High Drama

It was a night not so different from any other. I left work late, grabbed a bite to eat, and hopped on the uptown D train headed for the Boogie Down, blasting old school Janet Jackson on my iPod so loud that I’m sure the rest of the train could hear it too. I saw the toes tapping, the heads bobbing, and I just knew the vibe was in the air. The Yankees were in town.

I arrived at 161st Street, that hallowed ground, found my seat and my boyfriend, and started filling in my scorecard. The air was thick and heavy and clung to my skin like a hot, wet blanket. Sidney Ponson took the mound in his Yankee debut. The crowd buzzed and bubbled with their beers and peanuts, waiting for our boy to throw the first strike.

The Yankees started losing early. By the seventh inning, the crowd started to thin, though the game was still close. The air lingered beside we who remained, torturing us with its sticky fingers. The sky spat at us, lonely tiny drops that came down in welcome pin-pricks of relief, much too few and far between. I sat, resigned to a Yankee loss, choosing instead to revel in the hot summer evening and a night spent at the ballgame, dutifully filling in my scorecard.

And then. The bottom of the ninth inning arrives. The Yankees have pulled to within one. The wind picks up and swirls around the stadium, lifting hot dog wrappers, plastic cups, and peanut shells into the air, spinning, twisting in their own revelry. Lightning flashes behind the plate, closely followed by a loud clap of thunder at just the moment that Jorge Posada hits the questionable single that starts the storm a-brewing.

Electricity fills the stadium to beyond capacity. It is no longer contained. Lightning streaks to the ground at harrowing intervals. The rain pours, but we barely feel it. Everyone is standing, everyone screaming, the decibel level of our chanting surpasses even that of the hundreds of booming speakers throughout the stadium. Thunder crashes around us. Momentum is on our side. A-Rod comes to bat. My fingers find their way to my mouth. I’ve never been one to bite my nails, but it happens anyway, as if by instinct. He works the count to 3-1. The rain comes down heavier still. The wind is ripping around. The storm, the storm, it is here. It is now. Hail. I feel hail. I scream like a Neanderthal in the night. Never have I felt this type of exhilaration. I feel involved, and alive, and I am 100% there.

My scorecard, long since dropped and left in a puddle of swirling ink, is forgotten.

The tarp comes out, the game is delayed. We wait, adrenaline pumping through our veins. We wait. And we wait. Two hours go by, and we wait.

Just around midnight, play resumes, Alex strikes out. We boo. We go into extra innings.

Bottom of the 11th inning. Melky Cabrera hits the third pitch he sees clear out of the stadium. The 5,000 of us who are left erupt in an explosion of sheer energy. The Yankees win, the-eh-eh-eh-eh-eh YANKEES WIN!

Frank serenades our exit. We sigh with relief, pumping our fists in the air, high-fiving complete strangers, rewarded for our perseverence. Oh, what a night.

We arrive home just after 2am, wet and weary but fulfilled.

The Yankees won. The Yankees won.


12 responses to “High Drama

  • kat

    did you know that a long-lost friend of mine from high school plays for the yankees? true story.

  • the Caitlinator

    Wow! That’s so cool! Which Yankee is it? I will say hello the next time I’m at a game.

  • ducklet

    stupid yankees.

    when i lived in new york years ago, i would have done, well just about anything for don mattingly, and lou gehrig is the single greatest human of all time, two spots ahead of jesus. but not these guys. GO MARINERS

  • the Caitlinator

    Wow. Just, wow. Do you hate me or something?

  • fiction dept

    Your post about the game is awesome, Caitlin. I really enjoyed reading it. I felt like I was there with you… and desparately wish that I had been! What a game!!!

  • kat

    scott proctor. he graduated a year or two before me, and his sister and i had the same voice teacher.

  • the Caitlinator

    Well, your friend Scott pitched well on Tuesday. My thanks to him for that.

    That’s so cool!

  • alizerancrimson

    SWEET! reminds me of that game a few years ago when Giambi hit the grand slam to end the game in the freezing cold driving rain. I think it was the 13th or 14th inning! I stayed till the end.
    GO YANKS!!!!!!!!!!!

  • toadman

    Yeah, caitlin, but they beat the mariners, right?

    I wonder if the Yankees could beat the Yankees?

  • eclectic

    So what’s this, eh? I was under the impression you’d taken a fond farewell from blogging, and then voila, I peek in and you’ve filled the internets with recent posts I’ve not read. Congrats on the flowers, the AC units, and the *ahem* Yankees. Though my beloved would disown me in a heartbeat if he heard me say it. 😉

  • AnnieElf

    Wow Wow Wow. It was like being there with you. What fun and excitement this was. Yahooooo.

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