Tonight we went to our first game of real live baseball. Now for those of you who don’t know much about it it’s the US’s 4 th most popular sport after football (American, not soccer), basketball and shooting people. I only realised tonight how similar it is to cricket. Now before the cricket purists start wailing (well, gently tutting. Wailing is just not the done thing, (it’s not cricket) hear me out.
1) Both involve hitting a little ball with a bat and running.
2) The clothes worn for both seem wholly unsuitable. Longs pants, jumpers, long socks. They are meant to be Summer sports!
3) They are unfathomably long. Baseball, 9 innings; Cricket 5 days.
4) Most of the time the fans seem to be doing something else other than watching the game (cricket=drinking; baseball=eating).
5) The programmes both have sections which can be filled in with the scores because “following the scoring is great fun” (maybe in your world mate).
6) Fans of the sports are both obsessively, painstakingly, unbearably obsessed with statistics!
Whats with the stats! This evening the scoreboard kept flashing up numbers and letters. I think they meant something to someone, but to me they were just abbreviations with numbers after them. Sometimes unrelated words and numbers. But there were a lot of them. At one the point the scoreboard read as follows (see pic below). I’m not sure, but I think was Saunders pass code for his router.
I spent a lot of the game turning to Karen and asking “what just happened?” By the end of the game I just about had it. However I wasn’t prepared for the reaction of the Mexican fan in front of me. So pleased was he by some running, hitting, catching shenanigans on the pitch that he leapt up, turned around and high fived me. Alas I was not ready for this and I reacted a fraction of a second too late and so it was less of a slap and more of a limp wave which barely made contact. Feeling thoroughly ashamed of my feeble effort I prepared for the next occasion. I didn’t have to wait long before one of the teams did something which led to the stadium erupting and my new best friend span round and high fived me. This time there was no flapping but a good solid slap. He looked content with my efforts as he began high fiving the rest of the row.
This continued for the rest of the game until the piece de resistance when at the end of the game when the Oakland Athletes won (apparently) we engaged in a double high five! (is that a high 10?). Ah baseball bringing stats, random slapping and people together. Oh, and did I mention that Chewbacca pitched the first ball of the game? Don’t believe me, look below. Now you would never get that at the cricket.