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Charlie Hatton
Brookline, MA

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Howdy, friendly reading person!
I'm on a bit of a hiatus right now, but only to work on other projects -- one incredibly exciting example being the newly-released kids' science book series Things That Make You Go Yuck!
If you're a science and/or silliness fan, give it a gander! See you soon!


#8. I have been in eight different major league baseball parks.

For the record, and in order, that’s Riverfront in Cincinnati, Three Rivers in Pittsburgh, Skydomw in Toronto, Wrigley in Chicago, Fenway here in Boston, Turner in Atlanta, Olympic Stadium in Montreal, and PacBell in San Francisco. You know, in case you’re scoring at home. (Or even if you’re by yourself. All hail the subtle wit of Keith Olbermann.)

Anyway, I’ve only seen real live in-season games in six of those parks. Two of them don’t exist any more, and a third is in serious danger of being mothballed sometime in the near future. So, nearly half of the ballparks I’ve known — in the Biblical sense, that is — are now no more. Which is pretty sad, I have to say. Plus, those two parks (the first two on the list, if you still care about such things) represent something like ninety percent of all the games I’ve ever seen live. Maybe more. So there’s really not much left in the old memory bank of ball games that’s still relevant to the rest of the world. Just another piece of evidence that I’m a doddering old coot. Bitch monkeys!

On the other hand, it just means that — assuming I’ll ever get off my lazy ass and do it — I’ve got oodles of stadia out there to visit. See, if you look at it the right way, the glass is seven-eights full, or thereabouts. So that’s cool.

Plus, Riverfront and Three Rivers were ‘cookie cutter’ parks. Boring, circular monstrosities, soulless and AstroTurfed. Yuck. So, from an aesthetic standpoint, it’s good that they’re gone, and replaced with infinitely better versions. (Well, okay, not infinitely better, of course. That would just be silly. How about lots better? Happy now?)

Someday, I’ll replace those fading memories with new ones, in new parks. Hell, I’ve already started. The combined no-hitter I saw at now-defunct Three Rivers a few years ago? Gone. Now, it’s the sixteen-strikeout Pedro Martinez masterpiece my wife and I watched from the bleachers in Fenway last year. We sat about eight rows from the top, just below where the Pedro Squad puts up the ‘K’ signs after each strikeout. And here’s something you may not know — I sure as hell didn’t when I got the seats — just before they put up each sign, a dozen or so guys in red face paint come down into the bleachers and make the fans count, en Espanol, up to the current number of whiffs. It’s actually pretty fucking spectacular. And we got up to diez y seis. How loco is that?

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Me on Film 'n' Stage:
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