My brothers came to Memphis for a quick visit today, and with them they brought three of my cousins, Andrew, Easton, and Zeke, the third of which is going off to start school at Westpoint next month and I won’t be able to see him for a while, so I was glad they came. We met for lunch at Central Barbecue, one of my favorite places in town, and me and my brother Logan got the pulled pork sandwich, the rest of the group got the barbecue nachos, something that I myself, should have done. In all the times I’ve been to Central, I’ve either gotten the nachos or ribs and it has always been spectacular, but being who I am, in my ever infinite quest to find out if there is something better, I stray from the things that made me grow to love the restaurant in the first place, and more often than not, it’s a mistake. The sandwich I had wasn’t terrible by any means, but it just didn’t live up to the nachos or the ribs, and I’m fairly convinced that nothing ever will. We left Central and headed downtown to go watch the Redbirds, who is the Triple A minor league affiliate of the St. Louis Cardinals, play a game this afternoon.
We left my car at the Bass Pro Pyramid, and I rode with the rest of the family to the game, figuring taking one car would be a wise choice so we’d only have to pay for parking one car. I’m very aware that given the right effort and determination, one can generally find a free parking spot downtown, especially on a Sunday afternoon, but for all the things I do well, I’m not at all savvy when it comes to finding a parking spot, always paranoid that I’m going to return a few hours later to find that my car had been towed and I would have to pay an outrageous fee that I would struggle to afford, so I opt to pay a few dollars up front for a secured parking space, with some assurance of my car being there when I return for it. We spent a good ten minutes trying to usher my mom’s bulbous car, that my brother had borrowed for the extra seats, into the tight fitting space of the parking garage. I stood in front offering little help but to hold up my hand when he was about to hit either the concrete side of the garage or the blue sports car on the other side. When he eventually put the car in park and turned off the ignition, it was quickly apparent that he would not be able to exit the car in a normal fashion, through the drivers side door, but rather had to climb out of the trunk like a raccoon out of a dumpster, and it was pretty funny to watch.
We bought our tickets, which were really good seats, right behind home plate, my brother’s reasoning being that he wanted to be able to tell if the pitches were balls or strikes, like there weren’t professional umpires calling out that information after every pitch anyway. The seats were good, but the stadium had more empty seats than not, and we realized that we could have bought the cheapest tickets and sit anywhere that we pleased. Live and learn. The ballpark was beautiful, as was the day, albeit a little bit hot, the temperature topping off at a swelteringly ninety-one degrees, but for most of the game we were in the shade of the stadium and a gentle breeze occasionally came through the stadium, refreshing us all over again. It was a fun and action packed game with quite a few runs scored, and we even got to see one of the Cardinals players, Randal Grichuk, who had been sent down to work on his swing, play, so that was pretty cool. Overall it was a really fun day spent with family, and I’m absolutely convinced that there’s no better way to spend a summer Sunday afternoon than at the ballpark.