Baseball and Monkeys

Tonight I went to a State College Spikes game with a couple of friends. Before going to the game I knew it was a bark in the park night, also known as bring your dog to the park. When I checked the Spikes’ website this afternoon to confirm the game time I noticed something that filled me with joy; the game would feature a . . . wait for it . . . MONKEY RODEO!!!

The game featured two starting pitchers named Trent. The Aberdeen Ironbirds also had three players in their line up with the letter y in their first name substituting for a more familiar vowel (Glynn, Mychal, Wynston).

Both leadoff hitters hit doubles to right center field and ended up scoring.

The game went to extra innings, with the Spikes winning in the 10th. Three times during the game in the between inning warm-ups a herd of goats was released in the outfield and two monkeys riding dogs wrangled them back off the field. The monkeys were wearing fringed jackets, chaps, and little cowboy hats.

Had I known earlier that this would be happening I certainly would have brought my SLR camera to document the monkeys. Unfortunately I only had my camera phone, and the monkeys were far from where I was sitting, so the pictures are not good at all.

Monkeys herding goats, oh my!

After the game ended the monkeys returned for another goat herding exhibition. This time they moved the goats into a small pen that had been set up on the infield. Afterwards the trainer talked about his dream of owning monkeys (ever since he was 10 years old). He said he trains monkeys, and they ride, for the love of the game. He showed that the monkeys were actually riding the dogs, they were not tied to the saddles or prevented from moving freely. I really wish they had allowed photos with the monkeys, because I certainly would have had my picture taken with a monkey wearing a fringed jacket, chaps, and a cowboy hat.

The post-game show was even more impressive.

I really hope I get to see another monkey rodeo in my lifetime.

One last closing note. There was a faux baseball expert sitting behind me. He was “educating” his friends, who were not baseball fans, about how the minor league baseball system worked. He was very, very wrong. Glaringly wrong. It hurt to listen to him spout nonsense. I really wanted to turn around and set the record straight. I don’t mind people who do not understand baseball or its workings, but if that is the case please do not claim that you do. Thank you.

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