Arizona is an interesting place especially during the summer. There is something abnormal about humans living in a place where the temperatures are in the high 110’s for days at a time.
You quickly learn to adapt otherwise you will have serious problems. Take for example Christmas decorations. When we first moved to Arizona we stored our decorations in the garage. As the holiday season arrived we pulled the decorations out to find the candles had melted and now resembled some disembodied zombie rather than a wise man.
The heat does some seriously weird damage to things. When the temperatures reach record levels, stuff starts to break. At 110 degrees your car resembles a convection oven. At 121 degrees your tennis shoes will melt on an airplane runway.
But what is strange is what happens when the temperatures start to go down. As air warms, it expands and as it cools it contracts. This is elementary science and I never dreamed it would come into play in a Diamondbacks Legends race.
The Phoenix area has been having unseasonably warm weather as of late breaking records nearly every day. Tonight though the weather took a turn to the cooler side. As a storm moved in the temperatures dropped dramatically.
I didn’t think much about the lower temperatures other than commenting how much nicer it felt walking the plaza at Chase Field before the game.
When the fifth inning was completed I eagerly looked on as the Diamondbacks public address announcer signaled the beginning of the Legends race. The four racers burst from the Rockies bullpen making their way towards home plate.
Luis Gonzalez and Matt Williams were battling for the lead followed by Randy Johnson and Mark Grace. Something seemed rather amiss in tonight’s race. At first I could not put my finger on what the difference was and then it hit me!
Mark Grace was shrinking! During earlier races Gonzalez, Williams, and Grace were all about the same size with Johnson much taller. Tonight though Grace was almost a foot shorter than the other racers.
For every stride the other racers took, Grace had to take two strides. It was almost like watching a balloon when you let go of the end after blowing it up. But instead of Grace flying around the field emitting gas from the tail end, this Grace was just getting smaller and smaller.
By the end of the race Grace was out of air and well behind the eventual winner. For the 40th time this season, Grace came out on the short end of the race this time quite literally.