May 15, 2024 at 12:00 a.m.

Day was a success despite weather

Back in the Saddle


Editor’s note: This column is being reprinted from May 18, 2006. Jack writes about a cold, chilly day at a baseball game. This wasn’t unusual. I teased him enough about his early season baseball adventures that he wrote a column about it years later.


Sometimes, tradition trumps common sense.

That was the case on Sunday.

For several years, when Mother’s Day rolled around, we tried to take in a baseball game. Sometimes, it was the Indianapolis Indians. Sometimes, it was the Fort Wayne Wizards.

Every time, it was fun. There were some chilly afternoons, but the sun shined on us most of the time.

This year, the sun has been on sabbatical. After a marvelous April, we’ve tumbled into some sort of meteorological Twilight Zone that’s sent us rummaging through winter clothes to find fleece when we’d much rather be wearing shorts and sandals.

But tradition is tradition. And, sometimes tradition trumps common sense.

On Saturday, we talked about it, watching through the window panes as a steady drizzle soaked Indiana and Ohio, peering at the outdoor thermometer stuck in the 40s and 50s.

And we decided — in what will probably go down in family history as a mental vapor lock — that we should go to a game anyway. Forget about the weather. Tough it out.

The Wizards apparently felt the same way.

They played a full game Saturday in spite of some of the least inviting May weather in memory.

So when Mother’s Day rolled around, we decided to go for it.

Some concessions were made for the conditions. I wore a long-sleeve T-shirt, topped by a sweatshirt, which was topped, in turn, by a windbreaker. Connie and Sally made similar decisions. All of us took umbrellas.

We set out at noon. In the rain, of course.

It was sprinkling when we woke up. It was drizzling as we had breakfast. And the thermometer was paralyzed in the 40s when we left.

But we went anyway, and we felt good about it.

“Have we lost our minds?” I asked, somewhere between Bryant and Berne.

The wipers were going, and the clouds were a sea of gray.

They assured me that we hadn’t.

I hoped they were right, and I got a bit of reassurance when we pulled into the parking lot. There were other cars. There were other baseball fans crazy enough to go out on a cold, drizzly day to catch a game.

At least we weren’t alone in our bad judgment.

Our seats were great. (I guess they ought to be when the weather’s that lousy.)

By the time we got settled, the rain was reduced to a sprinkle again.

The usher had wiped off our seats, and things looked pretty rosy, though we had the hoods up on our windbreakers.

A couple of innings later, we broke out the umbrellas. There were no fans behind us — for several rows — so we weren’t worried about blocking anyone’s view. But umbrella wrangling can be a difficult art, and it took awhile to reach a consensus on whose was where. In fact, I’m not sure we ever completely sorted that out.

Just the same — wet and cold and dueling with umbrellas — it was a wonderful Mother’s Day.

As to the ballgame, that’s another story.

The Wizards lost, but the team’s management was so appreciative of the small crowd of hardy fools who had showed up that they gave us a free ticket for later in the season.

With luck, we’ll be able to leave the fleece, the sweatshirts, the windbreakers, and the umbrellas behind next time.


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