Last night was my final opportunity to see baseball in my own neighborhood. All summer, the local collegiate wood bat league has played within walking distance from my house.
The same league plays near my future neighborhood, which is an essential. I'm not sure how I would function in a town with no summer baseball.
It was raining at game time last night, so the start was delayed. My friend and I had dinner instead of heading to the ballpark. At the end of the evening, on my way home, I drove by my future house, enjoying the peacefulness of the neighborhood and imagining myself living there in the near future.
And then I thought, well, maybe I'll just swing by the ballpark and see if the lights are on. It's only about a mile away.
The rest is easy to guess. Once I saw the lights and the number of cars in the parking lot, it was easy to decide to go in and just see what the score was.
(Sometimes my powers of rationalization and self-deception amaze me. I could probably get a lot more laundry done if I used the same method. I'll just sort the clothes and see what's dirty, followed by why not do just one load. Voila! I'd be hooked.)
Once I saw my favorite team was leading 2-0 in the 6th inning, it was a foregone conclusion that I'd sit down and watch the rest of the game.
And what a game it was! Lots of scoring from then on, with the lead changing hands practically every half inning. Bases loaded jams, runs walked in, a couple of hard-to-believe errors, and a trip to the championship on the line. Winner advances. Loser goes home. See you next summer.
Because I arrived late, I wasn't keeping score on my personal scorecard. Therefore I was not able to record the triple play that unfolded just a few minutes after I sat down. Thrilling to see -- disappointing not to capture!
That's the second triple play I've failed to get on my scorecard. Years ago I missed one because I was out of my seat. At least I saw it this time! Getting closer . . . .
(If you must know: With runners on first and second, the batter hit to the pitcher (one out), the pitcher threw to first base before the runner could get back there (two outs), and the first baseman threw to the shortstop covering second base before that runner could return (three outs). Just like that. Inning over.)
The end of baseball means fall is practically here, bringing the sense of ending and loss that comes with September's shorter days and mellower light.
I'm glad I caught and savored that last bit of summer, while it lasted. No summer should close with a rainout.