Gem City Bisons v Casper Horseheads, Thursday 16th June 2022, 6.10pm

The reason that Jen and I were travelling west was to attend a family celebration in Colorado and after the stay at Platte River State Park in Nebraska, the next destination on our route was Laramie in Wyoming. I’d picked it partly because I’d heard of it and assumed it must have some wild west connections and partly because there was an opportunity to take in another ball game.

The five-hundred-and-twenty-mile drive was brightened with sightings of deer, turkeys and maybe a fox. There were also a couple of bad crashes. Not us though. We broke the journey with a stop at a Pony Express Station in Gothenburg.

The lady in charge told us the history of the place and sold us a couple of postcards. Apparently, the Pony Express only ran for an eighteen-month period in the mid-1800s. The work was dangerous, and for this reason the company preferred to recruit orphans. Seems a bit harsh to me, as orphans have already had it rough in life without then going to work and getting scalped for a ten-bob postal order in a birthday card.

The baseball game was at Cowboy Field and a convenient fifteen-minute walk from our hotel. I’d bought tickets online in advance for eight dollars each and I suspect that it might have been the only online sale. The young lad on the gate didn’t have a scanner, but said that they looked genuine enough.

Cowboy Field is at the University of Wyoming and the game was in a Collegiate League that had been set up, I think, to keep student baseballers busy during the summer holidays. Despite it being a campus, it sold beer and we were able to take advantage of being able to walk to the game by having a few.

There was a great view of the hills in the distance, but the scoreboard was partially obscured by the trees that ran alongside the diamond towards third base.

The home side were Gem City Bisons, so presumably Laramie was once famous for diamond mines or something. The visitors were Casper Horseheads and clearly a town of ghosts with an equine bonce.

I’d estimate that around sixty people had turned up, mainly supporters of the Bisons, but with a few people cheering on the visitors. There must have been a shortage of baseballs as any that were hit into the crowd could be exchanged for a handful of lollipops.

The between innings entertainment included two fellas having to down a beer then spin ten times with their head resting on a three-foot pole before trying to race ten yards. There was also a musical chairs session which was won by a bloke who, when seeing that he was unlikely to be able to sit down first, snatched the chair and ran off with it.

The standard wasn’t too good, particularly in the field, but it was enjoyable to sit and watch a game with a few beers and the hills in the background. The Bisons were leading ten-two early on but the momentum turned around and it was the Horseheads who finished the game in front, winning by fourteen runs to twelve.

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