Ah there is nothing better than a baseball game played in the outdoors. There is just something special about sitting in the stands and gazing up to watch the stars appear in the heavens while the game unfolds on the field.
Unfortunately that doesn’t occur often enough during the sweltering summer months in Phoenix. But by the end of the season there are a few days when the temperatures are low enough for the roof to be opened at Chase Field.
Such was the case tonight. As the racing Legends made their way back to the playing field prior to first pitch, the melodic sounds of the roof opening music filled the stadium.
It was somewhat surprising to see the roof being opened given the rain received the night before and the near complete cloud cover. As the roof slid, it displayed the twilight sky above Phoenix and there was another element present.
What had seemed like a slight breeze on the plaza in front of Chase Field was in fact rather brisk. From almost the moment the roof opened the winds began to swirl around the stadium.
For the first time in the history of the Legends races the elements may have an impact on the race results. As the fifth inning arrived the winds continued to gust blowing debris from the left field bleachers across he playing field.
The Legends were lined up in the tunnel behind the Rockies bullpen somewhat protected from the wind. As the race began they emerged and faced each other and the elements.
Mark Grace had a rather startled look on his polyester face as the gusts of wind pelted his large foam head. Luis Gonzalez and Matt Williams likewise seemed to struggle with the wind.
Randy Johnson saw this as an advantage. As the largest of the Legends he also has the biggest polyester footprint. Rather than fight against it, he used the wind to his advantage.
Positioning himself in such a way as to use his polyester mullet as a sail. The flowing locks of brown foam fluttered like the sail of a racing yacht. With the wind to his back Johnson flew around the course at breakneck speed (quite literally since his head nearly came off).
The other racers stood no chance. Poor Grace could not keep up in these conditions. Clearly this race would have to have an asterisk next to it. Any winning times would have to include the explanation that they were wind aided.
Maybe Grace needs a costume change before the next windy race. I have two words for Grace, “ear sails”. I think that says enough.