Considering a return to the ballpark

It is baseball season again. Which means the Long Suffering Husband and I will spend the remainder of the hockey season fighting over the remote control. I will win, because it’s the cup playoffs. Also, I am much meaner than him.

It also means we will make at least one trip to PNC Park. Both the LSH and the Little Professor are true-blue, dyed-in-the-wool Pittsburgh Pirates fans, no matter the weather. Also, the Little Professor adores baseball park food.

We were hoping my brother, Davey Crockett, would be able to come up and visit the ball park with us this year, because the kids love going to the park with him. Despite his many years living in Kentucky, he’s still a Pirates fan. Who would he even cheer for down there? The Braves? Ugh.

The kids really adore Davey, whom they’ve nicknamed “Uncle Schnitzel” after the “Chowder” cartoon character. Schnitzel – the character, not my brother – is a large, irritated rock monster-thing whose speech is entirely made up of variations of “radda.”

If Davey wants to send the kids into gales of laughter, all he has to do is say “radda-radda-radda!” To them, this is the funniest thing of all time. And, no, I’m not entirely sure why they dubbed him Schnitzel, unless it is because they are both very tall – I don’t know about Schnitzel the character, but Davey tops out above 6-feet, 5-inches.

The kids always want to take Davey to the park in the hopes he will be able to snatch a flying hot dog out of the air for them. Or so they say. I think they’re secretly hoping for a repeat of Father’s Day a few years ago.

The children “treated” Grampy Grumpy, the LSH and Davey to a day at the ball park. (When I say they treated, I mean I spent the LSH’s money on them.)

It was a fireworks night, and, since I am much more interested in the fireworks than the ball game, I chose seats that would give us the best view of the fireworks – right under the broadcast booth. (Incidentally, the guys, who did care about seeing the game, were pleased with the seats, so win-win?)

The game was unmemorable, other than one of the Pirates’ batters managing to bank the baseball off the opposing pitcher’s head and almost directly into a defenseman’s glove. I don’t know if that guy played pinball, but he really should have taken it up. I also can’t remember if the pitcher was concussed, but I certainly hope not.

The Cannonball Crew – are they still calling them that? – drug out the T-shirt and hot dog cannons, and the kids were quivering in their eagerness to receive a thoroughly wrinkled left-over giveaway T-shirt or smooshed, luke-warm hot dog mummified in tinfoil.

“There’s no way they’re getting a hot dog all the way up here,” I told them. “It’s too high.”

Just to prove me wrong – and maybe aiming at their comrades in the broadcast booth? – the Cannonball Crew sent a hot dog hurtling our way …

… and it hit Davey right in the chops.

Like I said, I think they’re hoping for a repeat – they think having Davey with them increases their odds of finally getting their fingers on some flying food.

(Wallace-Minger, The Weirton Daily Times community editor, is a Weirton resident and can be contacted at