Last Fourth of July, we went to Lents Stadium for some National Holiday Pickles baseball fun. It was an interesting day, seeing what Portlanders are like beyond the “close in” neighborhoods. It had felt very odd, as though we had left Portland and arrived at Elk City, Oklahoma.
Last night was the Opening Day of the season for our local team, so Grandpa Nelson and I returned to experience evening baseball. This felt more Portland…more rock and roll than country music, a younger and more diverse audience. Maybe it’s because it was a weekday evening, I’m not sure.
It was very warm, so I wore my new sunhat, which is big enough to give me shade and Grandpa Nelson, too, if I sit up straight. Before the game started we got to chat with some Royal Rosarians, who are folks that spend a lot of time being out in the community and being “boosters” for Portland. They threw out the first pitch this special Opening Day. We also saw The One More Time Around Again Marching Band’s trumpet section. who played the National Anthem.
We got to see the pitcher for the opposing team (The Port Angeles Lefties!!) warming up, and kids playing catch with moms and dads.
The game was fun to watch. We were only about 30 feet from home plate, so we had a good view of every pitch. We especially cheered for the left fielder, Chase Latrelle, who is a student at our old college, Cal State Long Beach!
But, as usual, what makes a ball game fun is the people. Dillon, the mascot, was everywhere, high fiving and posing, being silly. There was “Bowling for Bobbleheads” at the fifth inning, “Take me out to the Ballgame” at the seventh, and Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline” at the eighth. Great audience participation! There were also dancing contests (by section) and free french fries from Lardo for the winning group.
The sun set during the game and when the Pickles had beaten the Lefties 3 to 0, the stadium lights were turned off and there were fireworks! We cheered and hooted and walked back to the car feeling happy and full of Baseball joy.