Hot Rods Cool Off
Dark clouds threatened the baseball game on June 11 between the Bowling Green Hot Rods and the Lexington Legends as right-handed starter Nick Barnese threw the first pitch at 7:05.
Eleven minutes and a half inning later, with Lexington holding a 1-0 lead, the threat turned into reality.
The rain and flooding that occurred in the next two hours at Bowling Green Ballpark forced players to the locker rooms and fans to congregate under the stadium’s overhang.
On a dry field, the park’s drainage system may have handled the almost three inches that fell. But the grounds crew had been dealing with downpours throughout the day. After two hours of heavy rain, the dugouts were full of water, and water covered the entire field.
After an hour’s delay, the game was canceled, but few fans left because of the intensity of the rain, wind and lightning. The area was also under a tornado watch, according to the Hot Rods management, even though Western Kentucky University had sent a text message through cell phones, telling people to take cover because of a tornado warning.
The game was rescheduled for the next night as part of a doubleheader.
Although they didn’t get to watch much of a baseball game, many members of the crowd appeared to enjoy themselves. Fans laughed, talked, and danced, and some enjoyed the Thirsty Thursday promotion.
To keep guests entertained, the Hot Rods played music over the stadium sound system. Hot Rods employee Laura Turner yelled out, “Let’s get this party started,” and began dancing with individuals. Scenes from the movie “Cars” played over the scoreboard as well.
Some other employees however, provided the evening’s main entertainment. After the huge rush to get the tarp on the field and to put everything away, they turned the park into a gigantic slip ‘n’ slide.
The crowd applauded as a few workers ran a mock game of baseball, pretending to hit a ball, run to first, and then slide on water-covered plastic tarp. They continued to do this until they slid across home plate.
Before the flood, in the first inning Legends outfielder Eric Suttle reached base on an error, stole second and then eventually scored on a double to give the Legends a 1-0 lead. Before the bottom half of the first inning started, the umpires called for a delay and the tarp. That was it for baseball that night– and the party began.
The next evening, the Hot Rods came back from the deficit to win the game, 4-2.
Michael Danahy/St. Henry District High School