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Today I Became My Father At a COVID Baseball Game

August 12, 2020

Baseball is more fun when you have someone to explain it to you.
– My son

I haven’t always been a baseball fan. When I was a boy I didn’t necessarily like baseball.

But, I went to baseball games as often as possible.

Because it was one of the things my father and I did together. I don’t even know if he liked baseball. I know he watched all sports. But, he was also a professional gambler. He often had money on the games.

Pretty sure our trips to the horse track involved betting, but I don’t know about the trips to the Kingdome, the home of the Seattle Mariners. I do know my father had agriphobia and claustrophobia. And the old Kingdome trigger both of these in him.

It’s strange that I remember going to the games, but I don’t remember much else. I remember we watched the great Rangers’ pitcher Nolan Ryan get chased in the first inning during one game.

I’m sure my dad explained the game to me. It would be like him. He loved to teach.

The Mariners played the Rangers again today. It’s been 40 years since those games in the Kingdome. The M’s have a new ballpark and so do the Rangers.

With Covid, no one is attending baseball games. It’s enough that the games are being played at all. The 2020 season will be 60 games. A far cry less than the 162 game in a “normal” season. Today’s game was the 20th game of the season. One third of the way through the season.

I’ve watched most games this year. Even though I live 1000 miles away from the Mariners new home at the Pink Park, (You can call it T-Mobile Park if you want, but that pink clashes with the Teal of the uniforms) I am just as close to being at the game as anyone living in Western Washington.

I watched the game on the television in our living room. One of my sons wanted to watch Spongebob. (He’s 17, and I have no valid explanation.) The other son insisted we watch the game.

It’s okay, I can watch it in my office.

No, Dad, I think we should watch it here.

My son doesn’t really enjoy watching baseball. But, he sat through the entire game.

It was an exciting game. The Mariners had a 4-0 lead going into the sixth inning.

Do you think the Mariners will win?

Oh I don’t know. That’s the thing about baseball. Anything can happen.

The Rangers gained a couple runs in the bottom of the 6th and 7th. Headed into the bottom of the 8th, Seattle was holding onto a 4-2 lead.

And that’s when the wheels fell off. A couple walks. Two batsmen hit by a pitch, a wild pitch and all in all 10 men came to the plate. When it was over the Rangers had a 7-4 lead.

My son had a lot of quesitons,

Why did he throw that pitch?
What does “0 for 2” mean?
What’s a good batting average?
Why didn’t they pull that pitcher sooner?

He was disappointed when the Mariners failed to stage a comeback in the 9th. But, he agreed it was an entertaining game.

As he headed off to bed, I realized that while we were sitting on recliners in my living room, I could feel the old concrete walls and hard aluminium benches of the old Mariners ballpark.

My father had been gone for years. But, today he and I once more watched a baseball game together.

Stay safe

Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.

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(c) 2020 Rodney M Bliss, all rights reserved

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