This was the question that I kept asking myself today while I was watching the Gary Railcats exhibition game against the Winnipeg Goldeyes. I was hustling to get to the stadium in time for the 11:00 start this morning so that I could see the first pitch. I found a great parking spot right next to a player who was in his car. Right then I started wondering what was going on. I walked up to the ticket window to get a ticket, and none of them were open, and nobody was manning the front gate. I walked in and saw that I was the only fan in the stadium. Have you ever been to a movie that you were the only one in? It is a weird feeling, but they eventually turn off the lights, and you have nobody looking at you. At the game today the players for the Goldeyes were talking to me about being the only guy in the stadium. I really started to wonder if I should have been there. Of course a few more people showed up, but the number never got above 15 fans in the stadium at any one time. The odds were good for me to get a ball.
When I sat down the game should have been just getting underway. The groundskeepers were just working on getting the lines down so I knew it would be a while. They were hustling though, and the game got started at about 11:30. With no scoreboard and no knowledge of the Goldeyes I decided that keeping score would be a lost cause. I just sat back and watched the game. I picked a seat in the first row right next to the Goldeye dugout. I had a great view of most of the field without the screen in my way. If I moved to my right just a little I had a fantastic view of the batter. I would love to have this seat for every game.
The ‘game’ was really not a game. This was more like a spring training game, but even then they changed the rules a bit. After three outs in the bottom of the second Winnipeg manager Rick Forney wanted to see his pitcher face one more batter from the stretch. After yelling over to the Railcat dugout he was granted his wish. This was the first time I have ever seen the defense purposely add another out for an inning. Later in the game both teams stopped what would have been big innings for unknown reasons. The innings were getting out of hand, but they just suddenly stopped before three outs.
I left in the seventh because without meaning behind the game it really started to get boring. When you have the bases loaded with one out, and the inning suddenly ends it gets frustrating for a fan. I decided that I would come back when the game meant something. They have another exhibition game on Friday, but after today wondering if I should have been there I doubt I go back.
I did get my second ball of the season today. On Opening Day in Cleveland Gordon Beckham tossed me up a ball without me even asking. I was actually taking a picture of him so maybe he was trying to knock me down. I was going to keep the ball, but a young kid was in the row behind me a ways down actually yelling for a ball so I walked down and gave it to him. Today a foul ball was hit over the screen, and rolled right down to my seat. If I had any patience I could have let it roll all the way, and just picked it up. I did get up and get it in the row behind me. The cool thing about this is that I featured Amos Ramon (who hit the ball) on both of my blogs last season when he was playing for a different team in the Northern League. Maybe he reads my stuff and wanted to get me a souvenir. More likely he just let the ball get very deep before starting his swing.
Here are some other pictures that did not make the body of this post: