A Plague of Biblical Proportions
PASSOVER being over and all and being as it was a beautiful Sunday at Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton (“On the banks of the Deep Water Channel”), I found myself sitting in the press box watching the Stockton Ports and the Modesto Nuts, two teams that have a natural rivalry overshadowed for both by the hated San Jose Giants who always seem to get the better of whichever of these two survives the season long battle. The game moved along at a nice clip until there were two outs in the top of the 4th inning of a 1-1 game.
That’s when the Biblical plague struck.
Dallas Tarleton, Catcher for the Nuts, had just struck out swinging. Before the next batter (Scott Robinson) could walk up to the plate, every player on the field – I SAID THAT EVERY PLAYER ON THE FIELD – suddenly and simultaneously dropped face down on the field, almost all facing the first base line.
It being Stockton, we just assumed it was because of gunfire, although neither of us had ever expected to have such of play stoppage happen here in the US even though it happens in other places (most recently Mexico). But on the other hand, it is Stockton…
There was a great deal of confusion, with fans headed for the concourse and people pointing wildly in all directions. Even a few screams. On the edge of panic the whole place teetered for nearly three full minutes. Then, slowly came the realization that cause of the disruption, the reason twelve people were lying flat on the ground of Banner Island Ballpark was… a swarm of bees.
Frankly bees don’t really bother me*. But for Ports play-by-play man Zack Bayrouty they are a bit more of a vexation. Apparently he is sore afraid of bees, as evidenced by the one of the swarm which made its way into the booth a few innings later.
Since nobody likes to have their fears pointed out, I will simply say that Zack manned up, kept right on calling the game as the Ports stormed back from six runs down to cut the Nuts lead to just two at the 7th Inning stretch. The bee didn’t harm anyone, and neither was the bee harmed. Reasonable people came to a reasonable solution and nobody had to put blood on the radio booth window or sacrifice a first born to rid the booth of the single bee.
I am personally in favor of keeping the bees. They brought some pretty good luck, as the Ports came from behind – down six runs twice – to win on a three run homer in the bottom of the 9th. Clearly the Baseball Deity sent the plague on the Nuts and then parted the sea of scoring to let the Ports go onto the win!
*It’s a long story, but I once had a wonderful and life altering experience with a group of bees that had occupied my trash can.