This is what the Boise Hawks imagine every night should look like at Memorial Stadium. Or, if they had their way, their new place.
On a glorious Fourth of July evening in Boise, fans flocked to Memorial Stadium enticed, no doubt, by the all-American aspect of spending Independence Day watching baseball and, of course, post-game fireworks.
Gone were for one night, at least the attendance worries that prompted the teams general manager and play-by-play broadcaster to author attendance-related blogs this week. A season-high crowd of 3,952 lifted the Hawks per-game average right back to where it was last season, which is still down a couple hundred from 2005.
On a night like this, an absolutely perfect evening when the temperatures dropped with the sun and every blade of grass at its greenest with the stands full and the beers cold, its hard to have any worries.
Except if youre Jason Lowry.
The 41-year-old Nampa resident was worried all day.
Last year, Lowry and Jessica Jones had their second date at Memorial Stadium on the Fourth of July. The Hawks won on a walk-off home run. Jones walked off with Lowrys heart.
It was such a great night, such great conversation, Lowry said.
On Wednesday night, the couple was back at Memorial Stadium, part of a large group with the Gem State Developmental Center. In the bottom of the second inning, Lowry and Jones were called onto the field for the tiny bike race.
While Jones negotiated for the larger of the two bikes, Lowry went over his speech one more time. The one hed been practicing all day in the garage, retreating there so often that Jones began to wonder what he was doing.
On the field, Lowry took the microphone and popped the question.
Jones said yes.
Much to the relief of Lowry and the Hawks game officials who helped arrange the experience.
It was that kind of night.
The kind of night when a ball fell directly into a fans cup in the second row, splashing beer all over him but giving him the best catch of the night by far.
The Hawks couldnt duplicate their heroics from a year ago for Lowry, Jones or the rest of the standing-room only crowd. Boise fell 5-3 to Tri-City, the fourth consecutive loss for the Hawks (6-14).
But the crowd didnt seem too concerned. Dozens of kids raced to the field to sing Take Me Out to the Ballgame in the seventh inning. Hundreds streamed around the bases after the game.
All stayed for the fireworks.
It was a night Lowry and Jones will never forget. A night the kids will always associate with the Fourth of July. And a night the Hawks would love to replicate for every game.
Brian Murphy: 377-6444