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…