This past Friday, Katherine and I went to the Ballpark in Arlington for the eighth time this season. The Texas Rangers hosted the Minnesota Twins. The first-place Rangers had lost four games in a row, including the past three in Chicago against the White Sox, so a sell-out crowd of 47,240 hoped to cheer their boys to victory. It was 95º at game time (according to the scoreboard) and still in the 90s by the time the game ended three hours later. Luckily for us, we were on the shaded side of the ballpark. Unluckily for us, there was less wind on that side of the ballpark than on the side where we usually sit.
We took Katherine's five-year-old grandson Luki to the game. He's been to the ballpark a couple of times before and knew what to expect. We took him to the Kids' Zone in centerfield before the game started, where he played in air-conditioned comfort in a big maze with soft yellow balls being thrown or shot every which way. Before we left the Zone, he won a couple of prizes in tossing games. Later, he ate a hot dog and nachos while sipping an orange drink. It's fun to watch him learn the rituals of the ballpark, such as the rhythmic clapping, the songs ("God Bless America," "Deep in the Heart of Texas," "The Star-Spangled Banner"), and the Texas Legends race. If you take a kid to the ballpark, he or she will be a fan of the sport for life; and what could be more wholesome than that?
Alas, the Rangers lost. Minnesota scored three runs in the third inning and one in the fourth. That was about it. The Twins won, 5-1. Josh Hamilton left the game early after experiencing back spasms. His departure seemed to drain the crowd of life. Justin Morneau homered for Minnesota. The game was mercifully short (2:58), because our plan was to stay for the fireworks afterward. (The Rangers have fireworks every Friday.) We enjoyed the fireworks display very much and got home by 11:10. Katherine and I are now 4-4 on the season. I have no idea why the Rangers play so poorly when we're in the park. Any theories?