Tagged: Seventh-Inning Stretch

Up Close and Purr-sonal in State College

“Bark in the Park” nights — in which fans are invited to bring their dogs to the stadium — have long been a promotional staple in Minor League Baseball. The State College Spikes are one of many teams to have staged such an endeavor, with next month’s version expected to draw over 400 canines.

This success led the team to ask themselves a truly daring, and seemingly absurd, question: “What if we did ‘Bark in the Park’, but for cats?”

What resulted was “Purr in the Park,” an evening-long celebration of felines.

I Can Has $1 Hot Dog

Given their innate anti-social tendencies and general aloofness, the Spikes knew going in that “Purr in the Park” was not going to reach the proportions of its barking counterpart. The final cat attendance total was a modest, but still respectable, 12.The cats were granted entry so long as they were on a leash or in a carrier, and were welcome throughout the concourse as well as the right field seating area.

Cats were the focal point of the in-game entertainment, of course. The scoreboard graphics all had a feline theme:

Another apropos “Simpsons” character would have been the “Crazy Cat Lady,” who surely would have enjoyed the team’s meow-centric version of the “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”

The night also included the “Nine Lives Challenge”, in which two hearty combatants participated in challenges such as the “Warm Milk Chug” and the “Kitty Litter Dig.” I particularly enjoyed watching the “Warm Milk Chug,” as the loser in the contest is escorted off the field by a sympathetic gorilla.

But as the Spikes pointed out in their press release, not even “Purr in the Park” could keep canines out of the ballpark: Not only are the Batavia MuckDOGS the Spikes’ opponent on the field, but fans can feast on $1 hot dogs all game long as part of Dollar Dog Monday.

But the Spikes weren’t about to let the Muckdogs steal the spotlight — not on this night! The Spikes scored two in the seventh and three in the eighth before Justin Bencsko homered in the ninth, propelling the home team to a thrilling 7-6  victory. 

It was victory by a whisker; anything less would have been cat-astrophic.



A Half Way Decent Idea

Look.pngWhile I was pleased with the overall content I was able to provide during my recent “Southern Swing” road trip, there was one glaring omission in my coverage.

The game that I was to attend at Chattanooga’s AT&T Field was rained out, causing me to miss the unprecedented breakthrough in game entertainment that is the “Three and a Half-Inning Stretch”.

This spectacle is presided over by the Lookouts’ miniature mascot, Blooie, who debuted last season to much fanfare. I was able to get this blurry photo of Blooie during my abbreviated night at AT&T Field:


Here he is standing next to his more traditionally-sized mascot pal, Looie.


When the evening reaches the point where the amount of time until the seventh inning stretch equals the amount of time that has passed since the game began, Blooie springs into action. He hops atop the first base dugout and leads the crowd in a spirited rendition of “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”.




But there’s just one catch! The song cuts off exactly at the half-way mark.

Inspired by this conceptual masterpiece, I’m not even going to bother completing the