A friend called yesterday with some extra tickets to “Faith Night” at Ameriquest Field in Arlington. This means that for the price of one ticket, we could attend an outdoor Mercy Me concert AND the Texas Rangers vs. Cleveland Indians baseball game. So we went. I’d like to share my observations and favorite moments of my evening of America’s Favorite Pastime.
*Apparently there was a lot of discussion on Christian radio around the Metroplex about whether or not it was tacky to use a MercyMe concert to get people to attend a sporting event. I brushed those concerns off with the pragmatic reasoning: “Hey, free concert for the price of a baseball ticket. Cool.” But even I had to admit it was a little dissonant to hear park vendors shouting “Popcorn!” over Bart Millard’s rendition of “Holy, Holy, Holy.”
*Along the same lines, I also felt that it was a slight burring of the secular/sacred lines to see the Rangers mascot (a man dressed up like a horse dressed up like a baseball player) headbanging to some upbeat praise song, and later dancing with Bart Millard on stage.
*Concerts that are attended by Christians and youth are great places for scouting new and hilarious t-shirts, such as “This shirt is not pink, it’s lightish red” and “You don’t suck…you’re made in God’s image.”
(Into the stadium, on to the game… )
*Okay. Baseball seems so simple when you’re in third grade and running around plastic cone bases at P.E. But real baseball is way too complicated for me. For starters, everything hinges on very close-range details (was his foot on the base or not?), and it’s impossible to tell at all what is happening from the stands. Secondly, I hate the scoreboard. Between all of the numbers and gridlines and one-letter abbreviations, I feel as if I am trying to solve a complicated word problem when all I want to know is if our team is winning or not.
*My favorite thing about baseball games, bar none, is the Jumbotron. It was so entertaining to watch the close-up pictures of the players and all of the funny Jumbotron games, I almost forgot that I was sitting through a boring baseball game. My favorite moments are 1) watching the “Kiss Me” footage and 2) watching the way that people react as soon as they see themselves on the screen. It’s always a look of surprise followed by dancing or cheering with renewed enthusiasm.
*Speaking of the players themselves, it is just like I remember from high school: baseball players always have protruding round bottoms. Is it something about baseball that develops the glutes into such a distinct shape? Or does the preexistence of such a booty somehow contribute to one’s becoming an exemplary baseball player, like being tall does with basketball? Do adults approach young men who have that feature and say things like “Wow, that’s a round behind you have there. Are you going to be a professional baseball player when you grow up?”
*Here is something I did not know: The popularity of The Wave did not go the way of The Mighty Ducks, as I had once believed. Rather, it is alive and well with overzealous fans even in a rational place like Texas.
Of course, no baseball experience can even come close to watching my dear Aggies batter up at Olsen Field, but overall it was a pretty fun night. Thanks to the youth of Potosi Baptist Church who paid for a ticket and then backed out at the last minute so that we could enjoy the night for free!