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Road Trip to Baltimore

August 1-3, 2003

Eutaw St.

On Sunday, our seats were in the bleachers in left field. We were about ten seats away from the foul pole, in the third row. It was hot (92 degrees at game time) and muggy, and there was rain forecast for later in the afternoon. During batting practice, I saw that Jeff Suppan had arrived and was jogging in the outfield. I was also glad to see Bill Mueller taking batting practice. He had missed the last two games with an infected wisdom tooth, but he would be back today.

Camden Yards Tim Wakefield was pitching for the Red Sox, so Doug Mirabelli was catching. After Mueller singled to lead off the third, Mirabelli set the tone for the day by hitting a two-run homer. It was caught by a guy in our section in the first row just inside the foul pole, about ten seats down from where we were sitting. When we watched a tape of the game later, we could see my mother and me standing up and waving. Wakefield gave up a solo homer to Luis Matos in the bottom of the inning. Johnny Damon extended the Red Sox lead to 3-1 with a homer in the fifth. In the sixth, David Ortiz led off with a homer, and one out later, Trot Nixon homered too. The Orioles sored twice in the bottom of the sixth to make the score 5-3, Red Sox.

It had been drizzling off and on, and we could hear thunder approaching as the game progressed, but now in the seventh the rain got heavier. Our seats weren't covered, but I can handle sitting in the rain as long as the game is still going. A lot of people around us had moved back to drier seats, but I wasn't about to bail from my good seat just because of some rain. But as the rain got heavier, the lightning got closer. The first out in the bottom of the seventh was a popup caught by Nomar Garciaparra. As soon as he caught it, there was a flash of lightning and a huge crash of thunder. The TV cameras showed Nomar and Todd Walker ducking out of the way and then running off the field with the rest of the team. I didn't even notice that the teams were clearing the field for an official rain delay, because I was busy bailing from my seat. We found vacant seats that were under cover and waited out the 57-minute rain delay there.

About twenty minutes into the rain delay, it looked like the rain had stopped, and the grounds crew started to remove the tarp. They hadn't even gotten it all the way off when heavy rain started again, so they covered the field right back up again. While we were waiting, they showed the New York-Oakland game on the Jumbo-Tron, but that was annoying because the Yankees were leading 1-0. (We did see later, just as our game was ending, that the A's ended up winning 2-1.)

When the game finally resumed, the lightning had stopped, but it was still raining. Alan Embree came on to pitch, and got the final two outs of the inning. As soon as the inning was over, the tarp was brought back out for another hour-long rain delay. Always ready for a good conspiracy theory, I figured the Orioles knew it was going to keep raining, but they only started the game when they did so the Red Sox would have to use up another pitcher. Scott Sauerbeck had already pitched, and Scott Williamson's outing was cut short by the first rain delay. Now Embree would not be back.

Rainbow over the warehouseThe rain eventually stopped, and a rainbow came out. When play resumed in the top of the eighth, Ortiz hit his second home run of the day, giving the Sox a 6-3 lead. Byung-Hyun Kim came in for the bottom of the eighth, to try for a two-inning save. He got through the eighth easily. In the top of the ninth, Mueller hit a home run. It was the sixth homer of the day for the Red Sox, and all their runs had scored on home runs. B.K. made it scary in the ninth, when the Orioles scored two more runs, but the Red Sox held on to win 7-5. It had been a 1:35 game, but we had arrived just after 11:00 to be sure to get a good parking spot before the gates opened. With all the rain delays, the game didn't get over until 7:00. I laughed when I realized we'd just spent as much time at the ballpark as it would take us to drive all the way back to Massachusetts the next day.

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This page and all photos copyright © 2003-2004 by Kristen D. Cornette.