628 Hours & 30 Minutes

A lot of people complain that baseball is long, slow, and boring.

They are wrong on all counts.

Baseball isn’t really very long at all … a game takes something like three hours.

(In fact, NFL football games take, on average, longer than MLB baseball games. And, only 11 minutes of that is actually football. Tons of movies drag on past three hours. I can watch a double header in less time than a stupid Downton Abbey marathon. So there.)

You know what takes a long time? Building a barn. That takes a long time.

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Oooh, I see walls! (Actually, I don’t.)

Some baseball games go into extra innings, sure.

I was at a baseball game once that went 15 innings and was nearly five hours long.  It was the 4th of July. And, the game was inside. Inside. In the Minnesota Metrodome, the gloomiest place on earth (and smelling vaguely of a high school gym shower and mothballs). Thankfully, the Twins left there in 2009 and now play outside in the fresh air, which is where God intended baseball to be played.

What’s worse … the Orioles lost that game.

But, that was nothing.

I can now say that I attended a LONG baseball game. An 11-inning game that took 628 hours and 30 minutes.

That’s more than 26 days, for you kids trying to find the calculator on your iPhone.

Let me ‘splain.

On July 21, Editor/Husband and I went to Richmond, Virginia for a game between the AA Richmond Flying Squirrels (note: not regular squirrels, but FLYING squirrels, which are something entirely different), and the AA Bowie Baysox (I do not know what a baysox is).

An actual flying squirrel

An actual flying squirrel. Photo courtesy Laszlo-Photos, via the Creative Commons License Agreement

I was especially excited because these are the AA affiliates of, respectively, the current world champion San Francisco Giants and the supposed-to-win-the-World-Series-this-year-but-aren’t-looking-so-good-right-now Baltimore Orioles.

Here you can see me enjoying the game (and my new shoes) with 5,524 other fans.

its me

(It was in the 90s. It was hot.)

Here’s Nathaniel, who was at the game with his awesome “Go Squirrels” sign.

Nathaniel Go Squirrels

(I wrote about Nathaniel and his sign, here.)

Here you can see Nutzy the Flying Squirrel in a Santa cap and beard.

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(Did I mention that it was in the 90s and very, very hot?)

I think the Wall-Nut won the Mix Nut Race, although I neglected to note that on my scorecard. Don’t let the current standings fool you, I think Peanut is lazy. You can watch them race around here at another game and you tell me that Peanut isn’t dogging it a bit.

mix nut race

Here you can see my scorecard.

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Notice how it abruptly ends with the score tied and two outs in the bottom of the 10th?

That’s when it started to rain. Really rain.

And, it was getting late and, you know, people have things to do on Sunday nights, like go home and shower because it was beastly hot out and my clothes were soaked with sweat (and, maybe a little French Fry grease … the Squirrel Fries are dee-licious.)

So the game was suspended.

Yes, for the first time ever, I was at a professional game that ended in a tie. Since I am an Orioles fan, who has a little warm spot in my heart for my childhood sweetheart Giants, this seemed appropriate. I cheered for both, and everyone’s a winner, or a not-winner. Whatever.

But, it just didn’t feel right. My scorecard needed closure.

For 26 days, we waited. The teams moved on to win and lose to other teams. I even got to Richmond for another game.

Someone had to win.

And, so the next time the two teams met, on Friday night, August 16, at 6:05 p.m. the game resumed right where it left off … in Bowie, Maryland, which is 126.16 miles away from Richmond where the game began. It’s about a two-hour and 11-minute drive for you Mapquest Geeks.

Yes, for one brief micromillisecond moment in the 10th inning of this game, the distance from home plate when the game was suspended and the pitching mound when the game resumed was 126 miles.

Let’s see Clayton Kershaw wing one over that!

It took about 30 minutes to finish up. I wasn’t there, but Jon Laaser, the Richmond Flying Squirrels broadcaster was, and he’s a very prompt Twitter Responder.  (Thank you, Jon!)

twitter answer

And, in the bottom of the 11th with the score tied 5-5, the Squirrels knit together three singles … and the winning run came home at about 6:35 p.m. on August 16.

628 hours and 30 minutes after the game started.

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Scorecard, done.

(Later that night, in much quicker fashion, the Squirrels beat the BaySox again.)

final box score

Go Squirrels.

Nathaniel Go Squirrels“I like to play happy. Baseball is a fun game, and I love it.” ~ Willie Mays

Willie Mays is my favorite SF Giant.  Because … because, of course he is … I don’t have to explain that to you, do I?

Play happy.

I love that.

I saw the Richmond Flying Squirrels play on Sunday (they’re the Giants’ AA team).

And, that’s where I saw Nathaniel and his sign.

Baseball isn’t about cheaters and liars and those who dirty up a pure game with bad behavior and boorishness.

Baseball is about playing happy. And, Nathaniel. And, his sign. (And, possibly his brother too, over there on the right, who reminds you that sometimes you’re not that happy about a baseball game.)

The Richmond Squirrels and the Bowie Baysox, the Orioles’ AA team, played to a 5-5 stalemate Sunday, when the skies opened up in the 10th and the game was suspended. They’ll finish it another day.

Play Happy. Go Squirrels.

Free Baseball: Chilly Spring Edition

Today, a sweet Dodger, some Giants recreate a historic Delta House moment, nine cubs (the real kind, not a Chicago lineup), and the latest on the Squirrel Uprising.

“Free Baseball” refers to games that go to extra innings. You only paid to see nine innings … so, the extra ones are free. On here, it refers to the videos, stories, and online stuff I stumble upon and love, but that don’t quite merit a post of their own. Hence, they’re extra.

Enjoy!

10th Inning  Matt Kemp is a LA Dodgers superstar.  I will, on occasion, make snarky wisecracks about him.  But, that ends today.  Because, I just saw this sweet video of Kemp visiting with a young fan.  It’s a short clip, genuine, and it made me cry.  It wasn’t overwrought.  It was just Matt Kemp doing something amazingly kind and precious.  I will never utter a bad word about him again. Ever.  Click here.

matt kemp

11th Inning Have you ever wondered what a squirrel would do if he had to go out and get a real job? Well, I hadn’t, until today.

Apparently squirrels in Arizona have been scamming humans and passing themselves off as “service animals.” You know, seeing eye dogs … so, seeing eye squirrels? I have no idea what exactly the squirrels are up to (except they are clearly planning to use this to their advantage in a Squirrel-Human war).

The squirrels became such a threat that Arizona found it necessary to pass a law forbidding them from ever again being hired as “service animals”. If they gotta pass a law, you know those squirrels were up to something. Squirrels may be wily, but they can’t make laws.  So, count this as a win for humans.

Click here for the story.

What’s next? Will the squirrels try to take over our baseball games too? What? They already did? Watch this squirrel infiltrate a college baseball game just last week. Click here.

squirrel chase

Prepare yourself for the Squirrel Uprising. It’s begun.

12th Inning Two things you should know …

1) The World Series Champion SF Giants came back from the brink of defeat in the National League playoffs last season. They attributed part of their amazing comeback to the inspiring cheerleading of their right fielder Hunter Pence.  (He’s been on this blog before with his special brand of crazy … click here).

2) Animal House is the greatest movie ever made. Really. I’m not just saying that so you can roll your eyes and beg to differ. I can offer up great chunks of that movie line-by-line (movie-quoting is usually a trait reserved for men, but on this count I can quote up against the best of them).

Here’s what happens when you put a bunch of Giants in a room and ask them to recreate the greatest scene from the greatest movie ever made.  (Interesting side note, these Giants are so young not one of them had ever even seen Animal House. Which is a tragedy.)

Click here.

Giants

And, here are the two scenes side-by-side.  Click here.

side by side giants

13th Inning And, finally, bear cubs … lots of bear cubs … courtesy of the Wildlife Center of Virginia (where my husband works). They are currently caring for nine cubs – the same number as a Chicago Cubs lineup, but, with apologies to Chicago, these fellas are much cuter.

Feeding Time, click here.

feeding time

Medicine Time, click here.

medicine time

P.S.  Good healing vibrations are going out today to Toronto Blue Jays Pitcher J.A. Happ who was badly injured last night by a line drive that hit him in the head. It’s a reminder that even a simple game can change everything with just one pitch. He remains in the hospital as of this writing.  Wishing you a quick and full recovery, Mr. Happ!

And, thank you to the Toronto Blue Jays broadcasters who were incredibly respectful during last night’s incident. They did not replay the injury over and over, did not become animated or overwrought. They simply described the unfolding situation quietly, and with respect and concern.