Shortly before this writing Texas beat LSU in game two of the 2009 College World Series finals, settling the best of three series score at 1-1. Tomorrow night one of these teams will celebrate their title as champions by engaging in the age old tradition of the dogpile. No matter the outcome, College World Series fans will be treated to one more incredible experience that can be delivered at no place like Omaha’s Rosenblatt Stadium. A year from now, one team will have won the right to exercise the final dogpile at Rosenblatt.
A week ago, I arose at 5:15 am to join the throngs of fans who have learned the only way to get a reserved seat during the College World Series is to get there early or to pay a premium. I did it to make sure my kids got to experience Rosenblatt’s signature event. We spent the entire week at Grandma’s house (three short blocks west of home plate) immersing ourselves in every aspect of the CWS experience. Standing in lines, tailgating, Fan Fest, vendor tents, day games, night games, extra innings, box seats, obstructed seats, rain delays, intense heat, curly fries – we did it all. Only time will tell whether or not the kids appreciated or not, but I will savor every moment forever.
Now a resident of Colorado, I grew up in South Omaha about a mile west of Rosenblatt and have attended dozens of ballgames, concerts, tractor pulls, etc. at the stadium. Like so many others who have fallen in love with Rosenblatt over the years, I know that the end of the Rosenblatt era is going to come all too soon. I know I’m not the only one who is still in disbelief that politics and money will reduce this relic of a stadium to dust a couple years from now.
For college baseball players and their fans, Omaha will still be the goal for years to come. But for me, the College World Series just won’t have the allure once the Blatt is gone.