We enjoyed a bit of excitement in our small burg last weekend.
ESPN paid us a visit! Along with plenty of other national media. Little Sugar Land, 26 miles southwest of Houston, hit the big-time.
All because of our new minor-league baseball team. Oh, and some dude named Roger Clemens. Now all our opponents in the Atlantic League (as in the East Coast) actually know where in the world Sugar Land is.
When it was announced that the Rocket was going to pitch a few innings for the Skeeters last Saturday night, our community went wild. After all, the seven-time Cy Young Award winner and strikeout king posted a phenomenal major-league career.
Even though Clemens is 50 years old (a mere pup in my book), fans still believed he could deliver the goods and help our Skeeters win. Unfortunately, the game already was a sellout, thanks to the post-game performance of the Human Fireball (which actually used to be Clemens).
The Mister and I have an eight-game ticket plan. And, of course, with our luck, we had ducats for last Friday, the night before the Houston native’s appearance. But we knew we would at least see Clemens in the dugout, and that would have to suffice.
Sidebar: When I posted on Facebook that we had tried to get tickets for Saturday’s game for my younger son and a friend, one of my pals said she wasn’t going to use her pair. So the kid and Cody got to see an aging legend work three and a third innings, striking out two batters while allowing a mere hit. And the Skeeters won 1-0!
Just as we expected, the Rocket was in the dugout during last Friday night’s game, watching what turned out to be an exciting contest with the Skeeters rallying for three runs in the eighth inning before dropping a 4-3 decision to the hated Bridgeport Bluefish. A cool breeze actually was blowing, and the Elvis-themed fireworks were much anticipated.
During the game I wondered what Clemens was thinking when he was faced with the reality that he was at a low-minors baseball game. Of course, there were lots of good plays made by both teams.
But every half inning there’s some kind of fun and foolishness going on that’s never seen in the likes of Minute Maid Park or Yankee Stadium. Such as big-glove boxing.
And the running lottery balls.
And, of course, my personal favorite, the race among the taco, pepper, and pitiful, always too-slow, never-winning cup.
It’s enough to make a grown man who has pitched in the World Series and been an 11-time all-star ponder his place in the baseball universe.