Saturday, July 2, 2011

The Marathon

Last night was a LONG night. Fortunately the Brewers were at Target Field, and the sales are always good in any sport when Cheeseheads come to town.

It was 99 degrees and muggy when I got to the ballpark. I was already sopping wet just from walking over from my car. It wasn’t even sunny because the clouds were starting to really build. It was going to storm sometime tonight. Some sort of delay was imminent.

I came upstairs to a light rain after our pre-game meeting and the tarp was out. We all had hoped that this would be just a quick storm and we would get the game underway soon.

The rain actually stopped about 6:45 and we had hoped we would get rolling. But first pitch at 7:10 came and went, and nothing happened. There was still no rain at about 7:30, but real dark clouds remained. The “Rain Delay” message was on the scoreboard.

For about an hour there was very little rain and fans were starting to wonder why officials weren’t getting the game underway. The official word was “lightning in the area”.

Great… We are holding up because of the potential of lightning. Most people were even in their seats.

But it was one of those Minnesota nights when you felt it coming.

It was kindof like that feeling you get when you know you are going to throw up. Your stomach starts to ache and you know what is next. You put it off as long as you can, but then you finally move to the bathroom and wait for it to happen. Then... BAM!

That’s what the delay was like. There were really dark clouds everywhere around the stadium for at least an hour. It was so hot and humid, the atmosphere was just ready to explode.

Then there was a new message on the scoreboard about 8 o’clock and an announcement was made.

“Due to impending Severe Storms, please move to the Concourse or an area of safety” OK, finally here it comes.

98% percent of fans moved from their seats. The other 2% figured their umbrellas and $7 ponchos would cover them and besides… they were here for the full experience of outdoor baseball.

Then it happened…

The clouds EXPLODED!

This was not the light rain first and then the heavy stuff. There was no warning. The faucet turned on to FULL and it poured as heavy as a monsoon. It looked like a blizzard in the stadium lights.

The remaining 2% of the fans in their seats went instantly scrambling for cover, but after about 6 seconds, they must have been soaked.

It rained so hard that you could barely see the fully lit scoreboard from the other side of the field where I was set up.

It downpoured like this for about 35 minutes. Probably 2-3 inches of rain in that short period of time.

40,0000 fans were packed into the concourse. It was so crowded, I stood on top of my beer case so people could find me. They could see me just fine, but in our stockyard like atmosphere, there was very little chance they could get to me any time soon.

So we waited for the duration of the storm. Very few fans left the stadium. The crowd seemed to know that we would get going as soon as it was over. Then the announcement everyone was waiting for was finally heard…

The game would start about 9:10 PM.

Now 9:10 is about the time that I usually am able to leave after the bottom of the 7th inning, and I was just getting started. Wow, this is getting to be a long night.

On the bright side, the temperature had dropped 25 degrees and it was actually a perfect night for baseball after the rain passed.

The game started at 9:11, and ended @ 11:41PM. I was home by midnight; put my clothes in the washer, had 2 Newcastles and a little something to eat. I was in bed by 1:30.

Do I wish we were still in the Metrodome…? No way!

1 comment:

  1. Love your stories, Scary! Although I would have used a different analogy LOL