On the last C’s home game for the Northwest League’s 2023 regular season, I left my apartment without a care in the world. Or a sweater. Or a rain jacket. Or anything heavier than a T-shirt. Also, I forgot my wallet and had to double back. But that has little to no bearing on the story at hand.
It was a cloudy Sunday afternoon, certainly. But no one was calling for rain. Plus, the temperature was pleasant so I decided to desperately hang onto summer for just one more walk to the ballpark. From my cold, dead hands etc, etc.
Perhaps you’re a few paragraphs ahead of me by this point. So I’ll just skip to the end of the introduction and reveal to you: In the top of the 3rd inning, on the last home game of the season, a rain cloud moved in and began a steady (but determined) drizzle. Just enough to make you keep looking up.
As if to remind all of us sitting in the stands: the dream is over and it’s time to wake up. Baseball is coming to an end for another year.
Rain on the last day is a fitting bookend to a season that began with the C’s entire opening series against Spokane being washed away back in April. But the weather didn’t seem to dampen anyone’s spirits last Sunday. It was a nooner on the last long weekend before school started, so the crowd was packed with cheerful families determined to have a good time.
A lot of happy kids were banging away on inflatable noisemakers provided for free by a real estate company upon entry. As if they don’t cause enough trouble in this city. And I’m talking about real estate companies, just to be clear.
It wasn’t the C’s day, as they lost 4-2 to Hillsboro. But the mood at the stadium never dimmed. Perhaps it was because it wasn’t the absolute last chance to see the C’s play, with the upcoming Championship series against Everett.
Or possibly it’s because that’s just how it always feels at Nat Bailey Stadium. A sort of “Resting Joy Face.”
I asked one of my favourite members of the illustrious C’s Staff, Don, what his favourite part of the season that was, was. You might have encountered Don down at the Nat as you were trying to find your seats. Handsome chap with a twinkle in his eye.
After collecting his thoughts, he pointed to the crowd and told me his favourite part of the season was “everyone in here smiling and having a good time.” He told me baseball is cool and all (and I agree) but it’s the people in the stands laughing, talking, yelling, and cheering that stands out for him. Thanks for everything, Don.
So here we are dear reader(s). The last time we’ll spend together this year. A fitting time (and also literally the only option left) to check in with my baseball resolutions that I published at the beginning of the season. How did I do? Let’s find out.
1. Have more empathy for umpires
I tried. At times I even got close to succeeding. But at the end of the day, there’s just something about umpires I find inherently disagreeable. It’s indescribable. Something akin to a dog who chases cars. I’ll try again next year.
2. Catch a foul ball
This one I straight-up failed. I’m a creature of habit. I’ve had the same two seats as season tickets for many years now. I’ve grown accustomed to the angle and the protective netting that surrounds me like a security blanket. I did find a foul ball in the parking lot, however…so I got close.
3. Work the scoreboard
This one I did! On the last home game of the regular season, I was graciously allowed to go backstage in centre field to hang a number on The Nat’s manual scoreboard! Yes, It was pre-game, and yes, I may have hung it upside down…but in an entirely technical sense, this resolution IS FULFILLED!
Thank you all for your attention this season. And I hope to see you all down at The Nat next week to watch the C’s take home the championship. I wish you and yours a good autumn and winter. See you next spring.