I Continue Correspondence With Kyle

Dear Kyle Day {General Manager; Spokane Indians]:

Truth be told, the final game of the last road trip of the 2021 season was a bit anti-climatic. Sure Las Vegas Stadium might be the most aesthetically pleasing park in the minor leagues, but it is still part of the Taxi Squad League, and Triple A Baseball just ain’t got no soul. Yes, nothing could really compare to the three wondrous nights in Spokane at Avista Stadium with your incredible staff, but let’s just say the intensity at the Vegas ballpark was a bit lacking. In fact, the most excitement happened the next day when I went back to the stadium to take some pictures since my phone died the night before. 

When my son and I arrived at the ballpark at two in the afternoon, we immediately noticed an open gate, so we approached thinking we could get to the concourse to get some pictures, but the three teenaged security guards assigned to the gate five hours before game adamantly refused to let us in. When I turned on my diplomacy skills that have enabled me to be one of MiLB’s greatest ambassadors, they became outright hostile.

I was not about to be denied, so we searched for other open gates. We found two other open gates, and five other security guards, which made me think the Las Vegas Aviators must be doing very well this season if they can afford to pay seven security guards to man the gates five hours before game time when they could have just locked the gate. At the back of the stadium, we found another open gate, and this one had no security blocking the way, so in we went.

At this point, I need to preface that my son, Little Bads, was first chased by stadium at the tender age of two at San Manuel Stadium, home of the Inland Empire 66ers.. It was a late season Saturday night game, and we were sitting a couple of rows behind the 66er’s bullpen. We didn’t have season tickets yet; that would come a few years later. The weather was wild that night; monsoon season was upon The Dino. The wind was howling, and the Devil was in the air as storm clouds blanketed the mountains on the horizon. Like many Saturday nights at San Manuel Stadium, the stands were filled with a drinking crowd.

Throughout the game, Little Bads and his older sister pleaded for the 66ers’ pitchers to toss them a ball. The pitchers did not oblige because California League rules explicitly prohibited that. Because my kids were so damn cute and charismatic, complete strangers in our section we getting in on the act. By time the game was drawing to a close, much of the stadium was paying more attention to what was going on by the bullpen rather than the game.

The game eventually ended with a 66ers’ win and no ball being handed out, but the most of the crowd stuck around because there was a promotion in which a diamond rind had been buried in the infield, and 3000+ women had been handed little shovels to dig up the infield to find the ring. The women we lined up on the left field concourse behind us, Mrs. Bads and I were packing up the kids stuff (well, I was finishing my beer) when we heard an enormous cheer.

We looked up, and Little Bads had snuck into the bullpen, and had taken a ball out of the bullpen bag. When my son heard the roar of the crowd, his expression was priceless. He knew he was busted, and THE MAN would be coming for him shortly. He chose flight, and darted towards second base. By this time my wife and I were both alarmed and embarrassed as security made his way towards him. As the circle tightened, Little Bads tucked a shoulder and tried to run through an enormous security guard. After the collision, the security guard scooped him up, and brought him to us.

After some chagrined apologies and thank yous, we left the stadium. The ball was nowhere to be seen, and we figured security had just confiscated it. When we arrived at the the car, Little Bads, who wasn’t really talking yet, reached into his pants, pulled out an official California League baseball, and shouted triumphantly, “Ball, Daddy, Ball!” I knew then I was raising an outlaw.

Well, that outlaw was by my side when we entered Las Vegas Stadium without the expressed written consent of Major League Baseball. We were almost immediately noticed, but we were in, and no one seemed to have stun guns, so we moved forward. When we were finally apprehended, I told them my name was Chris Duff, and I was the president to the Spokane Indians and would appreciate some professional courtesy. 

I did not really say that because I was incapable of thinking that fast on my feet after three days of hard drinking with Allan Benavides [General Manager; Eugene Emeralds]’s band of merry men (except for that one loud guy). My son offered some kind of weak story about needing some pictures for an economics project, and security relaxed.

Like I said, things in Vegas just did not live up to Spokane. I hear there are pictures circulating of me working in your compost corner, with double gloves and all. If you run across them, I would appreciate if you could send them my wife because my wife really does not believe I worked the line with the Spokane Indians.

Your friend in baseball,


Leave a comment

Filed under Uncategorized

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s