The one question I get asked more than any other when talking about the 2011 Major League Baseball All-Star game in Phoenix Arizona is, “Will the Racing Legends be running during the games?” To be honest, I had no idea.
But as I sat in the stands during All-Star Sunday’s Sirius/XM Radio Futures game I heard the familiar sounds of the trumpeter calling out the Diamondbacks Legends racers to take their marks. I immediately jumped to attention and strained my eyes looking towards the World bullpen area.
There stretching were Matt Williams, Randy Johnson, Luis Gonzalez, and of course fan-favorite Mark Grace. People sitting around me had very confused looks on their face wondering why the crowd was cheering at the end of an inning.
I quickly tried to explain what was about to happen. How can you possibly describe a year’s worth of futile attempts by Racing Gracie to finally win a race? I was having a difficult time explaining the event and the lack of success Grace had had. When I mentioned Grace’s name, the curse of the billy goat, and the Chicago Cubs light bulbs immediately came on and people realized what was happening.
The racing Legends emerged from the bullpen led by Matt Williams. Standing part way down the foul line was Diamondbacks mascot D. Baxter riding a chicken. No really, you can’t make this stuff up. Baxter was holding what looked like a pole with pads on it and as the Legends approached the chicken attacked with Baxter wildly swinging his pole.
He happened to connect with the racers and in particular Racing Gracie who staggered left and right several steps but able to keep his balance. The affects of being pummeled by a bobcat riding a chicken took their toll.
All of the racers slowed down to a snails pace as they tried to grasp what had just happened. Unfortunately Gracie was not as quick to understand and Matt Williams finished the race for the win continuing Gracie’s losing streak.
I’m still not sure whether Spring Training or special games count towards the loss total so I hesitate to add one to the loss column but I did want to make sure everyone was aware that the Racing Legends are alive and well during All-Star week and Racing Gracie continues to struggle despite being chosen to participate in the All-Star festivities.