Rascals 4, Freedom 2

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That would be the River City Rascals (Missouri) and the Florence Freedom (Kentucky), members of the Frontier League. I extended my journey across the middle of the country an extra night in order to attend a minor league ballgame in an open air suite, courtesy of Dave Zitt’s boss. For the first time in over two years, I didn’t score the game. Well, not the entire game — I did score the last three innings in someone else’s scorebook while she borrowed my special “Upstairs Guest” bracelet and took advantage of our catered ribs. However, I did get a free shirt (thanks, Evan) and the opportunity to participate in the “Diamond Dig.”
What really makes minor league games fun is all of the crazy promotional stuff that goes on beyond the game itself — and last night was no exception. Three diamond necklaces were hidden somewhere in the infield dirt and the first 500 women over the age of 16 who attended last Friday’s game were given little plastic shovels and the opportunity to literally dig for diamonds — but then it rained on Friday and the three necklaces were left buried in the field. (Okay, rumor has it that the necklaces weren’t actually buried, only the velvet boxes and a little slip of paper that guaranteed you a necklace.)
Just our luck, the dig was rescheduled for last night, the last game of the Frontier League season. Instead of giving shirts and shovels to the first 500 women, shirts were randomly thrown into the stand and any woman wearing a shirt was allowed to dig after the game. I’d like to say that I made some sort of heroic catch to get my shirt, but by the end, they had so many leftover shirts that they were walking up and down the aisles looking for women to pass them to and Evan was paying attention, and thus secured two shirts for me and Martine.
The dig itself wasn’t all that exciting. They herded us around the infield like cattle, lining us up along the grass and then yelled go. Five hundred women dropped to their knees and just began digging like little kids in a sandbox while strains of the Bangles “Manic Monday” played over the loudspeaker — only the sand in a sand box isn’t rock hard and impossible to dig into. My strategy quickly became to search for a patch of softer dirt and search for the diamond that way. I have no idea if that was the correct strategy, because three women found necklaces before I could figure it out.
Oh well… at least I got a free shirt and plastic shovel out of the deal.

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