Pitchers & Catchers

Why no Gay Day at Busch Stadium? Whod win an indoor football game between teams QBed by Neil Young and Alanis Morissette? Unreal asks the tough questions.

All around the nation this weekend, tanned, muscled men will don form-fitting outfits, play with balls and then shower together.

In Denver, groups of gays and lesbians will watch them do it as they take part in Pride Night at Coors Field, home of the Colorado Rockies. In all this year, nine teams — from the Toronto Blue Jays to the Boston Red Sox — will host "baseball gay days," as Cyd Zeigler Jr., cofounder of Outsports.com, calls them.

"No one really knows when the first one happened," says Zeigler, who describes his Web site as "ESPN for homos." "But the summer of 2001 is when it took off. The Chicago Cubs was the first widely publicized one, and that summer the Braves and the Twins also had them."

Dan Zettwoch

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Zeigler coordinated the Mets' gay day at Shea Stadium in 2004 and last year threw out the first pitch at the one held at the Phillies' Citizens Bank Park. (The Philadelphia Gay Men's Chorus sang the national anthem.) He says attendance ranges from a few hundred to more than 1,000, and that some organizations — including the Toronto Blue Jays — have hired promoters to run the events themselves. (See gaybaseballdays .com for more information.) Even the Texas Rangers have hosted a Gay Day.

Not the Cardinals, though.

Joe Strohm, the club's vice president of ticket sales, says that's because no one has ever approached the team about the idea.

"We'd be very open to having a new group at the ballpark," says Strohm. "We would treat any group the same as any other group that comes."

Right down to the Kiss Cam?

"That is, actually, an interesting question. That one would be beyond me — I don't control that particular one."

Stoner Diaries
Historians in Illinois recently discovered property records indicating that a young Abraham Lincoln was a landowner early in his life, putting the kibosh on the accepted theory that he'd slacked through his twenties and only later blossomed into a statesman.

"He's not living this bohemian life where it's kind of carefree, no property, no worries, where he can sit under the trees and read," Illinois state historian Tom Schwartz told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

Is that so? Unreal owned property in our twenties — and did bong hits on the way to cash the rent checks. Having resolved to do our own sleuthing, we unearthed in a mid-Illinois desk drawer a hitherto-undiscovered scrap from the diaries of a 24-year-old Abe Lincoln.

October 12, 1833: Every blade of grass is a study; to produce two where there was but one is both a profit and a pleasure. I am so high. This concept of "land-owning" is a fine deal. I have purchased a large cabin at a fair price and now live in one half and rent the other to a husky young fellow named Theodore. His rent pays the debt on the cabin, and each month I receive a stipend, as well. I am free! Theodore is nice, though a little uptight.

November 15, 1833: I have a new adversary, and, alas, he is my tenant. I will be entirely frank: I rather think that Theodore is a pain in the rear. He nags me, and it is constant. Scythe the grass. Mend the roof. Relocate the commode? Pshaw! That is a foul endeavor, and I most certainly will not. Winter approaches. Theodore keeps reminding me of this as he points at the broken window. Bitch bitch bitch. The wind howls through the prairies and hits our faces when we sleep — oh for the day when someone invents duct tape! Perhaps I shall grow a beard.

February 13, 1834: Huzzah! The night of my 25th birthday was a rollicking good time. I would say that perhaps we even woke the dead. We most surely woke Theodore, who had little patience for our 4 a.m. arrival, or for the tunes coming out of the "guitar" which my dear friend Franklin plucked mightily. Cease my midnight oratories!? How dare he? I am the gentleman of property here. This is the cabin of Abe, by Abe, for Abe, and Abe shall orate whenever, however! Last night we filled our glasses with sour mash from Kentucky. This morning we filled the commode with vomit. For my birthday I got a stovepipe hat. It is fucking awesome.

July 4, 1834: The Fourth of July has not quite dwindled away; it is still a great day — for burning fire-crackers!!! I plainly see now that I cannot hide my contempt for this — dare I say? — buzz-killer. While we celebrate the Union, Theodore frets about scorching the crops. After we party, I intend to sit under the trees and read.

All the Rage
Danny Massier is a single, 43-year-old Saskatchewan steel mill clerk who spends his six weeks of paid vacation every year traveling to U.S. indoor football games with his 65-year-old mother. Massier's life dream was recently fulfilled when he won an eBay auction entitling him to suit up with the RiverCity Rage for a June 23 game at the Savvis Center against the Tennessee Riversharks. His $1,326 winning bid went to our local United Way chapter.

Unreal: Wow. So, how is indoor football different from arena football, NFL football and football played with a folded-up piece of notebook paper — all of which are often played indoors?

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