2012: A Chiefs Odyssey – Kevin’s #9

9. No One Man Should Lose All That Power

The 2012 Syracuse Chiefs had a few games postponed because of rain this season.  No surprise.  The Chiefs also lost a game to snow in Rochester – not a shock for an April day in Western New York.  And Syracuse even had a game postponed due to cold weather, which sounds outrageous but, again, shouldn’t come as a stunning result.  But on July 13, the Chiefs set a new bizarre standard for postponements.

It’s not all that uncommon to hear the words “power outage” in baseball.  They’re just a pair of words that typically correspond with a lack of team offense, or an individual’s lack of home runs.  Much like a pitcher’s “cheese” isn’t literally a dairy product or a “moon shot” doesn’t actually leave the planet, a baseball “power outage” doesn’t literally refer to the loss of electricity.  Except, you know, when it actually does.  Like on July 13.

At around 5:40, before a 7:00 game against the Scranton/Wilkes-Barre Yankees (now RailRiders), former Chief Matt Antonelli was taking batting practice on a day where the high temperature reached 93 degrees.  I was sitting in the radio press box, watching from overhead as Antonelli drilled one ball into left-center field – and suddenly, the music stopped.  The video board beyond the outfield shut off as well.  The Yankees turned around and started jeering at the press box, asking for someone to turn the music back on, and there was nothing anyone could do.  A rolling series of power outages on the North Side of Syracuse had hit Alliance Bank Stadium, and the entire park had gone black.

The day proved to be a tricky scenario for us in the front office, since a large crowd was expected for Donate Life Night.  And that crowd showed up, with nothing to do but mill about outside the stadium…

Just call me the Annie Leibovitz of cell-phone-camera photographers.

The game was also a television broadcast, with Time Warner Cable’s crew on hand.  In fact, one of the crew members ended up getting stuck in an elevator when the power went down, and the fire department needed to come and rescue her.  There have been better days to be claustrophobic than July 13.

The players and coaches sat in dark clubhouses and hallways, playing cards by whatever light they could find.  Tanner Roark, the day’s scheduled starter, set up a table outside the clubhouse and wondered aloud why every one of his starts seemed to get pushed back for some reason or another.  Had Tanner been scheduled to start today, perhaps we would have actually encountered the apocalypse.

Breaking news from Australia: we have!

Ultimately, the decision to postpone the game was made around 7:00, with no end to the power outage in sight.  It was the right decision after a thoughtful process…and, of course, 15 minutes later, the power returned.

It feels odd to include a countdown moment that wasn’t actually a game, but July 13 was just too memorable to leave off this list, JB.  Do all of your 12 memorable moments contain the proper amount of electricity?

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