Michelle Martin

A beautiful day

Sunday, July 7, 2013

It was, Frank said, a beautiful day for a ball game.We had taken the morning to go downtown and celebrate the Blackhawks winning the Stanley Cup, and we’d all heard that the White Sox had a double-header that afternoon, to be followed by a fireworks show — and that they would discount tickets for people wearing Blackhawks gear, which we were.

To tell the truth, I didn’t take much convincing. I’m nearly always up for a baseball game. I’ll go when it’s 40 degrees and drizzling; why not on a warm summer day? But it was clear that it would be only Frank and I; no one else was up for a double-header, and even I told Frank that we would wait, go about halfway through the first game, because seven hours at the ballpark would be too much.

So, after a quick afternoon shower, we took a towel to dry our seats and sweatshirts for when it got dark and headed for U.S. Cellular. We got decent seats, among mostly Cleveland Indians fans, and settled in to watch the last few innings of the first game … which the White Sox were already losing 14-10. It only got worse.

The only bright spot was that the young outfielder the Sox brought in to pitch the ninth didn’t give up any more runs, and the Sox lost 19-10.

It was already past the announced start time for the second game, but there were still pregame festivities to get through, so Frank and I decided to walk around the stadium to stretch our legs and get ready for a new — and, we hoped, better — start.

By the time we got back to our seats, rain poured down and soaked the towel and sweatshirts we had left there. The shower didn’t last too long; the second game got under way at about 9:15, more than two hours late, putting the post-game fireworks show in jeopardy. And after the first half-inning, the White Sox were down 4-0.

Midway through the game, things started to look up. The Sox took a lead and the game moved quickly, lending hope that the game would end before 12:30 a.m., the latest the team would start the fireworks show.

Then the moths moved in, by the hundreds. Brown, about an inch across at rest, flying into hair and food and mouths. They were everywhere.

The game slowed down. Half past 12 came and went. Still Frank wanted to stay, to see the Sox, now up by three runs, win.

But they didn’t. No, hours after outfielder Casper Wells shut down the Indians in the ninth, the Sox closer gave up four runs in the ninth inning of the second game. They lost 9-8.

I won’t say it didn’t matter; I, for one, was disappointed. But as Frank and I were cast into the dark parking lot with the few hundred other fans who remained at 1 a.m., he thanked me for taking him, and for staying to see the game out. It’s not so often I get to spend seven hours straight with my son.

A beautiful day, indeed.