Last night I went with friends to Dodger Stadium, and we sat in the top row of the top deck deep down the left field line. As we ascended the steps to the jig-leg approach to our seats, I wondered if Bob Uecker would be sitting beside us. While we had a marvelous, blimp’s-eye view of the field and often could discern whether a fly ball was going to left or to right, we did feel removed from the game. Thankfully, the booming bass speakers from their centerfield perch were also far enough away that we could occasionally continue talking when the music was playing.
All that said, I have been remiss in not making faster progress on completing snapshots of the missing ballparks and games from my Anthem Tour last summer. Rather than deliver an apologia about my absence in recent months, let me simply note that Whittier’s academic year has been completed. So I am resuming the writing and posting, a process that brings me back to an image from last night.
Although Charles, Mike, Warren, and I were interested in the Dodgers and Diamondbacks, we frequently found more entertainment in watching cliff swallows swoop in and out of the high beams of field lights, especially when they would dart and dive toward moths attracted to the intense brightness near the stadium’s roof, which we could almost touch when stretching above our seats.
While the swallows snatched the flitting bugs, I was reminded of the hungry, dusk departure of the million bats from under the Congress Avenue Bridge in Austin, Texas, and I also recalled several significant insect encounters at ballparks. At Nashville, the loudest sound in the Sounds’ ballpark was the buzz of cicadas from the trees and hillside behind the ballpark. Some of them dive bombed Bonnie and me, and one paused on my shoulder for a photo opportunity.
|A cicada alights on my shoulder at Nashville, where I also sat on the top row.|
And at Savannah, where the team is aptly named the Sand Gnats, the pesky pests had threatened to nip me during my anthem rendition. Still, it was another team named for insects that ties my Anthem Tour to last night’s game Dodger Stadium, where I sang the anthem in September (the friend who posted this video elevated my stature by identifying me as a "Prince") after the end of the Minor League Season.
The next team now to bug me about its neglected blog entry from last year: Greensboro’s Grasshoppers.