We officially turned the corner as a family last night in becoming Midland RockHounds baseball fans, openly cheering for our new team in the friendly confines of the Sod Poodles ballpark in downtown Amarillo. Whitney and I wore our new RockHounds t-shirts and we loudly rooted for the Midland Nine as they routed Amarillo 13-3.
Stan Cox, our favorite usher who runs a very tight Section 109, told me he didn’t know what was more disappointing: that we were leaving Central or how quickly my baseball allegiance had changed. He agreed that my quick switch shows a real lack of personal integrity and character. When Stan came around with the garbage bag in between innings, he asked me to take off my RockHounds shirt and kindly place it in the trash.
Stan and Susan are two more of the really great people I’ve had the privilege to live, worship, and serve with here in Amarillo. I was honored to perform the wedding for their daughter Sara to Nick Lewis and I was blessed to spend ten thrilling days with them in Israel. Susan kindly volunteers at the church office when Gail is out. Nick and Sara’s beautiful daughters were both born here and are being raised in and by Central – one of the many wonderful families we’re really going to miss.
Needless to say, we were the only ones cheering for the RockHounds last night – we stuck out a little bit in the partisan Poodles crowd. Whitney came away with a foul ball generously tossed up by a Sod Poodles player and Midland pitcher Jared Koenig autographed it for her after the game – nice on both counts. As a family, we agree that the Sod Poodles name continues to be a disgrace to the very idea of professional baseball, but we do love their logos and fonts so much more than the late-80s vibe of the cartoonish RockHounds logos and fonts. And this downtown ballpark in Amarillo is the crown jewel of all AA stadiums – it’s the standard.
We’ll miss the insane Sod Poodles song during the seventh inning stretch (Sod Poodles! Sod Poodles! That’s right, they’re called the Sod Poodles!). The free parking on Fillmore. Dale Cooper’s awesome seats behind home plate. Ruckus entering the stadium to ZZ Top’s “Sharp Dressed Man.” The line for three-dollar refills at H-Tea-O. Frozen t-shirts and blindfolded Chick-fil-a cows. But we’re looking forward to everything minor league baseball in Midland has in store for us later this summer. When is Jared Koenig’s next start?