We met up with The Armchair Squid, Wikes and their daughter for a pleasant evening of baseball and good conversation.
They arrived with a puzzler....apparently they play a license plate game where one takes the letters found on a plate (Vermont starts with 3 letters and then a space before 3 numbers) and try to think of a word that contains those letters in the same order (but not necessarily consecutively). They arrived having seen a plate like this:
Any guesses? It took us a while....and some help from the lady sitting in front of us, but I eventually got TWO and the flood gates opened!
(On the way home we spotted a plate with ZXF. However, it was from Quebec which raised several questions around foreign plates and foreign languages!)
Now the two highlights of the night were BOTH baseball related!
First, we found out that the first 500 ticket holders each received an AJ COLE bobble-head! I'm still not sure why I should be excited about that! Cole was a member of the Lake Monsters in 2010. He pitched in one game, facing 4 batters, walking one, striking out one and giving up one hit. If you think about it, that's only one more inning than I have pitched for the team! Where's my bobble head!?!?
Second, when I looked at the team's website before the game I was underwhelmed. The Monsters were coming off a losing streak, were 11 games under .500, and the starting pitcher, JC Menna, sported a 0-9 record with an ERA north of 5!
However, he threw a gem! He walked a few and had an error behind him in the field when he gave up his first hit in the 5th. The Squid and I debated the ruling but didn't linger on it. Shortly, we noticed the call had been reversed....the hit was gone and there was a second error on the board!
Menna gave way to Deyvi Jimenez, who kept Tri City hitless in the 7th and 8th before Ryan Dull came in for a perfect 9th! It was rather exciting and the first no-hitter in the history of the Vermont Reds/Mariners/Expos/Lake Monsters!
I have been to probably 50 major league games....and maybe the same amount of minor league games and this was one of the most exciting nights at the park for me! It was cool to be a part of "history".
Ken Griffey Jr. game through our system for 17 games back in 1988. The number of people who claim they saw him here continues to grow to near impossible numbers....I wonder if the 2,800 in attendance last night will swell in the same way?!?1