While Getting Trounced by the Pittsburgh Pirates
Joey, Zak & I sit beside the yellow foul pole in right field. It is August of ’03 & the three of us have just finished the ham & cheese sandwiches that my wily mother snuck into what we now call the old Busch Stadium. It is a perfect birthday until the Pirates sail off with the booty. They’ve just smashed back-to-back-to-back homers in the top of the 5th, the last of which was hit by an outfielder, who with the game already done & dusted added to our misery by hitting a grand slam just twenty minutes later, in the same inning! This sucks, I say to my buddies, hanging the jib, & noting the double-digit deficit on the jumbotron. The only consolation left is to ask if we can go get some dippin’ dots. On the way back to our seats, the Cardinals shortstop, Edgar Renteria, steps up to the plate, but having only ever heard midwesterners pronounce his name,I am shocked to hear his walkup song, Barranquillero Arrebatao, which is now blaring through the concourses & rushing down the nosebleeds & I am gripping the yellow pole for dear life. I am listening to what is clearly #7 from one of my father’s CDs, a kind of warning track that I am about to fall head over heels & in an ocean of 25,000 fans, only my mother grips her mitt & catches the glint in my eye, & briefly, while getting trounced by the Pittsburgh Pirates, I am the happiest kid near the diamond. I am looting the moment. I am treasuring the sermon in the music on the mound.