Sunday, August 14, 2011

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Take me out to the ball game.

Take me out with the crowd.

When a member of my hearing loss support group suggested going to a minor league baseball game for an outing, I was all over that idea. I knew of a family friendly stadium that would provide an affordable evening of entertainment for our group. I made arrangements for us to attend a Windy City Thunderbolts faceoff against the Gateway Grizzlies at Standard Bank Stadium in Crestwood. Adding to the fun would be a free pre-game concert by Jerry "Elvis" Vegas, Elvis themed giveaways, and a fireworks show after the game.

What I didn't plan on was the rain. Thunderstorms moved through the area during the afternoon and on into the early evening. At dinner before the game, I watched the restaurant television anxiously to discern the weatherman's prediction. He promised the thunderstorm watch would end at 7 p.m. Just in time for the start of the game at 7:05 p.m. my support group friends reassured me. They understood how much I wanted the game to take place because our previous month's social event had been cancelled due to extreme heat. Ahhh, weather. It can interfere with the best laid plans. Maybe we were tempting fate by attending a Thunderbolts game.

We arrived at the ballpark early, but Jerry "Elvis" Vegas didn't go on so we had to content ourselves with playing with our Elvis giveaways which turned out to be inflatable guitars. Everyone in the group was a good sport about it and used the time to do what we like best at an ALDA Chicago social - chatting! It's wonderful to have a conversation with other people who make sure to face you and who may even use a bit of sign as they speak. I got to know several group members better and also took the opportunity to confide a problem I'm having to two people whose opinions I respect. Their perspective was greatly appreciated. Hey, that's what a support group is all about, right?

In this photo you can see the field crew
at work, repairing the rain damage.

In this photo, my husband patiently waits out the rain delay.
I was fortunate to have left a beach blanket and quilt in my car!

Buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack,

Once the game got started, our group enjoyed snacking on peanuts, popcorn, and ice cream. Those who weren't with us at dinner had pizza and hot dogs. I'd forgotten how much fun it was to have ballpark fare while watching a game. We got our Elvis fix by listening to The King's music over the loudspeakers.

I don't care if I never get back.

That would certainly have been the case if the game hadn't started an hour late. Once 9 p.m. came, members of our group began to apologetically slip away. I understood. Some of them had driven quite a ways to attend the game. By the seventh inning stretch, my husband and I were the only ones left of our group. We stuck it out another inning, but by 10:30 p.m. I was tired out too.

Let me root, root, root for the home team,

Boomer, the team mascot

If they don't win, it's a shame.

That was the case for the Windy City Thunderbolts. When we left, they hadn't scored a single run. I found out online that the final score of the game was Gateway Grizzlies 10, Windy City Thunderbolts 0.

For it's one, two, three strikes you're out
At the old ball game.

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