When my family & I lived in Nashville before (1984-91), we attended a couple of games at Greer Stadium, home of the Nashville Sounds. And if you've read much of my "Glen Alan's San Antonio" blog, you know that during my stay in that city I was a avid fan of the S.A. Missions baseball team. The Missions are Texas League (only AA) while the Sounds are Pacific Coast League (AAA).
During August of Ought Eight I desired to take in a Sounds game or two. And the Thursday night that was the final of the month AND final home game for the Sounds, I actually tried to go. Waited TWO hours on Murfreesboro Rd. for an in-bound MTA bus; by the time one showed up, I knew it was too late to get to Greer in time. I could have walked there & arrived in much less than two hours! (FYI, that waiting-in-vain time wasn't wholly wasted; on my radio I kept switching between the station carrying the Sounds game and the one carrying the Vanderbilt Commodores opening game for the 2008 season, at Miami-Ohio).
With the move of play-by-play radio announcer Stu Paul from S.A., where he did the Missions games on KKYX-AM 680, to Nashville to do the same from the Sounds, my interest in the home-town team increased exponentially! But alas! due to my fiscal straits I felt I couldn't affort even the price of a general admission ticket. So I contented myself with listening to my ol' buddy Stu on 104.5 The Zone radio or on-line.
But praise be to the Lord! Some tiny personal GOOD came out of May's Great Flood, tied in with Eastwood Christian Church's ties to little league baseball here! (Pastor Jay is a team coach and some of the boys play.)
You see, dear reader, the flood destroyed equipment for the Jess Neely (inner-city youth baseball & football) program. AND our home-town Minor League team has been assisting in the rebuilding. Sounds management announced that advance reserved tickets for the 29 August game (final home game) would sell for $10 rather than the regular $12, with ALL proceeds going to Jess Neely! Yet another example of the WE ARE NASHVILLE response to the flood disaster!
Well, over 100 Eastwood folks purchased tickets -- including an anonymous Brother or Sister who paid for mine. "Thank you & Lord bless you!" to whoever you are!
And Sunday the 29th turned out to be a banner day in many ways for ECC(DC). Associate Pastor Michael Lehman returned from a brief return visit to Akron following his ordination on the 21st, and we recognized not one but TWO new interns assigned to us by the Vanderbilt D School. The "Pastor's Class" in Sunday School was the usual lively, throught-provoking and enjoyable discussion it almost always is, and then we choir members in the class scooted over to the Sanctuary to rehearse the Anthem, the joyful praise-prayer song "Jesu, Jesu". Following Worship we had our monthly Sunday potluck dinner in the fellowship hall. Delicious food accompanied the delightful conversation around each round table.
And to think, yours truly got to be back with my spiritual family again in the evening! A late afternoon drizzle that lasted thru the game apparently discouraged a few ECC(DC) ticket holders from arriving, but there were still plenty of us there, in Section QQ and adjoining. We had a fine line-of-sight from high up, along the line from home to first.
And what a fine game to see! The New Orleans Zephyrs got on the scoreboard with one run in top of the first. But the Sounds answered in the bottom with a Grand Slam Homerun! Brendan Katin did this to express appreciation to us fans, I suppose, for the pre-game honor of selection as 2010 Sounds Fan Favorite.
Wow, Katin! What way to say, "Thank you, you Music City fans!"
And thus a desire of mine ended in fulfillment. When my good buddy Stu Paul posted on Facebook the Montgomery Gentry song "Gone", stating that an excerpt from its chorus got played over the Greer loudspeakers whenever a Sounds hit a h.r., I replied that I was sure hoping there'd be a homer whenever I got to my first game at Greer. And here I was listening to it!
But don't go away quite yet! Katin's bottom-of-the-first homer was simply the first of TWO he slugged out of the ballpark -- and THREE total for the Sounds! Now the later two homers (in 4th and 6th innings) weren't Grand Slams, but who's counting? When your team goes into the Seventh leading 10-1, with a 16 to 2 hit and 0 to 1 error advantage to boot does it really matter that 2 of 3 homers aren't grand slams? Besides, the one Grand Slam was Sounds' fourth this year (if I remember correctly one or two were walk-off Grand Slams) and Katin's h.r. of the evening tied the team record record of seven.
I had already spoken with Steve Walls about bumming a ride after the game, and with several Eastwood folk already departed, he, his kids and I joined the exodus. But not before that ceremonial "Seventh-Inning Stretch". And to delight, Stu Paul led our singing of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game"!
Hoo-ray, Stu! Hoo-ray, Nashville Sounds!