Our first game was scheduled for 7:30 p.m. and set to be played at our home stadium in Rincon. Although Gilbert nor I were slated to pitch, we both dressed for the game and joined the team in the dugout. The first pitcher for our team, The Turistas, was a player formerly in the Astros farm system. He was drafted after college and pitched in the minors for a short period of time before being released for violating team rules. He came out throwing in the low-90s and shut the other team down.
Witnessing my first game was a memorable experience that I doubt I will forget. Being surrounded by professional players and coaches was largely contrasting from our previous experience of playing in a collegiate atmosphere. It was obvious that each one of our teammates had their own routine and rituals that they performed pregame and during the game to prepare themselves. The level of relaxation and focus was also apparent, as everyone seemed loose and ready to play in their first game.
Since Rincon’s stadium is quite large and basically equivalent to most minor league stadiums in the states, I didn’t know what to expect from the attendance. Although the stands were not close to being filled, the crowd turnout was much more than I anticipated. It was exciting to see how interested the fans were in watching us play. Even though the locals had no idea who we were, they were still excited to watch some baseball at their home stadium.