Monday, July 02, 2007

Getting lost in the game

KODAK -- I needed the game tonight.

Lot of upheaval in the works. Big changes. Painful lessons.

Anyway, it was a perfect night for baseball. The temp hovered around 79 degrees at the 7:18 p.m. first pitch.

I eased into my seat to root on the Mississippi Braves and the Smokies and soon began chatting with the young couple beside me. They are from just down Emory Road.

The guy asked me if I'm from Mississippi (I'm sporting a MS Braves hat.) Nope, just from Halls, I say. Turns out we're nearly neighbors.

The woman in front of us taught school at Carter with my pal John Hitt. They chat about the old times.

Smokies starter Donnie Veal throws a good one. His final line is 6 IP, 5 H, 1 ER, 6 Ks, 3 BBs.

Tennessee wins 4-3 after jumping out to a 3-0 lead in the first. I lose myself in the rhythms of the game.

Perhaps the best part was seeing a kid sporting a Smokies hat munching on a hot dog. Is there anything more American than that?

Well, I did get a kick out of the old guy beside me. He's drinking a Bud and wearing a Braves hat. He laughs out loud when we make fun of Barry Bonds.

Thank God for baseball. To paraphrase Mr. Buffett, if it weren't for the game (and the fact I'm already crazy), I'd go insane.

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