When Swankette, me, and our geographer friends stopped to see the Charlotte Knights play ball in 2006 (the stadium is across the state line in South Carolina), the night ended memorably. The game, alas, didn’t end. In the tenth inning, with the score tied at 3, a huge storm started. With lightning still far away and men on base for the home team, the umpires let them play in the awful rain for fairly long—five minutes or more—hoping to end the game with a run in the bottom of the inning. But when the Knights’ Casey Rogowski grounded into a double play, they immediately dragged out the tarp and everyone—including us—ran for the parking lot. (They completed the game the next day without us. And, by the way, I didn’t remember Rogowski’s name or the fact it was a double play. I had to dig out the scorebook for that detail.)
After our mad sprint to the car through sheets of rain and with thunder getting ever louder, we sat in the traffic leaving the ballpark to begin the scary drive to our hotel in Hickory, NC. And while we all sat in the car, the Knights decided to set off the scheduled postgame fireworks even though the game technically hadn’t ended. Thus, we were treated to quite a lovely visual: the stadium lights in the foreground, the fireworks behind them, and a lightning storm well behind them. Efforts to capture the dramatic visual in a photo were fruitless, but I remember that combination of natural and man-made fireworks. It was intensely beautiful.