As most (if not all) Indians, I have been following cricket since I could hold a bat. And we also pride in ourselves about knowing the minute details of the game. But explaining the same to a stranger who has never been exposed to the game, takes some time. You get the jist - hit the ball and run. But then you have the various ways
you could get out. Gets a few people confused.
That being said, I went to my first baseball
game last night. The Colorado Rockies
were playing the San Fransisco Giants
at the Coors Field
in Denver. The objective was three-pronged. First was to watch a live baseball game, second was to watch the 4th of July fireworks at the end of the game. Lastly I wanted to figure out why Baseball is so popular here.
Getting tickets are quite easy. Book them online and print them out. Compare this to haggling and begging for a ticket for a cricket match. And most of the tickets at the cricket match are 'given' away to 'friends' and 'officials'.
Queue moves fast except for a slight delay when they check your bags. No pushing and shoving as everyone has an alloted seat. Get all the food you can, buy more at the stadium. Beer? Yes and lots of it.
While I knew the basic rules of the game, by the end of the second inning I had a decent grasp of what happens in the game and then on, following the game was easy. I clapped as home runs were hit, 'oooooh'-ed for strikes and 'boooo'-ed for a bad call. It was easy. 9 innings and 9 batters each. 3 bases to run. 3 strikes you are out, 4th ball and you walk to the next base. Bases loaded. Quite easy to follow. Its quite evident why its such a popular sport here. Rules are simple and its just a party at the game for the spectators. Even the pouring rain doesn't drive too many away. Umbrellas, jackets, windcheaters come out.
We had a 2 hour rain delay. But the crowd stayed back for the game to finish. And then the fireworks started. Awesome is the one word to describe it. A continuous display for 15-20 minutes. Never seen one quite like last night.
The game is really fast and quite entertaining. The music gets the crowd going. They love it. Families. Kids. With gloves on to catch a ball if it comes their way. Soda. Candy. Beer. Nachos. etc etc. No wonder they love singing 'Take me out to the ball game
And yes, Rockies won. 6-1.