This week, one of the most well known and interesting characters in the game of baseball passed away at age 90. Yogi Berra may have been best known for his quirky quotes that made us laugh and scratch our heads at the same time. It was just a little coincidental that Berra’s passing coincided with the week that I have been uttering the words “It ain’t over till it’s over.” Over and Over. This is in reference to our beloved Seattle Mariners who, unless a miracle happens, will not be playing in the post season this year. Those who have lived in Seattle for a while and are fans of the sport, know that the Seattle Mariners are LONG past due for a trip to the World Series. Each year, we have high hopes and add some amazing talent, and each year (at least in the last 14) we fall short. So, the question is, why do so many of us keep coming back to the ballpark with huge smiles? The answer is simple: A trip to the baseball park = A Gourmet Day!
To me, it seems pretty obvious why a baseball day is a Gourmet Day, but let me help you out just in case you may question my statement. First and foremost: The Food. Any food consumed at a baseball park tastes many times better than that same food eaten just about anywhere else. For example, I have included a picture of a VEGAN chili dog. I can almost guarantee you that if I was in my kitchen munching on this very “Seattle-like” creation that I…well, I would NOT be! No offense to vegans or their food choice, but it’s just not my thing. However, eating a vegan chili dog at the ballpark while watching King Felix Hernandez strike out unfortunate batters, just makes it taste pretty darn good! And don’t get me started on the garlic fries at Safeco Field. They are pretty legendary and it’s a good thing, because you will smell like garlic for about 2 days after the game. Of course I LOVE garlic as it is actually in the name of my favorite pizza place! (Speaking of which, I am still mourning the loss of Garlic Jim’s as the pizza vendor at Safeco Field. Pizza will never quite be the same.)
Another aspect of a Gourmet Day at the ballpark is the view. Most of the time I purchase “view” seats which is translation for “cheap” seats, but for me it is the best way to go. Watching the sunlight fading from your high perch on the third deck as the lights of Seattle’s tallest buildings start to shimmer is pure bliss. Simultaneously, the stadium lights shine brighter on the field, the air becomes cooler and crisper and the game of baseball starts to appear simply majestic (especially when the King is pitching). Taking a walk outside on the food promenade, you are able to actually watch the sunset over the stunning Puget Sound while listening to the crowd roar inside the stadium. Before going back to your seats, you can purchase a nice warm hot chocolate that, even though it was probably made from a powdered mix, will taste delightfully gourmet back at your seat.
Having a winning baseball season and looking forward to playoff games is exhilarating and wondrous, but taking in the game for all of its gourmet beauty can be wondrous on its own. I am still looking forward to next season (or a miracle), but win or lose, I am looking forward to at least one more evening at the ballpark. The wise Mr. Berra said that “If the world were perfect, it wouldn’t be.” And THAT is neither quirky or head scratching to me. It makes perfect sense.
Ciao for now!