My God, it snowed in Denver on April 28th and 29th, cancelling the 27th game Jerry “Stickman” and I were to attend on our see-every-stadium-in-America tour. So far this was the only cancellation we experienced in 29 stadiums. (There are 30 major league baseball stadiums,)
Seriously, snow at the end of April!
Should Denver even be allowed to have a major league baseball team? Come on; put a roof over the damn stadium. Also take care of your homeless problem as there were dozens of homeless on seemingly every block in Denver’s downtown area. Hey, have the homeless build the roof as that might help them and major league baseball fans too!
This trip saw us first on a two-day visit where we saw a game at Houston’s Minute Maid Park, a stadium where the lights went zip-zap right into your eyes so that just about every fly ball was un-see-able. Hot, humid, flooding Houston, a city built on a swamp (why build cities on swamps?), and the game was so uncomfortable because of those lights that we left after six innings, blinded and depressed (well, my wife the Beautiful AP and I were blinded and depressed; Stickman and his wife the Sainted Tres didn’t comment).
Next stop was Dallas for a couple of days to visit our niece Melanie, her husband Damian and their two children, their son D3 (Damien III) age 3.5 (you have to put the “point” in—3 point 5—as little kids always want to grow up fast and little do they know most of us grown-ups want to grow-down just as fast) and their daughter Holly, age eight months, who doesn’t have much of an opinion about age yet. These are two happy, well-behaved, joyful kids. And that’s because they have two happy, well-behaved, joyful parents.
Dallas was somewhat different from Houston, it was hotter and wetter and the news was broadcasting that thunder storms, tornadoes and hail the size of D3’s head were probably going to hit us during game time—if there were a game that is. But there was a game that night.
Dallas Globe Life Park was hung with heavy clouds and the scent of death (okay, okay, it was just heavily cloudy; I like to be dramatic). Still, all four of us knew that Dallas Globe Life Park was not the place to be when a raging tornado came down from the sky. In fact, if there were many deaths the name of the stadium would be changed to Dallas Globe Death Park.
Indeed, the Dallas stadium director had the upper deck cleared of fans during the game. Man, these Texans aren’t afraid of death; maybe it’s all that bronco busting.
This game was special to me as it would be my first chance to see my beloved Yankees on the road. Fat lot of good; they were creamed 10 to one by a team not afraid to play life-and-death with their fans and themselves.
Usually Stickman and I root for the home teams to prevent fanatical home-team fans from taking the opportunity to pummel us for not doing so. We learned this in Philadelphia when the drunken Philly fans were shouting to kill the visiting team’s fans. Philadelphia fans are notorious for being notorious.
But I had to root for the Yankees! I just had to! But my friend (my friend, my pal, my buddy, that traitor), the Stickman, stuck with the home team. His team won. My team got clobbered.
Next morning off to Denver where our plane dipped so far and so fast that the flight attendants, who were serving at the time, had to hit the floor after almost hitting the ceiling. They stayed prone on the floor for about 10 minutes until given the all clear by the pilot. Drinks and food went flying all over the place and my wife was relieved that she had ordered water and not coffee.
That should have alerted me to the fact that Denver was to be the game that would not be.
We had a good time in Denver (kind of). The snow, mixed with a thick-snowy-kind of rain did postpone the baseball game at Coors Field to a time that we couldn’t attend. Although, the precipitation continued non-stop for our three days, we got to see a great little National Baseball Museum and an amazing Denver Nature and Science Museum with the best dinosaur bones I’ve ever seen. I’m all for bringing dinosaurs back ala Jurassic Park. And the Beautiful AP got to visit the seven-story Denver Public Library that has its own social workers to help the homeless who try to make a home out of the library.
Our wives returned home and Stickman and I headed to the last two ballparks for this trip, St. Louis’ Busch Stadium and Kansas City’s Kauffman Stadium (one of the top four stadiums we’ve seen).
Both of these teams, the Cardinals and the Royals, lost to the current National League juggernaut, the Washington Nationals.
After the Royals game which ended about 10 p.m., Stickman and I walked the 10 miles back to our hotel (okay, okay, it was a half mile, but I was tired) and we had to awaken at 2:30 a.m. to get to the Kansas City International Airport in time for my 5:30 and his 6:30 flight. Stickman likes to get to the airport early since (as the old saying goes) “You can’t miss a flight by being early,” although he actually did once miss a flight when he was early because he fell asleep in the terminal.
Stickman drove our rental SUV to the airport. Since it was 3 o’clock in the morning there were not too many cars on the highway. Thank the Lord!
Now, Stickman is a good driver. He is. He is a very good driver. In fact, he is an amazingly very good driver. Oh, yes, and, uh, fast. A very fast driver. Lightning. And a daring driver. A very daring driver.
And when he is not a 100 percent certain where to go he uses his GPS device.
You would consider that a smart way to drive, right? Yes, of course; except he holds it in his hand and has to constantly look down to see if his direction is correct. Driving about 1,000 miles per hour, in the night, without his high beams on, he reads his GPS.
And when the car drifts to the right and sometimes to the left and sometimes into the next lane, he corrects its direction when he bothers to look up.
And me? What of me? What am I doing when he’s doing what he’s doing? With closed eyes I often pray to Jesus, God, or any divine being that would let me live.
But we make it to the airport (thank you, Lord, thank you, thank you) and the damn place is closed! I’m not kidding. At 4 a.m. the Kansas City “International” Airport is closed! Do “international” airports close?
And add to this the fact that the whole huge complex that houses all the car-rental companies is open, but no one is there. We just leave the keys on a desk. Again, there are no human beings around. I wondered if we were in a zombie apocalypse.
But the shuttle bus was there, with a living driver, and he took us to the Delta terminal which had miraculously opened. Two TSA agents were outside the building smoking. They saw us and hustled inside.
Stickman was heading to Memphis via Detroit and I to New York via Atlanta. I’d go home to hug and kiss my wife whom I missed as if I had been away from her for two years instead of two days.
But in Atlanta two women, young, pretty and bejeweled like Cleopatra, got on the plane and for the one-hour and 39 minutes of our air time, they talked about nothing but how rich their husbands were and how much money they had.
Every chance they got, they flashed their huge (read: HUGE) baubles at the flight attendants while demanding more service. I couldn’t sleep on the plane because their behavior fascinated me in a repulsive way.
I got home. Kissed and hugged my wife and then…fell dead asleep.
Yes, it snowed in Denver.
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