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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.