Monday, August 24, 2009

Ballpark memories

Not Larry Sabato links a story that asks an important question - what do you do when there's no American flag and it's time for the Pledge of Allegiance or National Anthem?
It reminded me of the beginning of the 1989 Appalachian League season. The City of Bluefield, WV failed to bring the flag to Bowen Field. So the Orioles, Pulaski Braves, traveling coach Phil Niekro and fans stood for the National Anthem and no flag.
The press box was a small building next to the Orioles' dugout. They stood, and we suggested they salute the Marlboro Man, since that ad stood in centerfield and towered over everything else beyond the outfield wall.
The incident was included in the book "Stolen Season" by David Lamb, who toured the minors in 1989 and happened to attend that Bluefield game.
As someone pressed into service to sing the National Anthem before an NAIA college baseball playoff game in 1991, you do what you have to do.

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