Baseball…in February?!

Time to paint the chalk lines and water the infield dirt…

Time to exchange those lineup cards…

Even if you have to park in two or three handicapped spots, get out to the stadium, because it’s time for baseball!

Having been to baseball games in Anaheim and (Rancho) Cucamonga, only Azusa remained to complete the Jack Benny Baseball Trilogy, and Jason and I remedied that situation tonight. The Azusa Pacific University Cougars were at home against the Whittier College Poets. As one might expect at a school with a cross in its logo, the game started with a prayer, which was followed by Whitney Houston performing the national anthem at Super Bowl XXV, through the magic of recorded sound.

Here’s an unidentified Poet, perhaps the late Allen Ginsberg, batting against Azusa Pacific…

And here’s Cougar first baseman Stephen Vogt batting against Whittier…

This is not exactly big-time college athletics. APU isn’t even an NCAA school; they’re affiliated with the NAIA. There was no admission charged, but then, there weren’t exactly many stadium amenities. I didn’t take a picture of the scoreboard because we couldn’t see it from where we were; it’s in the far right-field corner, and the main bleachers are on the first-base side of home plate, with the home “clubhouse” and rooftop press box farther down towards first, thus blocking the view of the scoreboard. I’m a little embarrassed to admit that we lost track of what inning it was, not only because the P.A. announcer wasn’t consistently announcing it at the end of each half-inning,

but also because they didn’t do a seventh-inning stretch, perhaps because neither peanuts nor Cracker Jack were available. One could have walked half a block to Jack in the Box and brought food back to the stadium, but Jason and I held off on dinner until after the game, when we drove to Roscoe’s Chicken & Waffles in Pasadena, and you’ll never guess what we ate.

Azusa Pacific won 8-2 to improve their record to 3-1. It was 5-1 at the end of the first inning, but things settled down somewhat for the rest of the game.

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