austin_dern (austin_dern) wrote,
austin_dern
austin_dern

Stand up and give three cheers to that country to whom the bad guys all lose

For the 4th Proper, we spent the day in Lansing. The evening, too. We met up with one of bunny_hugger's grad school friends for a Lansing Lugnuts game. We bought tickets earlier this time than last year, and would get seats promising a better view of the team's fireworks and, shortly after the game, the city's fireworks.

If the game would end. It was not clear it would. After a couple innings of the normal, suspenseful, back-and-forth and runners stranded on base, the Lugnuts started to run away with things. They put up one of those innings that goes on forever, putting people on base and furthering them and scoring quite a lot. And that's great for the Lugnuts, who haven't got a very good record for games that we attend. They'd go on to win this one handily. But it did threaten to push the city's fireworks back ridiculously late into the night.

Then in the bottom of the 8th inning, after a piddling little hit that put someone on first base, the sky exploded. It seemed an overreaction for such an ordinary play. But the city's fireworks started and went on for a solid twenty minutes or so, dazzling things that banished night as the teams went on their business. Apparently the city didn't schedule its fireworks for ``just after the Lugnuts game'' in past years; it just always worked out that way. Or maybe they held out as long as they reasonably could. That show was launched from a public park near the stadium and was only conveniently near the ballpark.

The fireworks show went on twenty minutes and the Lugnuts hadn't quite gotten their third out yet by its finish. They'd have quite a good game. Shame they couldn't bank some runs for later games when they might be more needed.

After the game and well after the city's fireworks the Lugnuts rolled out the team's fireworks show. With the conversion of the grass lot outside center field into condos they can't se up the fireworks during the last innings there anymore. They have to fit the show into a couple of trucks and roll them out while the stadium announcer coaxes people into sticking around. Last year's show was a bit anemic; I suspected they could only bring so many explosives through the construction site before fire marshals got anxious.

This year they had a much bigger show, a more satisfying one once it got started. It was anticlimactic, compared to the city's show. The fireworks were fewer and smaller. But they were also closer, since launching from deep center field is naturally more present than launching from ... somewhere ... past the buildings downtown past the condos. It was all a bit strange, and so to me delightful.

The people in the upper-floor condos must be able to look out and down on the ballpark fireworks. That's got to be great, if you don't get tired of ball games and fireworks outside your patio.

Trivia: The National League's Detroit team earned between $7,000 and $12,000 profit in 1881. Source: Labor and Capital In 19th Century Baseball, Robert P Gelzheiser.

Currently Reading: Two Americans: Truman, Eisenhower, and a Dangerous World, William Lee Miller.

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