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Oooo, That Smell, Can You Smell that Smell?

By Tater Barley Banks | Comment Diversions | October 16, 2010 |

By Tater Barley Banks | Comment Diversions | October 16, 2010 |

Some of you may know that I root for a terrible baseball team, a team that hasn’t had a winning season since 1992 and finished this year with the worst record in the major leagues (on the bright side: No. 1 draft pick!).

None of that has anything to do with the enjoyment I derive in going to the ballpark to watch this team. It’s a relatively small park with nice sightlines and a lovely view of the city skyline. If you’re going to watch bad baseball, there’s probably not a better place.

(An aside: The team certainly wasn’t bad FOR ME. I had one of those serendipitous seasons fans are blessed with occasionally where every one of the four games I went to was a resounding victory for the home team, and amazingly I’m on a personal six-game win streak — suck it, Yankees. Fortunately, I had to go to a funeral on a day I was supposed to attend a 2-0 loss. Good timing.)

For a few years now, my friend Paul and I have been making a point of attending the home opener and the home closer, the latter also known as Fan Depress … um, Appreciation Day. The fact this team still has any fans should give one an appreciation for the spirit (if not the stupidity) of the sports fan.

Which is how I came to be in the stands on a perfect early autumn day a couple weeks ago when my heroes issued another drubbing to a foe rendered suddenly hapless by my mere presence, after which the players distributed their game jerseys to fans who had had their seat numbers drawn, and then threw their caps into the stands. All in all, it was a nice way to go out.

But this isn’t really about baseball, or even sports. That was just the setup.

This is about smells.

I was sitting there in the last innings, breathing deeply and reminding myself this was the last ballpark air I’d be breathing for six months, and I was enjoying the ballpark smell, smell of grass and beer and hot dogs and, from some wonderful place nearby, cinnamon-roasted nuts.

I love the smell of a ballpark. There’s only one smell I like better: amusement park. There’s nothing that can compare to the mix of roller coaster grease, french fry grease, cotton candy, and girls in sunscreen.

That’s my favorite. It smells exactly like summer.

What’s yours?

(And because I know someone’s going to bring it up, I’d just like to be the first: I am reminded here of a line a guy I used to know would espouse on occasion: Only two things in the world smell like fish, and fish is one.)

To suggest a diversion idea or leave Tater a fan letter, you can reach him by email.

Dustin is the founder and co-owner of Pajiba. You may email him here, follow him on Twitter, or listen to his weekly TV podcast, Podjiba.

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