The Labor Day holiday is always somewhat confusing for me to understand. I am never quite sure whether the holiday is to recognize and commemorate the accomplishments of organized labor or if it is an homage to the amount of pain and suffering our mothers went through during childbirth.
Given the lecture I frequently received growing up whenever I disappointed my mother I would lean towards believing Labor Day was celebrated for the latter reason rather than the former. After today’s Arizona Diamondbacks game I have to wonder if this holiday has another reason for being.
Today was a holiday and many people had the day off making this the culmination of a three-day weekend. As a result the game time moved from the standard 6:40 PM start time to an earlier 1:10 PM.
The plaza in front of Chase Field was unusually busy and the crowd seemed larger than we’ve become accustomed to seeing. This had a further effect of seeing larger crowds on the concourse before the game trying to get close to the Diamondbacks Legends characters during their pre-game meet-and-greet.
The characters did their best to accommodate all the fans and comments I heard were for the most part positive. By the time the game finally was ready to begin, the fans were already eager to see the Legends race.
At the conclusion of the fifth inning the Legends were in the San Francisco Giants bullpen lunging for the gates as the race begun. All four racers jockeyed for position. There were more arms and legs flying than at a fire drill in a mannequin factory.
Matt Williams and Randy Johnson were in the lead followed by Luis Gonzalez and Mark Grace. Poor Grace found himself boxed in between the other three racers unable to find daylight.
Grace would move to the left then move to the right. At each direction he found a body in his way making it impossible for him to move or better his position. Grace was becoming extremely frustrated as he labored along the race path.
As the racers came around home plate and crossed the finish line Grace found himself in last place once again. Clearly Grace labored every step of the way.
So next time someone asks why we celebrate Labor Day you can unequivocally say we are celebrating the struggles of Mark Grace and his losing streak in the Diamondbacks Legends races.