Posted by: martinworster | June 10, 2010

90. BASEBALL – PADRES

I went to my first baseball game last week (Memorial Weekend) at the San Diego Padres. It will probably be my last. It was interesting to go as an insight into American culture – the whole pomp and spectacle of the sport. It seems more happens off the pitch than on it. It’s an event – take the kids (we did, there was a sand pit with toys right in front of the grass bleachers, they also had an entertainer playing games and giving out prizes ), eat hot dogs, drink Coors Lite and generally socialise. In that way – specifically the drinking and socialising – it’s much like a cricket game. Or so I hear, as I’ve never been to Lords. 

In terms of sport it’s basically rounders. Much like football (soccer) is a girls sport in the US, rounders is a female sport in the UK. I didn’t really pay much attention to the game, a was the case with the rest of the crowd. Or so I thought until I’d hear a cheer spread as something ‘interesting’ happened on the pitch. So there was some people watching.

Apparently it was a close game – well the score boards suggested that it was headed for a tie. Hence in a close game you’d think it would be exciting to watch. Surprisingly a good hour before the end of the game the stadium started to empty. People left in droves, obviously to miss the traffic glut. It’s hardly indicative of nail biting stuff if all the fans leave before the end of a closely fought sporting duel. It was explained to me that in the baseball season each team plays hundreds of games so you can’t sit through them all. Hmm, that wasn’t convincing to me. If you go to watch your team you’d think you’d want to stay till the end, particularly if it can go either way.

I guess it’s more about the sense of occasion and spectacle for the fans. I’m pleased to have seen it but can’t say I was enthralled. Perhaps I should give American football a go next. Not.

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