To escape the wintry weather here in Boonsboro yesterday, some friends and I headed to a ballgame in Washington DC, where we knew it would be at least five degrees hotter.
This contest between the Nationals and the Padres was my first major league game. Fortunately, I had my posse to keep me out of harm's way. Altogether there were seven magnificent fellows in the group.
Ike, in red, furthest down, supplied us with an enormous bag of peanuts, as snacks at the park were shamefully overpriced.
The proximity to our nation's capital provides a venue for presidential mascots; here Alann is conferring with slave-holder and third white president of the United States, Thomas Jefferson.
I caught Theodore Roosevelt taking a leak in the stairwell.
When the park has more character than the team, you know something is wrong. I haven't followed baseball since the 1968 Detroit Tigers, and I was struck by the fact that a trip to the ballpark today is as much a shopping experience as it is a sporting event. This is not our parents' ballgame.
What made it worthwhile for this sportsfan was simply getting out on the town with my friends, six of whom occupy the front row on the outfield wall (only one of whom is looking up at me).
I found myself more interested in the view of the old Washington Navy Yard on the Anacostia River, than in much of the action on the field. I believe that's the retired destroyer U.S.S. Barry tied up at the pier.
Despite the heat, the shameful prices, and the joyless anonymity of the players, it was a fun outing with some really good friends.
Though I liked the hockey game way better.