players. When he was finally tagged out, my granddaughter looked at me with a quizzical expression. ”Grandma, what do I write?” There was no way I could keep track of the 2-5 and I think 1 and maybe even 6 got involved so I smiled and said, “Let’s just call it 2-5.”
We all stood for the 7th inning stretch to sing “Take me out to the ballgame.” More singing when the Marlins changed pitchers – “YMCA.” And the best song after the final out – “Go, Cubs, go,” as the W flag was run up the flag pole.
The game was only 2 hours and 18 minutes long – a short game just right for short people.
After the game we resumed the search for the elusive Soriano tee shirt. None to be found. My granddaughter said, “Your favorite player is Castro, right, Grandma?” I nodded yes so she took a Castro tee shirt off the rack and up to the counter.
Hm, I might just have to buy myself a Castro tee shirt, too.
It had been a really beautiful day.
Thank you for stopping by Grandma in the Mailbox. I hope you stop by next week. The 4th Wednesday is recipe day and I’ll share my recipe for Cuban bread. I have been making it for my family for 30 years or so.