Monday, April 21, 2008

Happy Birthday Up-Date


FYEIEIO:
The Occasion of my having lived long enough to qualify for the Dole was celebrated by and at the 3rd Annual Woody's Baseball Tail-gate Party and Natal Anniversary, at Isotopes' Stadium yesterday afternoon. A fair amount of beer was consumed by the WBTP&NA, in the parking lot outside The (fabled) Pit. I supplied dessert: a fresh strawberry compote steeped for about three days in about half a bottle of Cuervo's Strawberry Margarita cocktail, over either Angelfood bricks or shortcake cups. Yummy finger-foods consumed, and other suitable intoxicants passed around. Olaf & Red (still a'pas de deux) attended, along with some friends from my former association with Drinking Liberally--yet another venture that did not survive my stewardship...we were about a dozen in all: Sara & Josh, Amaris, Chris, Kevin, Bill, Tamara, Cristy & Bill, Olaf & Lil Red, and yr. ob't. Svt...

Isotopes Park is a sweet little venue. 428' to the deepest alley (up a slope to a fence on a terrace. Damnedest thing you ever saw; unless you remember when there was drive-in parking on the berm around the stadium; which doubled as a drive-in church on sunday mornings. Our seats were Sec. 117, on the third-base side, in rows 4&5, about 20 feet into left field behind 3rd.

The 'Topes won, 11-8, in a pretty sloppy game, even in a hitter's park (altitude: @ 1 Mile; humidity: 10-12%; do the math). I lost count after about 10 errors and countless muffed defensive plays, by both sides. The best play of the game, imho, happened early. In the first inning, the visitors (Nashville Sounds, a Brewers' farm club) had got a run in and had a man on second. The next batter stroked a single into mid-right field. The 'Topes' right-fielder, #23, caught it on a bounce and gunned a ROPE to home, on the fly, from about 280-310' feet (the fence is 380' in the corner), to get the runner trying to score from 2nd. Out-at-the-plate! It was a cannon-shot; you could almost hear it when he fired it. It didn't arc anymore than the planet did, all the way home...One of the best throws I ever saw...

Tony Gwinn's son, also Tony Gwinn, plays center-field for the Sounds, and he muffed, or misjudged, or lost a ball that, in the long run, might have been a deciding factor in the game. He was just waving awkwardly as the ball, high and pretty deep, plopped into the sod to his left by 15 feet. One runner scored, another advanced to second, and a third got on base on that baby. It wasn't an easy play, but a good center-fielder should/woulda had it...I got under the skin of the 'Topes 3rd-baseman who dogged it into third from second on a long single on which he should have scored. "You just go lame," I yelled at him, "or is it congenital?" He glared at me when he took the field next inning. I was thrilled, of course...

Thanx all for the good wishes...hope to see all y'all at the beach, where i'll be reposing on the fruits of my labors...I made my first payment into Social Security when I was 16; I worked at the old Santa Fe Opera as a set-builder/go-fer and stage hand during performances. I think they paid me $2.00/hr. No overtime. But I also attended the parties. Oh, the stories I could tell....

But that's for another occasion.

11 comments:

Doug, jumping for Cholla said...

Wow, you are 6.5 decades old.

Wonderful!

Lil Red Ridin In Tha Hood said...

Woody,

Olaf and I had a wonderful time.
Thank you and Happy Birthday!

Tena said...

Hey Lil Red - hi. Say hi to Olaf for me.

I sure wish I could have gotten there for the party - looks like a gorgeous day.

Happy Birfday!!!!

notwatchingtelevision said...

Glad to know your day was groovy. Hope you have a bunch more just like it -- SP

Anonymous said...

Happy Birthday Woody.
If you keep going you wil catch up with me.

JohnJS

Anonymous said...

Yeah, sorry I had to miss the fun. I am also very sorry I missed your "rag" for the third baseman--I will be borrowing that, if you don't mind. So, Happy Birthday, belated, and let me take you out for a beer sometime (or a nice scotch is on offer as well).

Hey Tena!

Mothra

kelley b. said...

Hey WGG

Happy Birthday, big guy.

Keep on keeping on!

Anonymous said...

ah, but stories you do tell . . .
happy belated birthday you old dog!

agave said...

HEY WOODY!

Happy Birthday

and hi all

.

Anonymous said...

Hey, Bro; you aint any 6.5 decades. You are 124 mmigrations!!! Hppy bthdthdy. Yr. obd. svt--or sstr--Me

Yimji said...

Happy belated birthday, Ollie, and greetings from the sunny Caribbean! Many happy returns of the day! Love,