The 2009 Humboldt Crabs showcased a lot of pep and potential in their opening day victory against the Fairfield Indians. The Crabs are a summer ball league, made up of promising university students who commit to play baseball and represent this community. The Crabs had active bats and hustle on the offensive side. It is clear that they have enormous attack potential, ending two innings with the bases loaded.
The Fairfield Indians, the traditional season-opening challengers, threatened to douse the enthusiasm of the crowd when they took the lead in the early innings. The Indians made some dramatic defensive plays and the hit some long balls, but the relentless bats of the Crabs eventually won the contest 4-2.
With a roster larger than either team, the Crabgrass Band is perhaps best described at this point as an orchestra. This season they exhibit a wide array of instruments and they sound majestic, whether busting loose during the seventh inning stretch or blitzing their way through classic rock.
The crowd at Crab stadium was sun-dappled, smiling, somewhat drunk and very excited for local baseball to kick up. The people who attend the games regularly have evolved to reside in areas most comfortable to their needs. From the ribald hecklers next to the beer stand, to the families who lounge on blankets past the third-base line -- the stadium bustles with activity.
Fans cheering, shouting at family and friends who parade behind the backstop. Snack runs and commentary on every play. Bustling, shouting, nudging -- in a giant crowd alive and electric together. The ritual of summer baseball is important to many of us. An equal number have become saddened by the oft-corrupt expensive digital pageantry of Major League Baseball.
Community baseball ... the Crabs, the Steelheads, local high school teams, and University games provide a chance to be a part of sport at its most real and sincere. Sitting on the bleachers we witness hope and tragedy on a scale that doesn't overwhelm us. Those who shared the bleachers at Crab stadium today, who spontaneously, and simultaneously, leapt to our feet when a Crab smashed a homerun to the Arcata Police station -- we experienced a perfect moment of hope fulfilled. The Crabs play all summer long and every game is an opportunity, experience it for yourself in the bleachers.