I’m working long shifts at the radio station this week, getting an overdose of NPR news and current events as two members of our on-air staff are away and I’m covering for both of them. My intention was to write something for you this evening, then watch at least a few innings of the MLB All-Star game. But those long shifts are long, and the news overdose has me anxious and rattled and in need of rest, so I’m not sure I’ll accomplish either goal.
But never mind all that. Let’s give it a go.
About that All-Star game: it’s being played in Denver, at a lovely ballpark in Lower Downtown, a classic park, completed in 1995, built in the style of the grand parks of the early 20th century, before the generic stadiums of the 60s and 70s took over.
I grew up in a rookie league town, and live down the road from another one now. For years I travelled to Arizona for spring training games. And I lived in Denver when that stadium was being built, back when baseball still meant something to me. I watched it rise from the red dirt in what was once a sketchy factory district, before we learned to call it LoDo, before the craft beer pubs arrived.
One night two friends and I drove down to get closer look at the unfinished park. We left the car a block away, squeezed past the construction fence and went inside.
Even then I was surprised at how easy it was to get in to this cathedral-in-the-making.
The turf had just been laid, extending from the infield out to the fences. We made our way down the steps and out onto the field, where we fell onto the luxuriant grass. Trespassers. Disciples.
I’m a little worried about tonight’s game. Worried that some berserker with a gun is going to let us know how unhappy he is that MLB moved the game from Atlanta to Denver after Georgia passed its voter suppression law back in April. By the time you read this it will be yesterday’s news. Let’s hope it doesn’t become another headline I’m sharing with listeners at the station tomorrow.
As I type, my orange tabby is kneading my shoulder, purring, ready for his evening let’s-hang-out time. So this will have to do. Not exactly the post I’d intended, but the one that wanted to be written.
Baseball memories are welcome in the comments.