|The view from the Epicenter toward the San Andreas fault.|
|Tremor, the Quakes' mascot.|
The game was rare in other ways, too. For one, it was the first game following Chris Erskine’s witty take on my anthem project in the Los Angeles Times earlier in the day. Right away, the effect of the article was perceptible. As I left the home plate area after singing, the Quakes’ manager Juan Bustabad greeted me. “Great job,” he said, adding: “I enjoyed the story in the morning paper. And when I saw you standing here, I said, “Holy smoke! That’s the guy. He gets around.” The article had featured my time in Florida during preceding days.
For this game, however, there were also other rare features—including the attendance of friends from different communities of which I am a part. And you know how much I enjoy sharing a game with friends.
Because Rancho Cucamonga is relatively near Whittier, at least for Southern California drivers, several of my colleagues from the College drove out to see the game. Deborah Norden, a professor of political science with whom I have collaborated on classes connecting Latin American politics and religion, brought her daughter Meghann, whose recent bat mitzvah I had missed because of my trip. Then there were Larry, Moe, and Curly, otherwise known as Charles Adams, Warren Hanson, and Rich Scaffidi!
|Warren and Rich appear abandoned by Charles.|
|The last sweet cookie from Marcy.|
|A TPC choir trio: Pam, Russ, and Joe|
Finally, the game itself proved rare, at least to me. It featured an inning unmatched in any game—whether Major League or Little League—that I have ever attended. In the second frame, each batter in the Quakes’ lineup reached base and scored before the Jet Hawks recorded an out: 9 runs on 5 hits, several walks, and one error. Incredibly, on the previous night the Salem Red Sox in Virginia had done even better, getting a dozen consecutive batters on base before making an out in their 10-run outburst .
While the Quakes enjoyed the rare good luck of 13, scoring that number of runs in their lopsided victory, the evening also proved rare to me because I shared it with family, good friends from the College and choir, and my new fan, manager Juan Bustabad.