Posted by: Ryan | July 10, 2010

Here We Are, Entertain Us

Some things that I love about Lancaster showed themselves at the ballpark tonight. In left field, Puerto Rican guys, fairly well-lubricated, with Gothic script tats on their forearms and flat-billed caps on their heads, yelling rude cheers in Spanish. Behind home plate, a middle-conservative Mennonite family, the father and son dressed more or less like anybody else (if a solid 10 years behind the times), and the mother and daughter in floral-print cape dresses and white lace coverings. All watching the same game.

From the walkway that rings Clipper Magazine stadium, you can look out over the northeast side of the city, at timeless brick tobacco warehouses and white church spires and blocks of rowhouses, each house with three concrete steps going down to a postage-stamp front lawn.

But man, was it loud inside. Whoever runs the audio in Lancaster adheres to the same “fill every minute with noise” school of thought as do the people at Lehigh Valley. As if they don’t want you to ever have an unbidden, private thought. Which, for me, is as much a reason to go to a ballgame as to see the break on the sliders from your seat behind home plate.

Because Lancaster is my hometown, I very much want to enjoy the experience of going to a game at this ballpark. The city has needed a place like this, and I liked seeing Mennonite Lancaster and Hispanic Lancaster and Townie Lancaster all mingling in one place. Maybe next time I’ll bring earplugs, or find a seat somewhere away from the speakers.

Breathtaking, prolonged sunset tonight. Intermittentent rain. Fireworks after the ballgame. Sat with my father along the first-base line, and we moved behind home plate, under cover of an overhang, as the rain intensified. Visited in the later innings with friends who attended the game with their sons (they also provided me and Dad with free tickets: thanks).

This is the Atlantic League, an independent league, unaffiliated with the majors. I’d say the play is somewhere between High A and Double-A. But it remains good baseball. No need to distract from the essential beauty of the game, and the setting, with yet another call to “Ev’rybody clap yo hands!”

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Responses

  1. Totally agree. What a jewel of a setting for a ballpark. I loved my trip to a Barnstormers game a few years ago, but was dismayed by the distractions all around.


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