An Afternoon at the Ballpark

When the 2000 regular season schedule came out I could hardly believe my eyes. The Diamondbacks would be playing an afternoon game in the middle of the week? The wheels quickly went into motion. I could already feel myself starting to get sick on July 20. There was no way I would be able to go to work that day. I mean, who can be expected to work on an afternoon when there is a baseball game? With the attendance of the games during this home stand hovering at around 37,000 people, I wondered how the Diamondbacks would draw especially since Mark McGwire would not be playing in the game? When I arrived at the ballpark, I was shocked to see the place nearly packed. The attendance was well above the series average with more than 42,000 people at Bank One Ballpark. Those who were playing hookie from work were not disappointed. The game was a classic pitcher’s duel which is a rarity these days. Randy Johnson took the mound and pitched beautifully. Mallorie and I thoroughly enjoyed an afternoon at the ballpark. It always seems like the hot dogs taste better, the drinks are colder, and the grass is greener when you play during the day. This was the type of day that separates the real baseball fans from those who just pretend to follow the game. Whether it be the guy with the giant K signs that runs to the top of the lower deck each time Randy strikes out a batter, or the husband and wife that sit near the field yelling at the umpire after each call. These fans represent the core of baseball in Arizona. Granted, there were a fair share of people dressed in suits who were attempting the wave, but they were outnumbered at least for a day by the fans who spend their hard earned money each season to get the best possible tickets available to watch the action on the field. I can think of nothing better than an afternoon at the ballpark.

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