Ten things I learned at the ballpark tonight:
1. In 1946, at the advent of night baseball, the Braves played a couple of games in satin uniforms, on the theory they’d show up better under the lights (tonight the team fielded as though everyone in the stands wore their shiniest clothing).
2. Three home games into the season, and there are still no permits for street vendors. The vendor who handed me the flyer below (click on link) is convinced that the Braves organization has conspired with the city to delay permitting on this crucial homestand, when a large percentage of apparel is purchased. I don’t know about that, but I do know the hat I saw priced at $28 at the clubhouse store was the same hat I got for $15 last year from a street vendor.
3. The stadium organist continues to be generally awesome. Here’s a list of the songs I think I could identify for the Phillies batters:
Ben Revere – Midnight Rider
Chase Utley – theme from The Good, The Bad, and the Ugly
Ryan Howard – theme from Ryan’s Hope (don’t ask how I know this…as your intrepid reporter, all manner of knowledge is my business)
Michael Young – theme from The Young & The Restless (again, I really must ask….)
Domonic Brown – Brown Eyed Girl
Laynce Nix – Edge of Seventeen by Stevie Nicks
4. Jack Quinn is the only Braves player in history to hail from Austria-Hungary. This and many, many other fascinating facts can be learned by touring the Braves museum, which everybody should absolutely do. Especially when it’s as cold as it was tonight.
5. You can probably get away with underage drinking at the ballpark if you have a friend who is of age, but if you combine being young and drunk with yelling obscenities at Jason Heyward from the right field stands, well…not so much.
7. It’s irritating when the beer vendors at the kiosks mention that they work for tips before you’ve even paid them. This did not happen to me tonight, but a vendor did inform me that they all work as “volunteers”, and tips are their only compensation. She pointed to her jacket and said if she didn’t have her station broken down and the jacket returned by 9:30, the stadium authority charges her $75 until she returns it. I can’t confirm this…but tip your beer vendor anyway.
8. The New York media referred to Milwaukee as “Bushville” during the 1957 World Series. But Braves fans got the last laugh – first by the team winning the Series, and then by taunting the Yankee faithful with some totally not bush league signage:
9. I can last about 5 ½ innings at the ballpark in this sort of weather.
10. Oh yeah, the game. I promised Alex I’d do the Thursday game recaps, but do we really want to relive this one? Also, a gentle reminder… if there’s an aspect of a game you don’t think is sufficiently addressed in a recap (which, in this case, would be all aspects), just bring it up in the comments. Not only are we volunteers, we don’t even get tips!
While I have the floor, I’d like to take a moment to say rest in peace, Roger Ebert. He and Bill James are my writing heroes — and just like James, Ebert was often at his best when confronted with ineptitude. Here is a sample from his review of Jaws: The Revenge, which I consider to be the “Enos Cabell essay” of the Ebert canon:
Ellen Brody has become convinced that the shark is following her. It wants revenge against her entire family. Her friends pooh-pooh the notion that a shark could identify, follow or even care about one individual human being, but I am willing to grant the point, for the benefit of the plot.
I believe that the shark wants revenge against Mrs. Brody. I do. I really do believe it. After all, her husband was one of the men who hunted this shark and killed it, blowing it to bits. And what shark wouldn’t want revenge against the survivors of the men who killed it?