I have spent my life around baseball and have seen my fair share of rain delays. In fact I have been on just about every end of a rain delay.
I have sat countless times in a dugout as a player wondering if we were going to get the game in. I have been in charge of the grounds and been the person to decide when to tarp the field and then at what point we take it off. I have pulled more tarps on and off fields then I care to remember. Most recently, I have been in the press box just sitting around waiting on a decision to be made.
One of the best parts of rain delays is seeing what everyone does to pass the time. In the press box, the stories start coming out about rain delays past. The longer people have been in baseball, the better their stories are.
I have my own fair share of rain delay stories, but what happened last night might top the list. The Bearkats were getting ready to play the first of three against Central Arkansas with bad weather in the area.
Just as batting practice was ending, the lightning hit and the tarp came out on the field. I had about three of my student workers in the booth and I start telling some rain delay stories. Finally, one of my students who will remain unnamed looks at me with a bit of a confused face.
“So how does this work?” she said.
“We will sit here and wait. They are going to try to get this game in,” was my reply.
Still not fully grasping what was going on, she asks another question.
“So how do they see the bases with the tarp on the field?”
Everyone else in the booth turned and looked at me. I wasn’t sure what to say.
“So I’m taking it this is your first rain delay,” was about all I could get out.
We had to then go on to explain the purpose of the tarp and that they in fact do not play with it on the field.
I texted a few people after the fact, and got some pretty good responses that I wanted to share.
I got a few “No ways” and “You’re making that up.” I got a “Is she blonde?’ text as well. One of the better responses was “Tell her that is what they have base coaches for.”
But by far the best response came from Mike Coffin, who works for the Corpus Christi Hooks and has a sense of humor like no one else. Coffin hit a pair of homers last night with two separate responses. His immediate response was “Tell her to go and find a box of curveballs.” And hour later, he followed that up with “I’m looking for the keys to the batter’s box at the moment.”
There is no telling how many more rain delays I have left in my life, but I now know I will always have a good story any time the tarp is on the field.