No Joy in the Green Grass League

The York Revolution were having a Peanuts-themed baseball game. As in Charles Schulz’s Peanuts. As in Charlie Brown and Snoopy and the Vince Guaraldi Trio. And they were wearing custom jerseys and auctioning them off.

Naturally, I had to go.

Naturally, the game was today, and I didn’t know about it until yesterday afternoon.

I receive York’s emails. I even sometimes look at them if the subject line grabs me. I can’t say that the subject line grabbed me here — “Win a Revs Jersey While You Help Kids!!” — but the first line of the email — “Good grief, the players are wearing York Revolution Peanuts jerseys!” certainly did.

Peanuts Palooza and Jersey Auction marketing banner, with York mascot Downtown drawn in Schulz's style, sleeping on top of Snoopy's doghouse
Banner from the York Revolution’s marketing email

I had plans — a ticket for the Harrisburg Senators Sunday afternoon game against the Reading Fightin’ Phils — and under pretty much any other circumstances I would have done that and not the York game, but Peanuts and the Beatles are the two themes that would make me change my plans. So I exchanged my Senators ticket for a ticket in the Erie series at the end of the month, put on my yellow Charlie Brown t-shirt, and went to downtown York.

Ironically, I’d been there yesterday, in the downtown area. I went to Prospect Hill Cemetery again; the day was absolutely gorgeous, not the sort of day you want to waste, and I hiked from the grave of Lefty George to the main entrance on George Street, and explored some parts of the cemetery I’d not seen. I also wanted to see if I could see Mt. Rose Cemetery from Prospect Hill. I believe you can, and the next time I go I’ll take binoculars to be sure.

Today was the first time this season I’d been to People’s Bank Park. I’ve seen York this year, but in Lancaster, not York. (Such as their opening day.)

The facade of People's Bank Park, as seen from the railroad tracks outside the stadium

The jerseys the team wore today were snazzy, with a print of baseball-themed Peanuts comic strips. I bid on two of them and won neither, which is fine. It would have been a nice collectible to have, but at the same time I didn’t need to spend $120-plus on something I’d never wear.

Peanuts and baseball are such a natural combination, and I wish the licensors would do more to work with minor league baseball rather than the 87-millionth iteration of Star Wars night and Marvel Comics night.

Since I hadn’t been to The Bank in about a year — I think I was last there for a game where they wore Olympics-themed jerseys — I walked around the stadium before the game.

People's Bank Park, seen from beyond the outfield wall
People’s Bank Park

Just as yesterday I’d tried to determine if Mt. Rose Cemetery could be seen from Prospect Hill Cemetery, I also tried to ascertain if Mt. Rose Cemetery could be seen from the ballpark, since I have tried to see the stadium from the cemetery and been unable to do so. (Or, I might be seeing it and failing to recognize it.) I think the reason I’ve been unable to see the ballpark from the cemetery hill is that it can’t be seen; I couldn’t see Mt. Rose at all from any vantage point. Too much stuff in the way.

When I returned to my seat, an old man at the top row of my section excitedly told me we had a special visitor in the park today — a bald eagle.

A bald eagle perched atop the light tower on the third base line
A bald eagle perched atop the light town along the third base line

The gentleman, I am sorry to say, was difficult to understand. The eagle, he said, didn’t like something, but I don’t know what that something was. He also told me about his health issues — skin cancer, notably — and the medications he was on and how he had to stay out of the sun. I listened with interest and concern, occasionally asking him questions, but I only understood maybe one work in four. After I took my seat, he continued to tell everyone about the eagle, and the eagle stayed there at least an hour into the game.

Before the game, the Vince Guaraldi Peanuts music, most of the familiar tracks and some of the lesser known pieces, was played in the stadium. I thought it was from a CD, but there was a West Coast-style jazz trio, named, appropriately enough, Good Grief, playing the Guaraldi cuts. I have no photos of Good Grief playing, because I didn’t know where they were until they were tearing down their tent. The best I have is a distant shot; they were set up on the party deck behind home plate.

Good Grief, in the tent below the media center, on the party deck behind home plate.
Good Grief, on the party deck behind home plate.

There were also people dressed as Snoopy and Woodstock at the stadium entrance, and fans were getting their photos taken with the characters.

The honorary first pitches. Revolution pitcher Austin Nicely is serving at the catcher.
Honorary first pitches. Austin Nicely is catching.

In the early going, the game was tight. The Wild Health Genomes — that’s their name, they play in Lexington, Kentucky — would score, and York would score. York would issue a walk (or three) and get out of the jam. Wild Health’s pitcher was tighter.

Bottom of the first. Nellie Rodriguez is at the plate

And then the home plate umpire got drilled in the nuts.

The home plate umpire, seated on a stool, while trainers and the other umpires gather around him, after being struck by a pitch
The umpire, after getting struck by a ball

At least, that’s where it seemed the umpire was struck by the pitch. You’re in the stands. It’s hard to tell.

Other than the jerseys and the pre-game stuff — the character appearances, the West Coast-style jazz band — there wasn’t much Peanuts flavor to the game. Joe Shlabotnik was not in the line-up, nor were they any Shlabotnik-style flashy plays on routine outs. (There was, however, a base runner who was thrown out at first after he stumbled and fell out of the batter’s box.) The video board used the image of Downtown in Schulz’s style, and there was a series of Peanuts clips strung together on the videoboard between innings (though it was also impossible to hear).

York’s pitching was not great. York pitchers issued a team record number of walks — the radio broadcast said, I think, fifteen — and it’s a wonder the Genomes didn’t score more through the first seven innings.

York manager Mark Mason and his infielders visit the mound
York manager Mark Mason visits the mound

In the eighth the wheels came off York’s pitching, and the Genomes, who came into the inning leading 3-2, took an eight run lead. York couldn’t buy an out. I’ve seen enough Atlantic League baseball to know that an eight run lead in the eighth inning isn’t safe, but York also couldn’t buy a run. The Genomes tacked on three more runs in the tenth. and that’s how it ended.

No joy in Stumptown and the Green Grass League tonight.

But while the hometown team may have faltered, it was certainly a lovely day. It wasn’t hot, it wasn’t humid. There was a light breeze, and gentle clouds floated across the sky. The attendance wasn’t great — maybe 1,500, maybe less — which is unfortunate, because this is exactly the kind of day you want for a tightly played baseball game (for seven innings, anyway).

Troy Stokes, Jr. at the plate, bottom of the fourth inning.
Troy Stokes, Jr. at the plate for York, bottom of the fourth inning

Lancaster is visiting York this week. Perhaps one night this week after work I’ll attend a game. Otherwise, my next baseball game will be Wednesday, the 24th, in Harrisburg, as they take on the Erie SeaWolves.

Published by Allyn Gibson

A writer, editor, journalist, sometimes coder, occasional historian, and all-around scholar, Allyn Gibson is the writer for Diamond Comic Distributors' monthly PREVIEWS catalog, used by comic book shops and throughout the comics industry, and the editor for its monthly order forms. In his over ten years in the industry, Allyn has interviewed comics creators and pop culture celebrities, covered conventions, analyzed industry revenue trends, and written copy for comics, toys, and other pop culture merchandise. Allyn is also known for his short fiction (including the Star Trek story "Make-Believe,"the Doctor Who short story "The Spindle of Necessity," and the ReDeus story "The Ginger Kid"). Allyn has been blogging regularly with WordPress since 2004.

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