"Let us go forth a while, and get better air in our lungs. Let us leave our closed rooms...
The game of ball is glorious."

--Walt Whitman

Thursday, September 08, 2005

Hockey, Baseball and Points In Between

Last night, we (TBL, Mr. TBL, and our buddy PuckHead) headed across the river to watch the Saint Paul Saints take on the Gary (Indiana) South Shore RailCats in Game 2 of Round 1 of the Northern League Playoffs.

(Yes, Virginia, there IS playoff baseball in Minnesota this year!)

En route, we were afforded--and seized!--the chance to meet Wild goaltender Dwayne Roloson, who is just about the nicest guy this side of the international date line. Asked about the new, smaller goalie pads which are being implemented this year, "Roli" displayed a mightily bruised and, it turns out, broken finger which was injured as a result of insufficient coverage by the new-length blockers.

Note to the NHL--we fans wanted the pads to be narrower, not shorter. Leaving goalies' body parts exposed was not supposed to be part of the deal, guys...

We arrived at Midway Stadium halfway through the anthem and proceeded to our sweeeeet front-row seats. We were surprised and pretty much appalled by how empty the stadium was, especially considering how hard it was to get tickets to the last ten or so regular-season games there.

Having such excellent seats inspired me to bring my trusty digicam, so here are a few images from the game.

Saints starting pitcher Mike Meyer

Meyer again. Looks good, doesn't he? But appearances deceive, as Meyer gives up nine runs (seven earned) in four innings of work.

Saints third base coach (and former Twins shortstop) Jackie Hernandez, who rumor has it spends the offseason entirely on horseback.

A straight-ahead shot from our ten-dollar seats, with no zoom employed. And they have real beer there, unlike the Dome. Who could ask for anything more?

Saints second baseman Justin Hall in the field. The Saints fell apart defensively, bobbling to the tune of four errors.

A Saint at the plate. The Saints would smack 13 hits before the end of the evening.

The St. Paul boys put on a mighty rally, but it wasn't quite enough to win the day. The series moves to Gary tied at one game apiece.

So, jazzed up by our hockey encounter, the Saints rally and postgame fireworks, and the coffee we consumed to keep ourselves warm in the unexpectedly cool evening, we headed back across the river to Twinsland. You know the saying that all good things come to an end? Well, this good thing ended when a guy in a big ol' steel-framed car made a left turn directly into our aluminum travel-pod.

We're all okay. Let's just get that out in the open right now.

I have never been so frightened in my (admittedly fortunate) life as I was during that split second between seeing those headlights headed way-too-directly for us and the impact itself. Then there was an instant of mind-numbing relief as I concluded that I was neither bleeding nor indeed experiencing any pain at all, followed immediately by a bolt of hysterical worry for my husband and our friend the driver, succeeded by more relief as both professed to be just fine, thanks. That's a lot of emotion for the span of about five seconds, so it was no real surprise when the nervous shaking set in and we all ended up standing on the corner comparing hand tremors.

The driver of the other car was fine, too. He was even able to drive away after the nice police officers took down our information. The aluminum travel-pod, alas, gave of its own structural integrity to protect ours and had to be left where it sat, slowly leaking fluid(s) unidentifiable by streetlight.

A few phone calls in the bright light of day turned up various minor aches and pains among our party that went unfelt in the adrenaline-soaked haze of the evening's end, but nothing requiring medical attention, thank God/dess. And a twinge here and there is good for the soul, don't you think? We shouldn't be allowed to forget our fortunate escapes too quickly.

1 rejoinders:

bubblemint sounded off...

So that's why you don't like coming to St. Paul.

Sorry to hear about the accident, but eternally grateful that you are all safe and well,