Sunday, July 25, 2010

Catching America's National Pastime for Less Than $4

You can have a good time across the river in Boston at a Red Sox game with your Fenway franks and your bleacher seats. But to really take in the national pastime the way it was meant to be played and watched, there is no substitute for a Clarinda A's baseball game.

Parking was free, admission was $2, the hot dog was $1.50, and for an extra $.25 they made mine a cheese dog. The game was called after six innings on account of a torrential thunderstorm. The crowd kept one eye on the game and the other on the cloud front and the lightening coming in from the west across the open sky, and most ran to their cars as the drops started to fall.

The players had to complete their inning in the first edge of the rain with the stands empty and a few people watching from their cars. It was a 2-0 win at the bottom of the 6th for the A's over the Excelsior Springs Cougars.

The A's play in the M.I.N.K. League, made of "farm" teams in Missouri, Iowa, Nebraska, and Kansas. This league plays college kids and locals and is not affiliated with Major League Baseball (so no prior written permission of MLB is needed for rebroadcast of part of the game).

The A's roster sports one hall-of-famer, shortstop Ozzie Smith, who played for the A's in 1976 before finishing his career with the San Diego Padres (1978–1981) and St. Louis Cardinals (1982–1996). The A's won the NBC World Series in 1981 with a perfect 7-0 record.

By the way, the A's bus broke down on the way to game a couple of weeks ago, and they need help with the expense of the repairs. Donations can be sent to Clarinda A’s, 225 E. Lincoln St., Clarinda, IA 51632.

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