Thursday, July 24, 2008

The Great American Passtime

I have seen a lot of baseball in the last few weeks. Three games in ten days to be exact. And for someone raised on cricket and rugby (though I'm hardly a sports fanatic), I must admit to really liking baseball. It's simpler than cricket, and while less exciting than rugby, I certainly wasn't lacking for entertainment. The first live game I saw was with the whole of NYChoirgirl's family, at Yankee stadium. It was probably the only time I will go to this stadium, before the new one replaces it, but for NYChoirgirl's family, it's a yearly tradition. We had great seats, high up, but right behind home base, and it was a great place from which to learn how the game works. NYChoirgirl filled out a score card, and watching her, and receiving periodic explanations from her and her mother really made more sense of it to me. And I was delighted by all the music. A live organist played little snatches of familiar pieces of music throughout the game, and people respond with near military precision. I was quite proud as I learned the responses well enough to sing (and clap) along. We sang the Star Spangled Banner before the game, God Bless America after the 7th inning, followed by Take Me Out to the Ball Game, and YMCA when the sand on the diamond was smoothed over. It was all very entertaining.
The following Friday we went to a Mets game at Shea Stadium, and while the seats were just about as high up, this time they were closer to first base. The Mets game was even more laid back and entertaining than the Yankees game, with all the between innings activities, though because the Mets aren't my team (I'm a Yankees fan by default) the Yankees game was more exciting. Once again, though, the music thoroughly entertained me.
Then, a week later, we went to a minor league game on Staten island. This time the stadium was much smaller, and so were right near to the field, between home and first base. While these players clearly weren't on quite the same level as the major league players we had seen previously, the game was absolutely riveting, with the Staten Island Yankees scoring, the Batavian Muckdogs (yes, that really is their name) leveling up, and then overtaking them, and right near the end, the Yankees again leveling, and then winning. The game was also followed by fireworks, first in the distance on Manhattan (which we could see through the mist across the bay) and then right at the stadium.
We're planning on going to another game at the Cyclones stadium at Coney Island, but perhaps in a couple of weeks time....
So a few little to end this post:
Clearly the link between sports and music has historic precedents. Here is an article from the Mail and Guardian on music at the Olympic Games.
Anything you ever wanted to know about baseball history.
The Baseball Music Project.

1 comment:

T said...

Yay, baseball! And it's always funny to become a particular team's fan "by default"--as you know, I'm also a Yankees fan through J's folks. But luckily they don't mind if I root for the Nationals sometimes, which fills a double bill of being underdogs, and being the closest team to home :-)