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Letter: Take me out to a (dry) ball game

August 21, 2018 GMT

Take me out to the ball game. That is, when it’s not another Augusta GreenJackets rain out.

Going to Green Jackets games with my friend and his wife has been almost a lost cause over the past two seasons. Just about half of the games we’ve attended have been rained out.

However, it’s the whole outing that makes the experience worthwhile. Bill, his wife Peppy, my wife and I always have a good time at the park.

The girls always have plenty to gab about, and Bill and I like to walk around the park and take in the surroundings.

Nights that the GreenJackets and supporting staff are giving away free stuff are always a pleasure for Bill.

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I just kind of tag along, happy to be in his company.

Last year my wife, Judy and I purchased a deal where we paid for 11 home games at the old park.

Last week, Bill had extra tickets and asked if Judy and I would like to see a ball game at SRP Park, new home for the GreenJackets in North Augusta.

The weather didn’t look too promising, but we picked up Bill and Peppy and drove off to the ballpark anyhow.

We always enjoy the food, and this evening was no different. I can’t remember the last time I had a bratwurst sandwich.

Oh, I almost forgot, Bill is an usher at the new ballpark. He loves his job and knows all the right people on staff and everyone seems to like him.

I can remember when I first started sitting with Bill Angell at the Wednesday morning breakfasts at our American Legion Post 71, near the ballpark.

Bill seemed rather quiet and shy. Boy, did he ever come out of his shell. He is a friend to so many at the post and at the new ballpark.

Why, he went up to the mayor like they were best buds. The mayor was there to throw out the first pitch on this particular evening.

Did you know Mayor Bob Petit is also a member of our post? In fact, so is current Gov. Henry McMaster.

I was a little reluctant about turning around and saying “hello” to the mayor. I did, however, and introduced myself as the public affairs guy at the post. He was very friendly to me.

I love meeting celebrities, but I keep it short and sweet.

Former Red Sox great Carl Yastrzemski’s daughter and my stepdaughter graduated from Boston University in the same year.

Carl and I were the only ones who stood up in packed auditorium at the same time to use the john. I kept that meeting short and sweet also, as I did upon meeting Henry Cabot Lodge on the Staten Island ferry when he was running as vice president for Richard Nixon.

Maybe next year my friends and Judy and I will finally see a GreenJackets game not actually rained out.

Ray Willis

Aiken