I’m here early, before the first pitch. I came to this ballpark because rumor has it that this is where God lives.

Montgomery—it’s a quiet evening. I’m at Riverwalk Stadium, the sun is already low. The sky is pink. This is nice baseball weather.

I’m here early, before the first pitch. I came to this ballpark because rumor has it that this is where God lives.

I’m not joking. They tell me He hangs out over in section 105 sometimes. They say He’s a committed fan who attends every Biscuits game. And he’s seen the Major League greats come through this Minor League park. David Price, Jonny Gomes, B.J. Upton, and Evan Longoria.

You can’t see Him, they tell me, but He sits in row 2, right behind the third-base line.

“Where you wanna sit?” the ticket clerk asks me.

“Section one-oh-five,” I tell her.

“You know there ain’t no net over there.”

“Yeah, I know.”

I pay her. I enter the stadium. There is organ music playing overhead—sort of like church.

The first man I meet is old. He uses a walker and shuffles toward the hotdog vendor. On the back of his jacket are military patches. Special Forces badges, Army badges, a badge representing the Purple Heart. He is something to see.

I order the same thing he does. Our onions hiss on the hot steel. The server places dogs in buns. I dress mine with too much mustard and kraut—the way my father taught me.

The ball players are warming up on the grass. They touch toes, twist backs, roll shoulders, loosen neck muscles.

I take my seat.

Section 105 is nearly empty. I’m looking for signs of the rumored Big Man Himself—long white beard, sandals, shepherd’s crook. After all, I’m a writer. A writer’s job is to chase down rumors.

There’s the first pitch.

The smack of the catcher’s mitt is so loud it makes my hand sting.

This sound brings back every memory I ever had with a ball. Games in our backyard. The time my father held me above his head after a county championship. Ice cream cones after Little League practice.

An old woman sits behind me. She’s keeping score with scorecard. Her name is Matty.

She wears wire-rimmed glasses, smells like Estee Lauder, she sips Coca-Cola. It’s not every day you see a Kathryn Tucker Windham impersonator at a ballpark.

“I love the Biscuits,” she says. “My daughter’s come all the way from Tuscaloosa to meet me here tonight.”

She sips her Coke with a straw, then re-applies her lipstick.

Then thunder. Then rain.

A drizzle turns into a light pour. Fans leave seats, but the Biscuits keeps playing. I guess you can’t stop baseball when He’s in the stands.

Though, I’m still looking for Him. A white-bearded deity dressed in robe and halo with a voice like Charleton Heston. No luck.

But I do meet a family from Auburn. They came tonight because it’s the oldest boy’s birthday. He loves baseball.

He is seventeen, wearing camouflage cap and boots. He had spinal surgery last year. He will never play ball again, but he will never quit loving it.

“Maybe I’ll be a Major League scout one day,” he says. “Or a team trainer or something. I ain’t quitting baseball, ‘cause I ain’t a quitter.”

The night goes by fast. The Biscuits beat the opposing Jackson Generals until earwax pops out of their ears.

When the game finishes, I get my photograph made with the mascot named “Big Mo.” Then, I buy a thirty-dollar cap.

On the way out, I run into the old man with military patches. I ask how his hotdog was.

He answers, “It always tastes good when they win.”

I passed Miss Matty and her daughter. She told me: “Take care, sugar,” as though she’d known me my entire life.

And I saw that seventeen-year-old, waiting by the railing near the field. He was asking players for autographs. The boy walks with a stiff posture and erect neck.

He’s no quitter. That’s what he told me.

It was one of the nicest nights I’ve had in years. The beer was cold. The hotdog was good. The spirit of my late father sat beside me.

Admittedly, I didn’t see anything supernatural in section 105 like I expected. But I saw people. Kind people. Good people, with holy stories that would take your breath away.

So the rumors must be true.


  1. Jim Keith - September 10, 2018 5:50 am

    Sean, You obviously have a very limited knowledge of GOD and baseball. HE is present at every baseball game and always has been. HE loves that game almost as much I do.

  2. Debbie Montag Galladora - September 10, 2018 6:34 am

    Sean, my Daddy played baseball for the Atlanta Crackers in the 50’s. He was Atlanta’s first home run King. My Daddy was Bob Montag…

  3. Nancy Thomaston Rogers - September 10, 2018 9:46 am

    Ah yes Sugar, I do believe God was hanging out at that Biscuits game also.

  4. Butch Real - September 10, 2018 11:25 am

    Saw you in Verbena yesterday. Really enjoyed it. Always played Verbener as we called them in football about 50 years ago. Plan on seeing you again in Selma next month. Take care. Be safe see you soon. Butch

  5. Glenda Hulbert - September 10, 2018 12:25 pm

    Love this one!

  6. Carol - September 10, 2018 12:26 pm

    He’s always with you Sean,,you know that!
    Sometimes we forget and then he gives us a tap on the shoulder and reminds us , I’m here ,in the old mans face,the little boy , and the lady that knows your name “sweetie”! I enjoyed the game Sean ,it’s been a long long time sence I use to go watch my uncle play at the local park !
    I miss thoes day’s!
    Love ya!

  7. Rhonda Howell - September 10, 2018 12:42 pm

    There is something about baseball. Sitting in the stands is like being in the yard at a huge family gathering. My husband loves it. It lost a little for him after his Dad passed. Now he doesn’t have a buddy to mull it all over and replay all the good parts. I wish Montgomery wasn’t so far.

    We have team coming north. And they let some kid name them after a movie that won’t even be remembered in 2 years. I doubt I will make a shadow in the the gate. Its was a PR stunt with some of the stupidest choices I have ever seen. They disrespected them before they ever got here. Wish God had intervened…..

  8. Susan - September 10, 2018 12:50 pm

    Oh…. My…..Goodness, Sean. The major Awe Himself becomes such a sweet reality through your gift! Thank you, friend.

  9. Shirley Brown - September 10, 2018 12:59 pm

    And you can sit in the stadium picturing Hank Williams watching from the cemetery that sits somewhat above the city. Ghosts can be anywhere but I picture him as a baseball fan simply because he could make music from the sights and sounds all around him. Thanks for visiting Montgomery Sean. Your tales bring back memories because you strike the chords of love and family in your stories. Come back soon, ya hear!

  10. Richard C. - September 10, 2018 1:35 pm

    Great posting. Thanks. Please publish your photo with the mascot.

  11. Connie Havard Ryland - September 10, 2018 1:52 pm

    God lives in every day people. You just have to know how to see Him. I believe you do. God bless. Love and hugs.

  12. Jon Dragonfly - September 10, 2018 2:58 pm

    Just this morning, I got an email from a guy who went to my old high school. He described, in detail, a baseball game he played in 60 years ago! Amazing how deep into your soul baseball can burrow.

  13. Molly Pinkston - September 10, 2018 3:10 pm

    Sean, your words paint beautiful pictures!! May God bless your day, as you have mine!!

  14. Edna B. - September 10, 2018 3:21 pm

    Yup, He was there with at the baseball game with you Sean. This story brought back beautiful memories of all my hubby’s games that I went to. God bless you, hugs, Edna B.

  15. Jan Bruck - September 10, 2018 3:45 pm

    They are! Thank you for always reminding us.

  16. Bob Hubbard - September 10, 2018 4:11 pm

    Sean maybe tonight He was just sitting on the third base side. Sounds like Jackson needed some help…

    Bob Hubbar

  17. Shelton Armour - September 10, 2018 4:43 pm

    You’re no quitter just like that brave, tough 17 year old boy.

  18. Barbara Knight - September 10, 2018 5:39 pm

    Being a NYC native I grew up a Yankee fan. I’ll never forget the games I’ve enjoyed with my boys. We may live far apart but the memories are with us forever.

  19. MermaidGrammy - September 10, 2018 7:40 pm

    You saw Jesus in each of those people

  20. unkle Kenny - November 6, 2018 4:07 pm

    rumor has it that that ball field serves the best beer we make . uk


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