Sometimes it rains

Rain out at Delta Dental Stadium. Photo/Nate Mapplethorpe

MANCHESTER, NH – At the end of Ron Shelton’s 1988 baseball movie classic “Bull Durham,” pitcher Ebby Calvin “Nuke” Laloosh—the organization’s top prospect, a vacuous kid equally propelled by a thunderbolt right arm and his crotch—is called up to big leagues and being interviewed by a reporter.

Played by a young Tim Robbins, LaLoosh delivers a tidbit of baseball/life advice that he cribbed from his catcher and manager in the minor leagues. He says, “A good friend of mine used to say, ‘This is a very simple game. You throw the ball, you catch the ball. You hit the ball. Sometimes you win, sometimes you lose. Sometimes it rains. Think about that for awhile.’” 

The New Hampshire Fisher Cats were leading the Portland Sea Dogs 1-0—while the Sea Dog’s big brother, the Boston Red Sox were staging an improbable comeback victory over the Evil Empire in the Bronx—with two outs in the bottom of the first inning on Friday night when it started to rain.

Then it really started to pour as the packed crowd at Delta Dental Stadium made a mass exodus to the concourses in Game 2 of the Independence Day weekend series chock-full of promotions and fireworks and, of course, good baseball. 

Most of the spectators fled to the concourse for cover from the rain. Photo/Nate Mapplethorpe

The forecast for the rest of the evening looked ominous, and the game was canceled after roughly an hour delay. Fans will be able to redeem their tickets for another home game this season.

Still, despite the soggy letdown, taking in a game with New Hampshire’s only minor league organization remains one of the best ways to wile away the summer days for fans of all ages.

Andrew Marais, the affable on-field emcee and a senior manager of marketing and promotions, said the organization—while obviously geared toward honing the future talent for the Toronto Blue Jays— is also fan-focused in Manchester. 

“Whether you’re here for baseball, fireworks, a ballpark hotdog or just hanging out with friends, we just want [fans] to have a good time,” said Marais. “We’re community first.”

And Fisher Cat fans, indeed, come to the ballpark for myriad reasons. Lisa Tessier of Barrington attended Friday’s game with her husband and two grown sons. 

“It’s been great to come here for all these years with my family,” said Tessier, an elementary school teacher. “It’s especially nice to come here now with my sons and remember the times when we used to take them here as little kids. It brings back memories.” 

For many fans, attending a Fisher Cats game is about far more than nine innings and a box score. 

Attempts to protect the field from the rain was futile – after an hour the game was called. Photo/Nate Mapplethorpe

“We welcome everyone,” said Marais. “We want everyone to leave here wanting to come back.” 

So sometimes it rains—and maybe I’m being metaphorical here—but in each of those storm clouds there still lays a silver lining.

While leaving the stadium, this correspondent happened to spot Boston Globe columnist Dan Shaughnessy, who is a large reason you’re reading this right now. I stopped, shook his hand and thanked him. 

Sometimes it rains. But one of the great things about baseball is there are always a lot more games to watch.