There are 29 (or 30) days a month when the Funny Bone isn't having amateur night. So with a little hesitation and a lot of boredom we occasionally attempt the daunting task of finding things to do in Springfield that don't include a bar or someone's basement. What we found was the new college summer league baseball team, the Springfield Sliders.
A little background: back in the day Springfield had one of the St. Louis Cardinals minor league affiliate squads. They played at Landphier park, capacity about 5,000, until the Stl ball club apparently thought they could find a better city. So, Springfield received frontier and independent league teams like the Sultans (in effete, blinding purple jerseys) and the creatively named Capitals. All those ventures failed abysmally. The Sultans had some of the worst attandance numbers in league history. Think "Major League: Back to Minors" without all the athletes.
So, now the Sliders fill a park during the summer where future major leaguers used to smash baseballs. I don't know what body governs the league, or how someone gets on the Sliders. Was anyone actually keeping score, or was the billboard for show? But, if you charge an admission to see the game, I guess people assume they will recieve some kind of quasi quality entertainment.
And I was, actually entertained. Most of the enjoyment came from the atmosphere and people around me, swissers everywhere, gawky 14-year-olds hawking soda that need to shave the peach stach, the teenager who told us the bottled beer was a rip off. Also, the design of the tiny park is that any ball fouled behind home plate and clearing the short stands has about a 97 percent chance of landing through a windshield. Waj wiped out running up the bleachers to see if the ball killed his Cadilac and dumped his beer all over the place.
It was fun. People brought their kids, we brought our wallets to buy draft beer. Waj and Royal got picked from the crowd to get into sumo suits and wrestle for Cardinals tickets on the infield. Waj won the match, and will recieve two tickets in the mail.
More careful planning would have led us to wait until Thursday to go for the $1 beers, but at least we got half off admission on Monday for Cardinals apparel night. Waj, Royal and Dylan all wore their stupid Cardinals hats, etc and entered at the discounted price of $2 (!) dollars. I just approached the ticket booth and said "same" after they declared they wanted the discount for wearing the correct uniform. I was wearing a red shirt, so i guess that was enough, the ticket salesman didn't even look up from the counter to see the shirt read "Bradley."
The turtle eating a baseball bat is a slight improvement over the last couple logos, and the Sliders don't even have to pay their players. Does anyone else want to punch that fucking baseball in the face?
Of course, we ended up at the bar afterward anyway, open mic night at Marleys and 1$wells. More later on what the possibly homeless, possible just poor guy asked me for money for.