COVID-19 has been a drain on most of us. Trapped in our homes there is tension, anxiety and some depression with not knowing what will happen.
Being a baseball writer this is the time I usually have roster predictions, record predictions or what players could impact the season.
The shutdown has stopped everything.
I have been going to Ranger games since 1974 as a seven-year-old. Throughout the years I have attended more games than I can remember. Multiple opening days including my current streak of 17 in a row.
This all got me thinking. I have a lot of stories from all the games I have attended. Some are funny, some are strange and some are not believable.
You probably could care less and I wouldn’t blame you. However, it’s my blog and I will never know if you didn’t care for it.
Either way, I am doing this.
The Lucky Rabi
I have never caught a foul ball. If I were to estimate how many games I have attended as a Ranger fan it would probably be safe to say at least 400 games. (That might be low) I have always wanted to catch a foul ball or HR. Over the years there have been many close calls. But alas I never got one.
In about 1978 or 1979 my best shot arrived. My family attended a weeknight game one time, with intermittent rain predicted throughout the game. In fact, it had rained that day and there were light showers throughout the night. I am not sure where our seats were, but we ended up moving down behind the third-base dugout about halfway up. This is normally a prime area for a foul ball. However, on this night, the odds were even better. The rain had sent home most folks and we found ourselves sitting among only a scattered few.
In fact, there may not have been more than 20 or 30 people down the entire baseline. Including a Rabi and about 4 boys he had treated to a ballgame. They wore Yarmulkes and I distinctly heard one yell, “Look what I got Rabi”!
The game started and I had my glove ready to go. Within the first inning, a ball landed two rows behind us and bounced right up to one of the kids with the Rabi. I now knew this was the golden night. Within a few more pitches another ball landed almost in the same spot with the same result. Seeing this I moved up two rows to be prepared. Around the third inning, another ball comes our way.
Yep, you guessed it. The ball landed right where I was before and it bounced over my head to the Rabi’s crew.
Now I wasn’t discouraged yet. That came much later. I had gone up to get nachos, cokes, restroom breaks and other snacks throughout the game. About the 8th inning, another ball came towards us. It landed a section over from where we were sitting. I ran towards the ball but got there too late. Yep, one of the young Jewish boys got to the ball first.
While I made my way back to my seat I heard it. “Look what I got Rabi”! I turned to see him hand the ball to his Rabi. That’s when depression set in. The Rabi gleefully grabbed the ball and said, “now we all got one”! I turned to see a Rabbi, his wife, and four young Jewish boys all holding a baseball. SIX!!! They had caught six foul balls throughout the evening. Then I heard the voice of my dad mutter to himself, “that’s a lucky Rabi”.
The Fake Proposal
I am a huge fan of practical jokes. My uncle is only six years older than me, so we grew up like brothers. Before he married my aunt, she would accompany him to Dallas to go to Ranger games every year. (Did I mention they live in New Mexico?) Anyway, back to the story. I also have a younger brother who has lived his entire life dealing with me as an older brother. So let the fun begin.
One evening my aunt, uncle, brother and I attended a game together. My brother and I love our aunt and had often wondered when these two would get married. After a sip of beer, my brother leaned over and asked my uncle why he hadn’t asked her to marry him. Luckily for me, neither my aunt or uncle heard him over the noise. Thinking quickly, I put a plan in motion. I waved off my brother and mouthed the words, “shut up’! He looked at me baffled. I leaned over and said he was asking her to marry to him during the seventh inning. And so it began.
Now I must preface this by saying that practical jokes are meant to make me laugh and nobody else. So as long as I am entertained, the joke is serving its purpose. Imagine watching this for about four innings. My brother would catch my uncle’s eyes and give him the head nod wink or thumbs up. Not understanding what was going on, my uncle had this bewildered look as he gave the proverbial head nod back. When my brother would give the thumbs up, my uncle would fake grin and give one back. Sitting between them, I had a blast. I wiped tears away from laughing so hard at them both. The best part came in the 7th inning. My brother started looking around for the camera that was gonna film the proposal. His head was on a swivel.
This got my uncle to looking around also at what he was trying to see. Then my aunt starting to looking around. I couldn’t take it anymore. I leaned over to my brother and whispered, “dude, I’m kidding”. He looked at me in bewilderment. “Are you serious”? I confirmed, “Yeah, I was just messing with you”.
Alcohol played a big part in what happened next. He blurted out, “YOU MOTHER F’ER”! Now, this was not funny to any parents within a section of us. My aunt and uncle looked on in horror. I giggled in delight. FYI- still get a kick out of telling that story at family gatherings.
My Brothers Revenge
I won’t lie. When I was younger, I would occasionally partake in too many malted beverages at a ballgame. Usually, if I had a ride home I would especially indulge myself. Now I am not proud of this, but we all have our stories.
On this particular night, it was a bit cold and I was wearing my starched blue jeans and boots. I was very cool in the ’90s. After the game, we were headed out to our cars and I was walking with my hands in my front pocket to stay warm. My jeans were particularly tight and this along with alcohol made for an eventful problem.
You see, I missed a step trying to jump the curb onto a sidewalk. I fell flat on my belly in the grass next to the said sidewalk.
Tight jeans, hands in pocket and one too many beers. Have you ever seen a turtle on its on the back? Imagine a dude with a mullet, unable to pull his hands out of his pockets, flopping around on the grass. Then imagine another guy pointing at him, laughing hysterically, louder than anyone in the vicinity. That was my brother with all of his love and compassion. In fact, that happened before the fake proposal. I guess that means I got my revenge.
One of My Favorites
There are some other stories I could tell if I thought you were still interested. But here is one of the favorites that I will end with. I have three kids. My youngest is my introvert and my athlete. He is also very competitive when it comes to beating his older brother. He is 13 now and in junior high. But when he was 5 years old he LOVED the dot race.
My brother decided to video this one night when the dot race started. My son wanted green to win. The funny part isn’t that green lost. Its the fact that the blue dot knocked over the green dot for the win. See if you can tell when that happens.
The best moment might be when my brother asks him what happened. That is the look of someone who is ticked off.
There you go. Hope you got a giggle, laugh or smile out of it.
Featured Image: Pexel