Thursday, June 23, 2011

Day 7: River City Rascals, O'Fallon Missouri. Yes yes yes yes yes yes! Ben and Zach Scratch an Item Off Their Bucket List

Much like Xenu (I'm guessing?), we began our seventh day with a nice long rest. We figured we deserved a sabbath after spending the previous 6 days building a universe. By which I mean spending an extended period of time the night before drinking and gambling into the wee hours of the morning. To be fair, though, the game had many amusing moments, like this deal (completely unstaged) of 7-card stud.

We also had a nice Texas flop of 6-6-6. Good omens just abound on this trip.

Anyway, we finally got rolling around 1p and grabbed some lunch at Panera (or for you old-schoolers, as it's still known around here, the St. Louis Bread Company). We then hit the road to St. Clair, MO to see the town's two famous water towers. Yes, two. Why two, you ask?

Well, obviously.

We then proceeded down Missouri Hwy 30 to the little town of Dittmer, MO, where it turns out another one of my cousins resides in discarded auto parts form. Unfortunately, his metal ass is decidedly tarnished rather than shiny. Also, he's apparently a hippy?

Check out my shoulder for some sweet farmer's tan action and proof of my love for Futurama. All Glory to the Hypnotoad.

After Dittmer we zoomed back across St. Louis to the town of Alton, IL for a pit stop at the World Famous Fast Eddie's Bon Air, whose claim to fame is not changing their food prices since the mid-80s. Ben had some 29-cent shrimp, and I went for the 12 (admittedly small) cajun wings on a skewer for a meager $2.99. Delicious.

But as usual, the day was stolen by our baseball experience. Tonight's stop was another independent professional Frontier League team, the Gateway Grizzlies' crosstown rivals the River City Rascals.

After the success of last night’s Grizzlies game, we decided to contact the River City Rascals and let them know we would be at their game tonight. To our delight, they wrote back and offered us the chance to compete in an on-field promotion. This is the best thing that has happened. Ever. HUGE props to Michele of the RCRs for making this happen.


1.) Old timey scoreboard. Gotta love seeing the guys change out the placards behind the inning holes whenever someone scores. Good stuff.

2.) $1 beer night. And they had O'Fallon microbrews! 'Nuff said.

3.) 9-6 final score. Lots of runs, including 2 home runs over the scoreboard, which is comparable to the big monster. Also, the Florence Freedom committed 5 errors. One of them was on a stolen base attempt that resulted in Joash Brodin evoking Ty Cobb and sliding into second before continuing to 3rd base.

4.) Some amusing sound clips included Charlie Sheen’s “Winning” when the team went ahead and Glen Quagmire’s “Giggity giggity”.

5.) Local Amateur Sports museum: Yesterday Zach said that museums where you don’t climb on stuff are boring. He was wrong. We got to see bowling trophies, corkball rules, local guys who made the big leagues, and other fun memorabilia. And did you know Mark Buerhle went to the local high school? Cool!

6.) Tickets. After all the MLB and MiLB games have gotten in the habit of just scanning your ticket’s barcode as you enter, Frontier League still keeps it real by tearing off the stub of the ticket for later counting.

7.) On field promotion participation! Ok, here’s the good stuff. In the 5th inning, Zach and I made our way to the 3rd base dugout where we donned padded pants, vests and helmets in order to engage in a sumo competition. Rules were simple: one of us had to knock the other one down twice. The suits were warm and provided fairly limited mobility. My mobility was further compromised by the removal of my glasses. My strategy then became to waddle toward the pinkish blob and run into it very hard. Zach’s strategy was to utilize his opposable thumbs to hurl me groundward. Zach won a Rascal’s cap while I got a consolation thermos. Despite my hitting the ground both headfirst and supine, the most painful experience was trying to scratch an itch on my foot after putting on the pants. Simply doesn’t work.

Yes, quit whining. There's video.

8.) The kids' birthday party that picked me (Zach) out as their sumo rooting interest immediately. Many high fives, half-daps, full-daps and explosions were presented to me afterward. For some reason they also wanted me to recite this State Farm ad. I was a baffled but willing participant, which seemed to give them great mirth. Whatever, it was his birthday.

9.) My (Zach's) sumo roar when my name was announced, which caused the mascot to go "Whoa, that was pretty good." I'd never heard a mascot talk before. I...kinda feel like I just found out Santa Claus died.

10.) Open Gate at the end. Everyone got to mingle with the players and mascot after the game. Zach got his hat signed by several players and the mascot. Majorly classy gesture to the fans, especially after such a long game.

11.) After the millionth ball flies into the parking lot, “Quiz time, everybody. Who sponsored that foul ball?” To which everyone replies “White Auto Body”

Regularly Scheduled Metrics:

Price of Beer
8 pts: Thirsty Thursdays! $1 for approx. 8 ounces

Most Caloric Concession Item
3 pts: Various hot dogs might qualify, but we’ll give it to the El Diablo: nacho "cheese," jalapenos, salsa, and pico de gallo. A close second would have been the All Star BBQ dog: pulled pork, coleslaw, pickles, BBQ sauce. Honorable mention to the Kentucky Blue Dog, which wasn't actually very good. That's not chili in the picture, folks. That's a comically obscene amount of bacon bits.

Minor (Frontier) League Personalities
4 pts: Diehards with vuvuzelas. Teenagers on dates. Local Celebrity Actor threw out one of the many first pitches. Families

Willingness to Give Random Bloggers Free Seats
3 pts: No, but the blog did get us Sumo and the prizes therein.

0 pts: Not really.

Funniest Roster Name
4 pts: We actually did get a John Smith, so I’m tempted to just give it a zero. But Juan Valdez of Columbian Coffee fame was there. And the name “Joash” prompted some discussion before we heard the correct “Joe Ash” from the loudspeaker

Promotion Quality
11 pts: Sudden Cardiac Arrest Association / Real Housewives of St. Charles County Night were good official ones, anyway. But getting to watch people race motorized coolers and getting to sumo wrestle bumps this up the extra notch.

1 pt: I wouldn't call it a blizzard...but it's kinda how the snow looks just a day after it falls in Chicago.

Men’s Room
0 pts: Lots of urinals

Random Bonus Points
+2 for the Charlie Sheen "winning" soundbite, +3 for the on-site free museum, +3 for the manual scoreboard, +5 for the open gates and autographs, +1 for the mascot talking, +2 for the announcer making fun of the game's length by saying “finally the 7th inning stretch” and letting the audience finish the auto repair ad, +1 for tearing the tickets, +3 for the ridiculous number of HRs, +1 for seeing a submarine pitcher, +1 for vuvuzelas and cowbells

Total: 56 points, blowing into the lead!

Final take: Rumor has it that River City and Gateway have a bit of a rivalry, so we are happy to say that River City just edges them out in our arbitrary and poorly balanced system of metrics (You can take that quote directly as an endorsement, Michele). Good Show, Rascals. 8.5/10.

Ball's in your court, Gateway. What do we get if we come back for a recount?

And people, seriously: if you ever have a little cash and some spare time, come see some Frontier League action. These people do baseball right. You won't regret it.


  1. Glad you had a good time! Also you appreciate the cowbell/vuvuzela orchestra.

  2. It's nice to know the 60's are alive and the Man is still after the Hippies. The good things in life will always remain with us For What its Worth.

    The old man

  3. Where the fuck is the video... and on that note: WHERE THE FUCK IS WALLACE??!


    Took them forever to get the upload finished this morning, so they didn't have time to update the blog.