Extra special thanks to Ash‘s mom K. for our tickets; which were great seats and we had a lovely time at the game, although I got a bit sunburnt on one shoulder. South Carolina has a beautiful stadium, SEC baseball is good times, and it was lovely to see ex-UNC second-in-command Chad Holbrook in the third base coach’s box (I don’t want to trade any of our current coaches, but oh, I miss Chad), but I said this to A. and I’m not afraid to say this on the internet: the South Carolina fans were kind of awful. Maybe UNC fans are just too polite? But there’s heckling, and there’s being gratuitously cruel to 19 year old amateur athletes at top volume, and some of the fans we were sitting with were the latter. It was sort of cringey to listen to.
It’s almost Opening Day (it’s Opening Night? Doesn’t have the same ring) and I’ve seen 16 baseball games that count already. And people wonder why I care about college baseball.
(Lots of reasons, starting with “Because Carolina, because Mike Fox, because Colin Bates and because years of heartbreak, and if you need to know more than that you won’t get it”, and ending with “Because we got to watch Dustin Ackley play, and loved him fiercely, for two and a half years before anyone else cared who he was”. But partly, it’s also true, because it affords me more baseball live before MLB Opening Day than most people in MLB cities see live in a year. We still have at least 10 home games in the Carolina season, and then the minor league seasons have gotten into full swing. 50 games this year? Easy.)