The last game of our baseball weekend was probably the best (and hottest at 96 degrees) of the lot. After opening with a Rendezvous BBQ sandwich and a beer, Andy and I sat down for a game between the Memphis Redbirds and the Albuquerque Isotopes.
Pitching for Albuquerque was the rehabbing Jason Schmidt, who didn’t look like he have great velocity, but he still hung in there for five innings. A few occasional coffee types also played (J.D. Closser) and some propsects (Tony Abreu) were there. The odd play of the night was a grounder hit by Matt Pagnozzi, who barely got the end of the bat on a ball. It landed about eight feet foul, but had such top spin on it that it rolled back in play. Schmidt was surprised, grabbed the ball, and tossed it into right field – while Closser stood in Pagnozzi’s way, leading to runner interference. Pags, Jr. wound up on second and the tying run scored.
Before the game, Andy and I met Joe B. Scott, a former Memphis Red Sox Negro Leaguer who was passing out signed baseball cards.
The night before, we had toured the Land of Lincoln, stopping at his birthplace, childhood and adult homes and finally his tomb. Then, we drove up to Peoria to see the Chiefs top Fort Wayne 5 – 3. Doug Dascenzo manages for Peoria, and I got to see the Pete Vonachen statue. Also got to do my Harry Caray impersonation – “Pete Vonachen, owner of the Peoria Chiefs, is at the ballpark today.” Must have been wedding night at Peoria… We had a proposal in the sixth inning (she said yes), and a bachelorette party, and as we walked in a just married couple were getting pictures taken of them looking out from centerfield onto the stadium – an interesting location for a wedding picture.
All in all, a great trip. Andy and I are pretty certain that the 2010 baseball adventure will be in the Pittsburgh area…