Tuesday, May 31, 2011

More American Than Apple Pie

The grass was my favorite thing, along with the Capitol over to the left.

I hope you all had a great Memorial Day, or, if you're not from the US, some kind of bank holiday that involves sleeping in and over indulging in food. I spent my Memorial Day at the ballpark for my first ever baseball game, as the Phillies took on the Washington Nationals. And by "took on" I mean "whooped." In fact, it was my first ever real sporting event of any kind, to be honest. I can hear your gasp from over here. I've just never really been that into sports, or baseball in particular. It's okay though, because I really like pie.

Nationals' pitcher Livan Hernendez, who, unlike the relief pitchers, did not walk every player, losing the game.

Until yesterday, my knowledge of baseball was almost entirely sartorial: baseball caps, cleats, uh, protective gear, that kind of thing. I was scantly aware of the practice of tobacco spitting. I knew the phrases "home run," "three strikes, you're out," and "bottom of the ninth." In other words, I once watched Major League.

I am told that this guy, Halladay, the pitcher for the Phillies, is dreamy, but my camera was all out of focus, so I couldn't get a good picture of him for my friend. I did get this kinda dorky one though.

So you might be wondering what a complete novice, baseball virgin, raised-under-a-rock person, such as myself, thought about my first day at the park. My overwhelming impression was: So! Much! America!

The Presidents' Race, a feature of Nats games, in which Teddy always loses.
I'm sure part of it had to do with the fact that it was Memorial Day, and the Washington Nationals, after all, but there was bunting, military families on the jumbotron, and the National Anthem, and God Bless America, AND Toby Keith. But before I get comments or emails that I'm an un-American, bleeding-heart liberal, east coast intellectual, etc., let me just say, I am not.... that first thing. But I approached the game as I do everything, really, with a great deal of skepticism and an analytical eye. And sometimes, the amalgamation of America, God, baseball, country music, and Miller Lite just seems really very performative.

Dramatic picture of this guy running for second.

But despite all the skepticism that thickly coats my skin--unlike the low-grade SPF I was wearing--I have to admit, I...enjoyed the game. I kind of got into it. I clapped and cheered when the Nats scored. I, however, did not boo (unlike many in the stadium) when the Phillies scored. For one reason, my sometimes concert-buddy and now baseball-buddy is from Philly, and, had I booed, she would have bludgeoned me with her far-superior cheesesteaks. Plus, it seems mean-spirited to boo when the other team does well. I'm glad no one shows up at my job and boos whenever I write a good paper or insults my mother when I get rejected from another publication.

Right field. ('Cause I know the difference.)

So, I enjoyed it. I enjoyed when my team was winning. I enjoyed it when my friend's team won. I enjoyed my hot dog, and the Presidents' Race, and tearing up at the Memorial Day Musical Montage, and being on the Jumbotron. And even the sunburn. But not the Toby Keith.


  1. I was there and had lots of fun! :) And The Nationals won against Colorado Rockies!

    I realise I look like a too excited tourist, which I was I admit hahaha

  2. Lorin! Never been to a baseball game before? Living under a rock is right! But, then again, I have never been to a Nascar race. So, which is the effete Eastern intellectual? (Love your first shot of the field and the grass striping.)

  3. Elsa, I live here, and I look like an excited tourist every day!

    Jack...I know, I know...It's like I've never received a cultural education. But I'm vowing to change that--there may even be a basketball game in my future. I draw the line at Nascar though. Never.