As the leaves change to vibrant reds, oranges, and yellows we realize that the baseball season is coming to an end. It takes some planning to make it to the final local games of the season, before the game is only accessible on TV, and then only on repeat. Keeping an eye on the forecast is a must!
With tickets purchased for the final game of the Columbus Clippers’ season, on a Sunday afternoon, the forecast was not looking good. Rain, rain, and more rain was predicted for most of the October day we expected to spend at the downtown Huntington Park.
So, a last minute purchase of 2 tickets for the Saturday night game had us heading to the ballpark a tad earlier than planned. It made for a long day, after spending the morning hopping from garage sale to yard sale, and the afternoon spent north of the city on the Ohio to Erie bike trail. It was a beautiful fall day, with cool-ish temperatures combined with happy sunshine, before brief heavy rain that passed through the area quickly.
Grab a hat and a raincoat, park in the close lot (in case the rain returned), pick out “the best tickets tickets available” at the box office, and settle in for a night of baseball. Overcast skies don’t ruin a ballgame. The decision was made, early, to cancel the night’s fireworks, but that’s okay. The nighttime show of colorful explosions was not our reason for attending. We wanted to see just one more game live this year.
You can read about the rest of the baseball season, for the Clippers as well as Major League and college teams, in the Accidental Wanderlust post below — after you’ve finished this Epilogue!
The Clippers have maintained their efforts to keep fans safe all season, so we brought our masks with us. Getting to the ballpark early, to watch the team’s final preparations, is kind of fun. The extra time spent people watching makes the night complete – boy are there some characters at the ballpark. . . and not just the Clippers’ mascots, Lou Seal and Krash.
It’s fun, the things you hear at a baseball game!
“Keep your eye on the ball! You can do it!” This chant was heard again, in a high-pitched voice that was hard to identify, when the Clippers heard “Strike!” It was adorable! I had to investigate the source of the exclamation! One row behind me I discovered two young sisters (perhaps 4 and 5 years old), in dresses and fall coats. They carried large red foam fingers, and wore Clippers’ fisherman-style hats on their heads and pink Wellies on their feet. Adorable!
“Whooooo!” When the Clippers were having better luck I’d shout, just to have “Whooooo!” echoed by the elderly woman seated in front of me. . . every time. It was sweet, and by the 3rd inning I began listening for it, like waiting for an echo to return the call back to me.
Ring-Ring-Ring-Ring-Ring-Ring-Ring-Ring-Ring. That’s 9 Columbus Clippers bells clamoring together, loud and insistent, a demanding noise! The “super fan” in the row ahead of us had a collection of these noise makers fashioned together in three neat rows, bound to a wooden frame with a convenient handle. She was having a good time!
“Gooooooo Kelly Ketchup! Go, go, go. . . . . !!!!” Just before the 6th inning, the hotdog races are a treat, entertaining the crowd, while the players change field positions. Being the end of the season, there is a lot of interest in who will win the race. Kelly, who had just 19 wins to her name, tied things up with mustard and relish, with 20 wins each. I guess we’ll have to wait until next season for the contest to continue.
As it turned out, the Sunday game was canceled. It’s wasn’t actively raining, but the wet condition of the field was not conducive to game play. So, we were glad we made it to the Saturday night game, the last game of the season. It was a win for the Clippers! There were homeruns! The peanuts and hotdogs lived up to their ballpark reputation!
A Clippers ballplayer snatched a photo with a member of the opposing team, the Louisville Bats. I’m sure there’s a story behind that, for another day. There are so many more stories to share, even from just one ballgame. The crowd sang “Take me out to the ballgame” and fans were definitely into the game, cheering along, jumping to their feet. It will be many months before the next Clippers game, so fans were soaking up every minute, on a beautiful fall night.
The rain remained at bay, at least for the remainder of the game. We weren’t the only fans who stayed for every play, watching the Clippers form a long like to High-5 their teammates. We look forward to hearing “Play ball!” next season.
Join me on my next adventure,
Columbus Clippers: https://www.milb.com/columbus
Minor League Baseball: https://www.milb.com/
“Confessions of a Clippers hot dog”: https://www.columbusmonthly.com/article/20160407/LIFESTYLE/304079579