For 20 years I thought it would be fun to attend one of our local area team's baseball games so yesterday morning when local radio (and a big sign along the road in small Miesville) announced the evening's game against the hated Twin Cities suburb of Eagan, it seemed like a very patriotic and apropo thing to finally do. All the better on a wonderful weather July 4th weekend.
A very competitive league here in the Minnesota, I was surprised to learn how many teams there actually are. Our very own town of Red Wing has the Aces and the decision was made last evening to attend one of their games very soon. Timing and the fact that the Miesville Mudhens field is almost directly across from the home of Minnesota's voted-best Hamburger's clinched the deal for a Mudhens game last night. King's has quite literally 100 different burgers; Peg's had kraut, not sure which one Lauren finally decided upon but rather than anguish over the decision, I stuck with my tried and true California Bleu. Once more, a fantastic sandwich......sandwiches.....we all agreed.
Almost across the highway though not quite, we moved the car a block to park at Jack Ruhr Stadium.
Never an organized baseball (or softball) player myself, the way that I enjoyed the game was with a version we played called "Screen Ball". 2 guys to a team, we used 30 degrees of the field rather than 90. There was a sign on one of the fence posts out beyond Shortstop that we used as our right side Foul line. No base running, we took turns pitching to ourselves, the opposing team positioned just past the infield dirt and out on left field. Bounce on the infield dirt was a Single, outfield grass was a Double and hitting the fence a triple. Any catches were the only outs.
It was lots of fun, easy to organize and play, flaunting the things that I was better at, namely hitting and fielding. I miss it and sitting in the stands last night brought back many memories of playing on the local Little League field when available.
Certainly no experts, both Peg and I had ample time to explain the game to Lauren. For not being even faintly good at the game, we ended up knowing more and able to share more than we ever would have given ourselves credit for.
The Foul Ball shagging was an ongoing task, kept 'afloat' by the announcer regularly reminding these energetic youth...."retrieve a foul....bring it to the Concession Stand ..... get the money ..... spend the money." These were some very busy boys and girls.
The setting sun only made the field prettier......
Our boys were ahead when we left after the 7th inning and so far, no report on the final outcome of the game.
It was after 10:00 when we left and on the drive home, we saw a couple of fields adjacent to the highway alive with lights. Peas were being harvested, their sweet smell easily detectable in the evening air. A task that goes on 24/7 for the local canning factories, the harvesters were busy as were the trucks hauling the pods away for processing.
I went by this morning on my way up to Diamond's, around 6AM. The field was already worked black and by the time I was coming home again late morning, a new crop was already being planted. Our growing season isn't all that long up here and though I can't be sure, normally a fast maturing variety of soybeans is what follows the peas, though I noticed last year that a quick variety of sweet corn was being planted in multiple locations, the corn ready to take advantage of the nitrogen producing pea legumes.