That thing I do got did; that itch I have got scratched … at least for the time being.
Eastern Massachusetts survived last week’s nor’easter with considerably less damage than expected. I celebrated that outcome this afternoon by driving to the nearest college baseball facility — just 15 minutes from my house! — for 2023’s first dose of the beautiful game.
The Dean College Bulldogs did battle with the Fitchburg State University Falcons and the game was as it has always been. The sun came out, and the temperature rose all the way to 50, and the kids chirped each other, and I wouldn’t have traded it all for a mansion on the French Riviera.
Fitchburg State is the alma mater of Robert Cormier, of The Cheese Stands Alone and The Chocolate War fame, and for a while it looked like the Falcons might have their spirits broken in the same way as one of Cormier’s main characters. They jumped out to a lead … and then, by nibbles and bloops, they gave it back.
But they scored a couple more in the top of the ninth, held Dean to one run in the bottom half despite the plate umpire not wanting to give their pitcher any strikes, and held on by their fingertips to win. The score might have been 6-5, or maybe 7-6. The scoreboard wasn’t turned on. It didn’t really matter to me.
In green caps, yellow jerseys and white pants, Fitchburg State exuded a little of the color of the ’70s Oakland A’s, and I found myself mildly rooting for them. That might be the best way to watch sports: Decide your rooting interest as you go, and let the thrill of defeat or the mild sting of losing gradually lift away from you on the drive home.
The temperature will dip below 40 again tomorrow so I’m glad I went today. Now that I’ve gotten the all-important first game in, I can afford to be choosy, anyway. The light is lengthening and the days are warming, and maybe by the time I see my last college game of the spring, I’ll be wearing shirtsleeves.
I brought a nicer camera than usual, but my photos are not tremendously better. Here, have a few anyway.