On the Road: Going Nuts in Modesto
To see all posts from my August 3 visit to the Modesto Nuts, click HERE. To see all posts from my August 2016 “Out West” road trip, click HERE. To see all “On the Road” posts, click HERE. If interested in seeing posts covering a visit to a particular team, search for that team’s name in the blog search bar (it’s to your right).
After attending August 2’s game in Stockton, I immediately drove 34 miles to the southeast. And — bam! — just like that, I was in Modesto. Modesto is the home of the Nuts, and the Nuts play at John Thurman Field. This is where I spent the evening of August 3, which began under a blistering, blazing sun.
It was “$1 Wednesday,” and these fans showed up early to get the biggest bang for their bucks.
Wally Walnut and Al Almond have been around since 2005, when the team adopted the “Nuts” moniker. The nut in the middle — Shelley the Pistachio — made her debut this season.
Shelley is such a sweetheart, my favorite mascot that I met this year and maybe even my new favorite in all of Minor League Baseball. Several minutes after the above picture was taken, the mascots and I were milling about on the field in advance of the pregame ceremonies. Shelley signaled to me that she would like to see my notebook and pen, and I obliged her.
I threw out a ceremonial first pitch prior to the ballgame. While I don’t have any photographic evidence of the pitch itself, I do have this picture of the immediate aftermath. It’s a near-certainty that the six individuals seen below will never again pose for a photograph together. Savor the moment.
But I got the hang of it eventually, shooting tightly wrapped tees deep into the evening sky.
This wasn’t the only method in which I distributed t-shirts. Before the game began, I tweeted that the first fan to come up to me and say “Give me a t-shirt, you beautiful man, you” would get a Ben’s Biz t-shirt. One Christopher Glynn took me up on the offer. Here’s our not-at-all awkward reenactment of this momentous moment.
I also played a very important role in an on-field potato sack race, as the contestants had to slap five with me before turning around and heading to the finish line.
Thus concluded my Wednesday evening in Modesto. It was — wait for it — totally Nuts.