After two weeks of blogging baseball from
ma's basement home, I finally got out to my first real, live game on Sunday. It was White Sox versus Tigers and although the forecast called for miserable April weather, it wasn't anything three layers and consistent Southside sunshine couldn't handle. My friend lured me with his weekend bleacher tickets and knowing that the final round of the Masters would be worthless with a bore like Trevor Immelman leading (I was right), the gastrointestinal allure of a kosher dog with mustard and onions was too much to pass up. (Also a correct assumption, as my black North Face fleece will attest.)
Whenever I go out to a game, I try to pick one memory that will allow me to remember the game in the future. That might be a great play on the field, a maniac sitting next to me in the stands or the people/persons I attend the game with. You know, anything to prevent the game from slipping into the nether regions of my mind where the memories of Michael Jordan in a Wizards uniform, Moses Moreno under center for the Bears and the '99-'02 Cubs seasons prefer to reside.
So what did I take away from yesterday's game? At first I thought it'd be my first glimpse at the White Sox's sweet new monument to the '05 World Series team (pictured above), which features El Duque, the unwaivable Juan Uribe and Geoff Blum on one side and Joe Crede and Paul Konerko on the other. I'm not sure how Scott Podsednik isn't on there for his walkoff homer off Brad Lidge in Game 2 of the World Series, but it was still nice to see a reminder that a Chicago baseball team actually won a World Series at least once in my lifetime.
But that pregame experience was pushed out of my mind the instant that Miguel Cabrera collided with the Angels' favorite umpire Doug Eddings (he of 2005 ALCS Game 2 fame) and missed a Jim Thome popup that landed in fair territory, providing a perfect highlight for the Tigers' goal-suffocating start. We had never seen anything in person like that before, so both Mike and I figured that was this game's "moment."
But then, in the same inning, Joe Crede hit a grand slam deep into the section over from us — his second of the season. Combined with Konerko's bases-clear a few innings earlier, it was also the second of the game for the White Sox and both Mike and I agreed it was a rare occurrence and the no-contest winner of the day's lasting legacy.
Later, we found out it was even rarer than we thought because the White Sox have only hit two grand slams in one game only twice before. Better yet, neither game was held in Chicago. (In comparison, the White Sox have thrown 16 no-hitters in their history.)
All of that is a long way of saying that baseball is great because there's a great chance of seeing something you've never seen before. Also, not a bad start to the season. Not a bad start at all.