‘Take me out to the (18-inn.) ballgame’
This Twins game last Thursday lasted so long that it included a double stretch; one in the seventh inning and another in the 14th inning. A local Catholic Church group benefited from the 18-inning marathon, singing "Take me out to the ballgame" live on television for the 14th-inning stretch.
Once a year, altar servers from St. Edward's Church in Minneota, St. Eloi in Ghent, St. Peter in Canby, and St. Leo in St. Leo are treated to a Twins game. "It's our way of thanking them for serving at Mass," said Father Zachary Peterson.
"We loaded everyone up in one school bus." This year, 35 servers from fifth through 12th grade traveled to Target Field, along with 11 parents or chaperones. But they weren't around for the end of the game to see the Twins succumb to the Tampa Bay Rays, 5-2.
"It was getting late and we had a long drive back," said Father Zachary.
"We sure didn't expect the game to go that long." The local contingent was seated in Section 308 along the first-base line in the third deck over the first 13 innings. "We decided we were going to go out and sit in the right-field bleachers for one inning before we left," said Father Zachary.
"When we got out there, the lady who was organizing the singing asked if anyone wanted to sing. It was pure coincidence that we happened to be right there when she asked."
Within seconds, microphones were put in front of the group and cameras started rolling as the group sang.
The group appeared on the Jumbotron at the ballpark. During the seventh-inning stretch, Father Zachary took some of the young organists and piano players to meet Sue Nelson, the Twins' organist for the past 45 years.
"She just plays an old organ like your grandparents would have played," Father Zachary revealed. "Nothing fancy at all."
The group left after the 14th inning and stopped in Norwood Young America for pizza before returning home. "They will remember that trip to the game for a long time," said Father Zachary.