Rain delays. No other sport has delays like baseball. It’s just another aspect of baseball that makes the game the national pastime.
As a fan, before Jumbo Trons and Video Boards, rain delays were spent reading and re-reading the program. Or wandering around the distant reaches of Candlestick Park. Sometimes it meant eating a lot. Oh wait a minute, I always ate a lot at the ballpark.
In my book, a true baseball fan has to do three things and only three things.
1. Root for a losing team.
2. Sit through a rain delay.
3. Listen to more games on the radio than you watch on TV
That’s it. Pretty simple, eh?
Rain delays somehow cause fans to come together. It’s hard to explain, but when I was going to games there was always something different about being at a game that was being delayed. It was almost as if we were all in it together, sitting there, braving the rain waiting patiently for the game to start. Sometimes hoping it would start. Those crowds would always seem to have more energy, more life. Maybe that’s because in a way it was a rebirth once the game started and the rain stopped.
Matt Williams, when he was with the Giants, used to do a great Babe Ruth impersonation during rain delays.
About now you’re probably just how many I sat through in San Francisco. Well, I don’t know. I’m guessing more than ten and less than 20. The truth is that it just doesn’t rain all that much out there during the baseball season.
Shawon Dunston of the Cubs used to put on a good show during rain delays. He’d have fun slipping and sliding, entertaining the fans.
Occasionally you’ll see a player in the big leagues messing around during a delay, but not very often. The game has changed. The business of the game has changed.
As the saying goes, it is what it is.
So the next time you are at Metro Bank Park, or any park for that matter, and the game is being delayed, take the opportunity to say hello to someone near you. Make a new friend. Remember you’re in it together, those of you hanging out waiting for the rain to stop.
So as the rain continues to fall at Prince Georges Stadium tonight in Bowie, I think I’ll get up and go make a new friend.
Until next time, go Sens.