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What is it about nice people that attract total idiots?Nice people are martyrs. Idiots are evangelists.


Monday, June 10, 2013

The birthday game IV

My son KC has started a tradition of taking me to a ball game for my birthday- a tradition we sadly missed last year.   This year, though, he decided to do the hometown thing and take me to a Fort Wayne Tin Caps game.

For you out of towners, "Tin Caps" is in reference to hometown hero Johnny Appleseed, who allegedly wore a tin pot for a hat as he travelled the Midwest planting fruit trees.  Anyway, the trip started with a stop at O'Reilly's Irish Bar, whose patio adjoins the field.  After an hour and two pitchers of Miller Lite, a nice conversation with another couple going to the game, and my son wondering why they had a clock showing the time in Dublin (uh, "Irish bar"...), he paid our bartender- whom he dubbed "Jack Black" for a resemblance that the dude says he hears all the time- and we staggered sauntered off to the game.

On the concourse- the game had just started, but the top of the first was already done by this point!

That's their starter, Robert Stephenson- never heard if his middle name was Louis.

Lead off man ready to go.
Like I said, this game moved fast- by the time we knew what hit us (and went to the used beer dept. twice), it was already into the 4th inning!

Beautiful stadium...

Great skyline view (for Ft. Wayne..)

And, as Bob Eucker would say, we're in the front rooooow!

Our pitcher, Joe Ross- he's in for a BIG night...

The kind of picture you take before the beer wears off.

The entertainment for the evening was popular act Marvin Noodleman.

Great timing here on the ump and the catcher.  The batter, not so much.

The stadium also has attached condos.  You can watch the game from the comfort of home- and don't have to sit on the roof like in Wrigleyville!

Something we saw a lot of from both teams- a swing and a miss.

A little more sober pic...

Dancing Noodleman

Is that not a great scoreboard?  For a low A team?

It looks like Noodleman's about to get a beatdown...

...but they all dance instead.

Their third baseman, Tanner Rahler, made a spectacular diving catch- one of three Dayton would get to keep us scoreless.


Stolen base!

Noodleman on the dugout leading us in Sweet Caroline.

Now, who's up here?  Really?

That's right, Ross had a no-hitter through five... But Stephenson had a two-hitter going.

Zach Vincej (#4) gets their first hit in the sixth.

Damn near gets picked off, though.

Look, ump!  It... It's a BALL!

The dancing ground keepers, AKA the Bad Apples.

The giant hamster ball race

New pitcher in the 7th...Leonel Campos

But he swiftly gets into trouble, and the pitching coach comes out.

Strike three! Trouble averted.

By now, the game's getting late... but it's going so fast, we're not two hours in yet!

Another new pitcher for us... Roman Madrid.  This, I think, is the guy who hit 101 on the radar gun!

The picture above I have to explain.  The batter (seen diving in) had hit a ground ball to I believe shortstop.  The throw got past the first baseman, so the batter rounded the base just a bit.  The guy in the jacket, who was a player trying to be 1st base coach, told him to hold up, because the Tin Caps had gotten the ball back.  But he forgot to tell him to get back to base, because once you "make the turn", you can't just stand there like if you ran straight through.  The Tin Cap with the ball threw back to first, the runner said , "Oh, crap", as he was tagged out diving back to first, and seconds later, the "first base coach" was standing there with his hands on his head.  Needless to say, there was a "new" first base coach out there the rest of the game.

Another new pitcher- Chris Nunn.  Dayton went seven with Stephenson and finished the game with one other guy.

As the Tin Caps made the last out in the bottom of the ninth with the game still scoreless, I looked over to KC and said, "Boys, we're going twelve."  Which KC noted shouldn't be a surprise- we'd been watching the Major League games at the bar, and Texas and Toronto had went 18 innings (AKA the equivalent of 2 full games) that afternoon, and the Mets and Miami were in the 16th when we left (and ended up playing 20 innings!).
Uh Oh!!  Dayton loads the bases with nobody out in the tenth!

One strikeout later, we turned this double play to keep it scoreless.

In the 12th, Dayton had two on and one out, but again we shut them down.  In the bottom of the inning, we got a man on first...

Moved him to second...

And then, up came the guy whose picture was on the game program, Maxx Tissenbaum (2Xs, 2 Ss, I called him).  And he singled up the middle to bring home the only run of the Game!

1-0 12 innings (as I predicted), and it took right around an even three hours (which is smokin' fast!).  Great fireworks afterwards, but I didn't do very good on them (Not surprising the way I was shooting- you should have seen the other two-thirds of the pictures I DIDN'T use).  KC and I luck into some of the best games...


  1. CWM:
    Looks like you had yourself one helluva great time (and for the money that place cost, you BETTER,...LOL)
    Excellent photos, too.
    These days, I have to admit to wanting to watch "less-than-pro" sports...more of the SPIRIT of the game is displayed.
    The way the pros USED to be...a long time ago.

    Great post.

    Stay safe up there.

    1. Actually, KC spent $20 at the bar (w/ tip), and $16 on the tickets. We'd have spent almost that on four large beers AT the game.

  2. What a great tradition to have! Also, I love the phrase, "used beer department." I never heard that before. Glad you had a fun time!

    1. I used to frequent a bar that had that sign up with an arrow pointing to the restrooms.