With the annual big fireworks show slated for Wednesday night, it’s time to dive into my blog archive to remember stories of past Independence Day celebrations of the past.
But first, the public service announcement that as of Tuesday night there were very few seats remaining for the July 3 game against San Jose. The Nuts do have a sizable number of standing room admissions they will sell, but if you want a reserved seat it would behoove you to visit modestonuts.com or call (209) 572-4487 right now.
There is another way to watch the fireworks, and every year thousands of people converge on Modesto Municipal Golf Course as dusk approached to stake out the prime spots to watch the post-game fireworks. A hint: check out the seventh fairway.
My favorite big fireworks night story is from 2010, when the Nuts and Bakersfield played 13 innings and more than 4 ½ hours before the game ended and the first mortar was fired.
There were 5,351 people in the ballpark that night - at the time the second-largest crowd ever to watch a baseball game in Modesto. And as the game dragged on, people camping out on the golf course were not only getting antsy for fireworks, but getting squirrely because of the lack of creature comforts on the links.
With my newspaper deadline long since past, I managed to get out of the ballpark before the fireworks began. As I left through the main gate, a woman was complaining to a member of the Nuts front-office staff. Her claim was that since no one placed portable toilets on the golf course for the use of the thousands of folks who choose to watch the fireworks outside the park, she should be allowed to enter the ballpark free to use the restrooms.
While I really felt for the woman and her bladder, there’s no way the Nuts can let people in if they don’t buy a ticket. Try talking your way into a movie theater in a similar situation, and the Nuts called-in every available staff member to attend to the needs of the 5,351 patrons who paid their way into Thurman Field.
There’s no scenario in which the Nuts’ management should have to attend to the needs of the golf course squatters who choose to enjoy the fireworks without buying a ticket.
Bottom line is that if you want a seat and access to facilities for Wednesday's game, buy a ticket. If those things don’t matter, find an open patch of fairway and take your chances.