Sunday, June 17, 2007

Get Your Red On...

Get your red on, but I'm getting a tan on. I'm at Hammons Field, sitting on the Springfield Cardinals dugout, my feet positioned on the g in Springfield. There are no games today and the stadium is quiet.

It's amazing that I'm sitting here. Keri and I, as part of a Writing Marathon, decided to try the stadium and see if, as writers, the staff would let us onto the field to write in this environment for a few minutes. It was that easy. "No problem," said Chris, the receptionist, who within the first few minutes we waited on him in the lobby secured a sale of six tickets for the Cardinals-Travelers game on Sunday, making a whopping $108 for the organization. We applauded his sale and he beamed with pride.

He showed us to the doors that led to the field and now I'm here. A groundskeeper is working on the pitching mound. I feel slightly bad about this. I'm sitting just a few feet from him, feet propped up for relaxation and rest while I'm writing. He's using things like large buckets, edge trimmers, shovels, hoses, watering cans, seeders, and rakes.

It's hot, but not too hot for me just yet. At least not to the point of sweat. I can't say the man on the mound feels the same way.

At the Steak 'n Shake sign in center right field another man in red paints the wall green. Green on green. Is this necessary? I wonder. The American flag does not sit still above him, and I wish I had a picture of this lonely outfield painter.

There's a man behind sitting behind home plate up near the concession, between a Budweiser sign and Domino's Pizza. He's just watching. Maybe breaking. Maybe he's the boss and watches the field workers as they stay on task.

Back to the outfield painter...I'm not sure he was painting since he is now spraying down the wall with a strong force from a large water hose. Now I think he must have been washing rather than painting and now I wonder Is this really a job? Can someone wash the outfield walls for a career? Who knew they got dirty enough to wash on Thursday afternoons.

Redbird Roost is empty.

KY3 and JOCK 98 have closed their press box windows.

I was here--Opening Day 2005 when the STL Cardinals came to town to kick off our Double AA Cardinal affiliate team. And that's my memory. My dad could tell you who hit doubles and what runs came in and what innings produced home runs. But not me. I ate my hot dog and drank my frozen lemonade and enjoyed the ambiance of the new "cool" place in town and the company of 10,000 fans. Thankfully I didn't have to clean up their mess.