Friday, June 02, 2006

Seventh-Inning Stretch (and Mass Baptism)

Just about a year ago, my friend Jon and I were at a minor-league baseball game in Hagerstown, Maryland. It's a pretty-but-strange little colonial town, with a charming, down-at-the-heels baseball "stadium." Early on, we learned that it was Faith Night at the park, or, as we renamed it, "Get Out Before They Find Out Jon's a Jew Night." The faithful flourishes included Bible-based trivia questions between innings. (One other flourish, presumably not part of the faith package, was a kissing contest during which three couples mauled each other along the first-base line in an attempt to draw the loudest response from the crowd. The American spirit: It contains multitudes.)

The New York Times
has this piece about the increasing number of similar promotional nights around the country. The photo accompanying the article is of two people dressed as vegetables throwing out a first pitch. Turns out they're from VeggieTales, an animated group of talking vegetables who apparently espouse Judeo-Christian values "in a manner more closely resembling John Cleese than John Bunyan." (L.A. Times.) I found descriptions of the veggie characters, including one "Frankencelery," online. I think this will be more rewarding if you're high, but here goes:
Frankencelery is really just an actor named Phil Winklestein from Toledo. Junior saw him in the scary movie, "Frankencelery." Junior was afraid, but Phil introduced himself, and he and Bob and Larry helped Junior to learn that God is bigger than any "boogie man." Phil also has done several parts as extras. He also performed a quartet with the Scallions in the Silly Song "The Yodeling Veterinarian of the Alps."
Sounds like more fun than Sunday school, anyway.

The Times piece also revealed that one minor league indoor football team (minor league indoor football fever -- catch it!) gave away bobblehead dolls of Moses before a recent game. Needless to say, I had to find out what one of those might look like. Thank you, Internet:

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