It was a good night for “The Flyin’ Hawaiian”. Top of the 4th, Red Sox right fielder, Shane Victorino, hit his first homerun of the season. Goes home happy, upping that .163 batting average by a few points.
And no, not such a good night, for the Seattle fan who stripped off his shirt, jumped the chain-link fence and ran across the outfield before being tackled by three security guards.
But other than those two moments of excitement, a pretty humdrum Thursday night at Safeco Field.
We’d left early in hopes of beating the rush hour traffic. Did not. Stop and go to Sodo. Wound our way up, and further up in the parking garage.
Emptied keys and wallet, pens, tickets, notepad, grocery list, sunglasses into a little plastic bin.
Stood in line to get a plastic cup of beer and a Mariner’s hotdog. Wondered why it costs $2 more than the plain old hotdog. Loaded my home team dog with generous dollops of mustard and relish.
Found the way to our seats balancing sloshing beer and dripping mustard down steep concrete stairs. Hoped not to spill mustard and beer all over my shirt. Failed at that.
Looked out between shoulders of blue and white Mariner’s tee shirts as the opera singer from New York soared the National Anthem out over the outfield wall.
Joined the crowd in a loud cheer.
At last, all settled in our seats. Cups of beer in cup holders. Hot dogs in hand.
Morrison grounds out to pitcher.
Zunino grounds out to shortstop.
Seager grounds out to first.
Yet another lazy fly ball. Yet another can of corn.
The mow pattern is about the most refined piece of work out there tonight as one team jogs off and another onto the field.
Yet another assortment of swings and misses. Foul ball, after foul ball, lobbed into the stands.
Then, I remember. What I’d forgotten in the novelty and anticipation of a night out at a game.
This IS what happens. A heck of a lot of nothing. Most of the time. A lot of sitting around and waiting for the possibility of what may. Or on a night like this, may well not.
It’s a month left until school ends. Summer, yet to begin. The humdrum days of May. Work, school, marriage, life. Days, when the anticipation of what may spring has not yet sprung.
May. Somewhere between the possibility of what may happen and yet again, what may not.
Not the brilliance of October nor the exuberance of July. Just dear old May.
The kind of year when you too may get the urge to jump the fence and tear off across the field with what may be nothing more than the desire, the ache and restlessness in you to make something, please, anything happen.
Or yes, maybe the month, when you may look back on 20 years of late night practice after late night practice, starting way back there in 3rd grade on “Tony’s Tigers” Little League Team. The years of hamstring, back and yet another knee problem. Back surgery that took you out most of last season. And here, tonight, back after 15 days on the disabled list.
Who could have guessed? That here on a spring evening in May, it may just happen to you. The years of practice and amazing grace coming down to this. Your bat hitting the ball just right. A homer to left flying high over the wall. Hey, it just may be, you’re not finished yet. Just may be, you are only beginning.
And yes, a good month, to sit in the stands with a hot dog and beer on a beautiful night with a good friend. The lights of the city sparkling in the distance. A little girl in a bright pink dress dancing in the stands. And no, not much of anything happening on the field.
Sure, you could have stayed home and watched re-runs. Or finished the novel even though you looked ahead and already knew the ending.
Or gone out to the ballpark for the possibility of what may happen.
The little girl in the pink dress is swinging to “Three Little Birds” as Bob Marley reminds us, that indeed, “every little thing is gonna be alright”.
And it just may be.
The bases loaded and yet another can of corn that brings the final out. The slow jog off the field, others on. The circle dance of grounds crew brooms.
And something, although I can’t say how or when it happens, happens. I’m no longer sitting here in the impatient expectation of what yet may be but in the wonder of what already is.
Oh yeah, I almost forgot. One other thing did happen Thursday night. That surprise 9th inning Red Sox rally that took them jogging off the field with a 2-1 victory.
It may be a better game next time.
Then again, it may not.
But as we wind our way in the blue and white crowd to the parking lot, I think, baseball may not be as bad as I thought.
Not such a bad place to be, in the possibility of May.