For several years, a group of tailgaters outside the old Rosenblatt Stadium kept eight pink flamingos. When a team was eliminated from the series, a crowd gathered around, someone played “Taps” on a trumpet, and a flamingo was retired. Fans in the outfield are known to drop beach balls on the warning track between innings. As a player or member of the grounds crew reaches down to pick it up, the ball — tethered with a piece of fishing wire […]
Tomorrow I’m going to my happy place. We’re headed to Omaha. Who knew, nineteen years ago, that a chance trip to the College World Series would turn into one of my life’s most treasured traditions? That I would anticipate this summer journey like a kid looks forward to Christmas? The fans in their school colors, the locals and their welcome wagons. The tailgating, the Old Market, the teams — wide-eyed, seeing the stadium for the first time, like the characters […]
Oklahoma State’s baseball team won the Big 12 tournament today, a feat that two weeks ago seemed far-fetched. It’s been a tough year for OSU. They came in with high expectations, having gone to the College World Series last year, and returning several key starters. But injuries wrecked them, and it seemed at times they would never gel. Going into the final weekend of the regular season, they risked not even making the eight-team tournament. A rain-shortened series against OU […]
For those of a certain ilk, it’s the best day of the year. We waited all winter for this. We checked our watches in late November, we yawned through the Super Bowl, and we proclaimed February as the longest month. And then, after knocking off the rust in the Florida and Arizona sunshine, today it’s back. We know not everyone gets so excited about it. We know many don’t “get it” at all. And we’re okay with that. It’s our […]
There were lights swirling around, there was an acrobat, and popcorn. There were prizes falling from the sky and jetting skyward from the floor. There was music, music, music, and dancing, and the shouting and clapping never stopped. And in the middle of it was a Thunder basketball game, Luke’s first, and a smile that would light up a scoreboard.
Tonight I caught the Santa Fe Fuego vs. the Topeka Train Robbers. It can best be described as “Bull Durham” with green-chile hot dogs. About a hundred fans, some of whom were actually watching, were scattered through the WPA-era Fort Macy Ball Field. It was classic minor-league ball. To wit: When the home team hits a home run, they pass a hat so fans can give him a tip. It appears the players wash their own uniforms — because obviously, […]
OSU’s rain-delayed, late-night win over Arizona puts them in the driver’s seat for the CWS championship series. The Pokes have used lockdown pitching in back-to-back, 1-0 games. Although it ended just short of midnight, Paul and I made our way down by the field with other fans to congratulate the players, who absolutely were glowing. The win has Omaha buzzing about a CWS title for the Pokes. And for good reason. But having waited 17 years since the last appearance, […]
The between-innings music during the CWS truly has something for everyone. Today alone we heard classic rock, old-time country, modern dance-pop, polka, Metallica, Michael Jackson and more. It’s a reflection of who’s in the stands, a cross-generational affair that includes grandparents, moms and dads, tweens, college kids and everyone in between, clad in T-shirts, drenched in sun, there to watch the game “on a perfect afternoon.”
The origins of this song go back before the Civil War, and over the decades has been recorded by everyone from Bob Wills, to the Chieftains, to the “Urban Cowboy” soundtrack. It’s a crowd-pleaser, always a hand-clapper at weddings, birthdays and ballparks, including the CWS, and especially when both teams on the field are from Texas.
Not many ballparks still use a live organist to liven up the game. But Rosenblatt Stadium was no ordinary ballpark, and Lambert Bartak was no ordinary organist. From the 1950s until the last game at Rosenblatt in 2010, Lambert entertained the fans with chestnuts from a bygone era. When Rosenblatt was leveled for the new downtown TD Ameritrade Stadium, Lambert finally retired at age 91. His classic organ was restored and is used in the new ballpark. Its new player, […]