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Return to Baseball’s Cathedral

June 15, 2012

The rain let up with an hour to spare before last night’s Twins-Phillies baseball game. In the quiet overcast of the day’s storms, I remembered in my haste to get out the door that I had forgotten an umbrella. Moments later, I remembered that I had forgotten our scorebook. Sid gave a shrug of his shoulders at omission of the umbrella. The missing scorebook was of more concern.

The umbrella would be unnecessary. We substituted the scorebook with an inexpensive scorecard and a pricy pencil from the gift shop.

Sid and I arrived at Target Field on the light rail train that was less packed than Sid expected. The girl who would turn four in three days, wearing her heart-decal-ed Twins t-shirt would not sit down and exerted the power of “NO” quite often. A cute couple nestled with each other in their seats, the man totally oblivious to his surroundings and the woman somewhat distracted by us. Outside, waiting at the platforms for trains headed the other direction, lonely faces of women and men who stayed too long at work, nothing, no task and no one who would have waited for them to step off the 4:30 train.

Even under the heavy gray sky, the threat of rain had passed. Sid and I made our way to seats. The air was calm and pleasant and the only weather menace was the beads of rain that clung the the green seats that were much better than either of us anticipated.

Close enough to the field to notice the blades of grass that were disturbed by the sliding play of Twins second baseman Alexi Casilla, vivid numbers sewn onto the backs of uniforms, the chance at a souvenir foul ball. Behind us sat a father and his primary school-aged daughter, a bright girl of whom her father is proud and may grow up to be as much of her fathers baseball buddy as Doris Kearns Goodwin.

We saw Julian Loscalzo, a native Philadelphian and reason d’etre for Ballpark tours and of “Save the Met” fame, wearing his hometown insignia sitting down in the seats in front of us. I had enough time to start a conversation before he realized that his seats were in the next section over and the people to whom the seats belonged eagerly wanted to sit down.

It was an interesting game, satisfying to Sid’s baseball mind. A nice night and still air that produced three home runs, one by Jim Thome, now playing for the Phillies, again, launched into the right field flower boxes and which, even into the next morning, had not been found.

The Twins lost to a struggling, injury-laden but usually powerful Philadelphia Phillies ball club. No matter. It was a sweet night, our first successful trip to the ballpark, where we belong.

The last month of this summer, Sid will be in China. I do not know if I will make a trip to the ballpark. It is not the same without him. I don’t know with whom I would visit the park. It might not matter if I go—does not matter if the thunder storms saturate the ground and air. It does not matter if the stillness is disturbed and the air swirls and the atmosphere is filled with electricity and the smell of ozone. They will keep me company, even if I forget my umbrella.

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