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Category Archives: sports

Field Hockey! Who Knew?

This is a late Wordless Wednesday Post. Last night Steven and I drove to Veteran’s Memorial Park in Little Falls, NY, to watch a field hockey game featuring our niece Camille. I had never seen a field hockey game before. It was fun! I took a lot of pictures, so I will share a few here.

This was my favorite.
This was just before the previous shot.
A longer shot.
The lights were on, but it wasn’t really dark yet.
Hmmm… can’t see much in this one.
We were invited to the game by Camille’s mother, my sister Diane.

OK, it was a mostly wordless post. I have even more pictures to share, and Camille has another game tonight!

I Play the Ponies

There was a horse race last Saturday that I guess was kind of a big deal. Just kidding; I know what the Kentucky Derby is. Fancy hats and mint juleps. And people who never bet on races sometimes venture a small wager.

Steven usually takes care of these things (it’s not gender-based; he’s just more of a gambler than I am). However, he had to work, and he really wanted to have a bet down, so I offered to go to OTB for him.

At first I thought I would pop in before going to Little Falls (I was going to an exhibit opening at Mohawk Valley Center for the Arts, which may form the topic of another blog post) (preview of coming attractions). What a line! I would do it later. As I drove away I cursed myself for being silly. Obviously the line would only get longer as post time got closer.

It actually wasn’t too bad. I had taken the precaution of stopping on my way back from Little Falls to use the Ladies Room, so I was not worried.

“Is this the end of the line?” I asked. “Was I supposed to fill anything out? I’m new at this.”

The lady in front of me in line was very nice and explained things to me. The two ladies who got in line behind me were nice too, so we all had a pleasant time chatting as we waited in line. Really, waiting in line is not the worst thing that could happen.

Steven had selected his horse based on the name he liked best. He had told me to put down $5 to show. that way if the horse finished first, second or third we would win something. After talking to my new friends, I decided instead to put $6 across the board. That is, $2 to win, $2 to place, $2 to show. I felt pleased to learn something new.

Steven arrived home from work just in time to see the horses run. Our horse was unplaced. A fellow at work who gambles all the time said he could have told me that horse wouldn’t win, citing several reasons. I suppose he would know. On the other hand, I don’t see him showing up for work in a limo, so I’m thinking the races are not really that predictable.

It was fun and something different to place a bet and watch a horse race. I don’t imagine I will fall prey to a gambling addiction, but naturally I will watch out for such a thing. I think I would enjoy more to see a horse race live, although I am more likely to venture to Vernon Downs or Saratoga before going all the way to Kentucky. If I watch the Kentucky Derby next year, I’ll have a few friends over. I’ll serve mint juleps and wear a fancy hat.

I Become a Fan

I had been wanting to go to Little Falls, NY, and watch the Diamond Dawgs play baseball for some time now. Last night I finally got the chance to do it.

I don’t follow any sports, but I like to watch almost any sport live. I say almost, because I haven’t tried them all. I’ve seen minor league baseball on a couple of occasions and enjoyed it very much. I had high hopes for the Dawgs, and they didn’t let me down.

Our friends Jim, Phyllis and Kelly (Jim and Phyllis are married, Kelly is their daughter; that sort of information always helps my mental image) are huge Yankees fans and have gone to see them play, so I was a little hesitant to ask if they’d like to go see the Little Falls team. Turns out they’ve been Diamond Dawgs fans for years. We made a plan to go.

We met for dinner first at Crazy Otto’s Empire Diner in Herkimer (just to give them another shout-out; love the fresh-made chips). We thought we knew where we were going but were happy to follow Jim just in case. The stadium is behind the Little Falls Hospital, which we have been to (perhaps I should start doing blog posts on medical facilities as well). We found parking spaces int he street fairly close and went in to find seats.

Last night’s giveaway was a coupon for a free Whopper. Not just a Whopper, I pointed out, but a Whopper Value Meal. I’m not a fan of fast food, but I might take advantage of something free (to be honest: it tastes good going down then sits there like a lump).

We decided on the bleachers rather than the benches right by the fence and sat in the first row. This still put us pretty close to the field. There was a platform behind home plate with some folding chairs and a small picnic table. I asked if it was VIP seating. Phyllis told me you could rent it for parties and that it seats about ten. That would rock for a kid’s birthday party.

The players in this league are college students from all over the country. They often get recruited into the major league from here. I liked how the announcer told us where each player was from whenever he was mentioned. I was especially happy to cheer the pitcher from Herkimer County Community College.

Every time the opposing player from Finger Lakes Community College was up to bat, I asked him why he didn’t bring any wine. I suspect he did not hear me, but it amused Phyllis and Kelly. We love Finger Lakes wine. And for anybody from the Finger Lakes huffing that there is more to the region than wine, oh, lighten up. Wine is a fine thing to be known for.

There were several prize giveaways as well as a 50/50 raffle, but we didn’t win anything. Of course, I only bought one 50/50 ticket, not an arm’s length as many others purchased. I told the ball player selling the tickets that I had spent the rest of my money on beer (stop shaking your finger at me; it wasn’t that much money or that much beer). He seemed to think this was an acceptable alternative.

Between innings the team mascot would have some sort of competition with a few kids. They ran around the bases doing calisthenics and had the dizzy bat contest. I think they got ice cream for their participation.

Of course we spent a good deal of time making silly jokes and smart remarks (I always say, go with your strengths). I observed that one player was pretty gorgeous. On being reminded I was old enough to be his mother, I replied, “I’m just looking. I can window shop things that aren’t my size.”

Jim told the opposing pitcher not to worry about the Dawgs trying to steal bases. “I’ll keep an eye on him! You can trust me!” Then when two of them were going for a fly ball, “I’ve got it!” One of them got it.

The stands weren’t filled but there was a goodly number of people there. Phyllis pointed out that it was a weeknight while school was still in session. Everybody seemed to be having a good time. I know I was.

Our guys lost, so that was a little disappointing. It was still a fun everning. I hope to catch more of the Diamond Dawgs. I’m a fan now. For more information, visit their website at http://www.mydiamonddawgs.com/. You can find them on Facebook under Mohawk Valley Diamond Dawgs.

Post Show Run

Subtitle: Mohawk Valley Girl Learns to Like the Young Kids’ Music.

Last night was opening night of Harvey at Ilion Little Theatre (I may have mentioned that once or twice). I didn’t get to bed till almost midnight. Still, it was Saturday and I was determined to run.

I ate a banana with peanut butter shortly before my run, because I was quite hungry. Normally if I eat I like to wait at least an hour, but I seemed to remember reading somewhere that a small nutritious snack was a good thing before a run. No time to look up how long before a run the snack was supposed to be, so I just waited a short time and hoped for the best.

The temperature warm, but a nice breeze was blowing. Traffic was not severe. Things looked good. I decided to run up to Herkimer County Community College (HCCC) the back way. I’ll just mention that the only day I had run since Sunday was Thursday, when we did not have rehearsal. I ran a half hour, at varying distances from the ice cream truck, usually close enough to hear the music. When I wasn’t close enough the music played in my head. I was actually close enough to buy ice cream when I walked my cool down with Tabby, but providentially did not have any cash.

I was out at pre-ice cream truck time Saturday. I crossed German Street with no problem and headed up the hill. I looked as usual at the pretty little stream running downhill (as of course streams do). I thought that it really wasn’t a stream to run by. It looked like I ought to be sitting by it, maybe soaking my feet in the nice cold running water. My feet hurt all the time lately. Must make my way to the Sneaker Store in New Hartford for some new running shoes.

When I got up to the college I could hear music. What was that all about? As I continued up the road by the reservoir, the music got louder. Where was it coming from? Somebody in the dormitory partying hearty really early? Somebody’s car stereo out of control? I saw several cars in the gym parking lot. I saw a young man walking along. Was it his I-pod thingy? Do I-pods get that loud? I don’t know from I-pods, but I’m sure they don’t. It sounded more like a stereo system.

As I got closer to the athletic fields I could tell the music was coming from there. I’m not really a fan of a lot of the popular music these days. At least, I almost never listen to it, so I’m not familiar. I certainly don’t like the hip hop stuff, which I find tuneless. I think a lot of the more tuneful stuff is overproduced. The voices seem doctored and the instrumentals smoothed out, if you know what I mean. I guess it’s the ultimate expression of Phil Specter’s Wall of Sound. I’m not knowledgeable enough to express myself properly, so I don’t know if anybody knows what I mean. In any case, I sometimes think the 21st century is too in love with technology.

Of course, one of my favorite sayings is “To each his how, as the old lady said when she kissed the cow.” I felt sure that whoever was playing a sport up ahead was liking the music. I had to admit, it had a forward moving beat that was conducive to athletic effort. I found myself pounding along in the “I can rock this” stage of my run that I so enjoy.

I ran closer to the field and saw people playing lacrosse. The banks on the side of the field obstructed my view, so I kept running. I ran into the little veterans’ park. I must go there with a notebook and write down the different organizations that contributed to it. It is just a little area, a mere few steps around as I ran in and out. I wondered if somebody would say, “That is not a place to run in, have a little respect!” Well, I do have respect. And since I learned to run, and to love running, in the army, I think it is entirely appropriate to run through a veterans’ park.

A sign informed me that a lacrosse tournament was in progress. If I didn’t have show to rest up for, I might go watch some. I learned on the Sports Box that HCCC is quite the powerhouse in their conference. I must catch some games. The Sports Box, in case you didn’t know, is a show on WVHC, 91.5fm, the college radio station. I’m not into sports, but I love listening to those guys.

I continued around the sports building. The music was growing on me. Good running tunes! This is why people run with those ear phones! The only thing I would have liked better would have been if they played that tune my sister likes that starts, “Every day I’m shuffling.” It took me a long time to get out of earshot of the music, because it was really quite loud. By then I was headed downhill and life was sweet.

It was a great run. Toward the end I even lengthened my stride and went for that loping run I see the young kids doing. I didn’t do too bad. I think I may have finally reached the “I love running!” stage of my training. Boilermaker, here I come!

Sports Radio

This will be a short post, but I thought I would give a shout out to something I’ve been enjoying on the radio on the way home from work: Sports Box on WVHC, 91.5 fm.

WVHC is the Herkimer County Community College radio station. I’ve been listening to it since I came to Herkimer. They mostly play, as the promo puts it, “straight ahead jazz.” I love jazz, so my radio is usually set at 91.5. I can get the station in my car pretty clearly in Herkimer, Mohawk, Ilion and Frankfort, and sometimes all the way into Utica. Then it statics out. But they also stream online. According to the website, you can get them on your mobile phone too, but being so technically illiterate, I don’t know anything about that.

Sports Box features a group of young men talking sports. I used to catch it at noon if I happened to be in the car then. Recently they moved it to 3:30, my drive time.

I’ll be honest, I don’t follow sports. I don’t know a lot about sports. But I like listening to these guys talk. They are knowledgeable and articulate. They have confidence in their own opinions, and it’s not just the confidence of youth. They back up what they say, and they seem to know what they’re talking about.

They cover all kinds of sports: baseball, football, basketball, NASCAR. If you like sports, and you like good commentary, check out Sports Box on WVHC, 91.5 fm. For more information, visit their website http://www.herkimer.edu/wvhc.