The DEFEND Cleveland Show

Kids Say the Darndest Things at Baseball Parks

I was at Progressive Field the other day for that unfortunate milestone of the Tribe getting no-hit, down in section 167, and a straight shot from Eagle Avenue. In the second half of the game, a tiny voice three rows back punched through the throbbing din of the unemployed and truant Wednesday afternoon crowd. At first, I heard a kid mimicking his dad in standard-issue vague exhortations:

Come on, LaPorta!

Homeboy clearly just liked hearing himself yell–and baseball is, after all, the last remaining opportunity for an eight year old to shout at grown strangers with impunity. Grown men at least have baseball and cable news.

But as the innings fell away, and it became clear that this might actually be happening, his shouting turned suddenly into what can only be called motherfucking: Indians, Angels, umpires, his dad and somewhere, in some germ which will grow steadily in the years to come, his Lot as a Cleveland Fan.

Thanks for nothing, Brantley!

Come on Dad, let’s go. They lost it.

They would have to load the bases to win now! They haven’t loaded the bases all season!

And my favorite:

Dad, what’s wrong with Travis Buck?

Words would fail any man. I imagine a young boy watch his first goldfish flop around on the carpet and die, before choking up and looking up to his father in silence. He asks only with his wide, watery eyes: Dad, what’s wrong with Travis Buck?

I got up to leave 167, turned around and for the first time put a face to the voice: stocky, with a head like an ice cube, ruddy-cheeked and buzzcutted. His jersey was red, and his flat-billed cap was green. As I walked past, and as the Anaheim Angels hopped up and down in their little jiffy-pop cluster between home plate and the mound, I heard him mutter to no one:

Terrible losers, he said.

I think he meant to say winners.


-Will Hollingsworth

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Posted by on Jul 29 2011. Filed under Featured, Meta World Peace. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. You can leave a response or trackback to this entry

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