I’ve quoted before Don DeLillo’s great description of how, at a night baseball game, under the lights, “the players seem completely separate from the night around them.”
At our Albuquerque Isotopes’ home opener this evening, the players’ home whites seemed impossibly white, the grass seemed impossibly green, the sky behind the lights impossibly inky black. In the third inning, the left field lights went out, the players left the field, but to stay loose a couple came out and tossed, one in the light, the other in the shadows, not quite separate this time from the night around him.
I’ve always loved the way baseball usually draws your eye to the main thing – pitch, swing, hit, catch, throw – but then rewards the glance elsewhere, and when it gets complicated, the way you have to watch the outfielder sprinting for the fly ball while simultaneously watching the runners – are they holding? The third base coach is waving them in! Did the throw miss the cutoff man?
It was a pitcher’s game until it wasn’t, when the ‘Topes scored five in the eighth. A bases loaded triple that capped it was one of those “where do I look?” plays, a deep fly, an outfielder sprinting, baserunners on the move, a third base coach directing traffic (when in doubt, watch the third base coach). By then, some of the impossibly white jerseys were stained infield red, and the home team won.