Take Me Out To The Ball Game!
Bertie only went for the company, in truth – he’d watched the game with Harry and Len since Debra died in ’72. They ate hot dogs smothered in seven kinds of heart attack, sipped over-priced beer and talked about all the nothings that mattered.
When Sarah dragged Harry to Florida permanently, Bertie and Len kept buying three seats in the nosebleeds and took turns to drink Harry’s beer.
After Len died, Bertie watched one last game. They found him after the game, slumped in his seat with crushed cans in his lap, and more on the empty seats either side.
I have a feeling the yellow post in the foreground means this is a Football stadium, but in my mind it was baseball, and these three old duffers went every week to the Roger Stadium (formerly SkyDome) in Toronto to watch the Blue Jays play. It doesn’t matter of course, the game was really ancillary to Bertie’s enjoyment of these evenings out with buddies.
Like Bertie, I quite enjoy watching the game without any real investment in, or deep understanding of, what’s happening on the field. Putting this story together made me finally research a few things I’ve been wondering for a while, so here’s some extra info for those foreigners like me!
- Take Me Out To The Ball Game is the unofficial anthem of North American baseball. It’s played on the speakers and sung by the crowd. I bet Bertie would know all the words and sang them loud on that last trip to the stadium. They didn’t sing it first, but you can enjoy Frank and Gene’s version here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-r2luDoV9TI
- The fanfare that plays at times and for reasons I can’t fathom (Is it just random?) with or without a lead-in, is called “Charge”. You can read about it and hear a midi here: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Charge_(fanfare) or learn to play it here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vb19d08Lnec
- On the Jumbotron is consistently voted in the top 5 worst ways to propose to someone. I bet Bertie and his buddies would have seen a few people get engaged though over the years!
- The Nosebleeds are so named because they are so high up, they are jokingly associated with this symptom mountain climbers get at high altitude. They are cheap though, so a great way to watch the game when you’re not really there to watch the game. I think Bertie and his boys would have chosen to spend their pensions on the beer rather than a better view.