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Baby Boomers, Baby Ballplayers, and Aging Rockers

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Take a very young baseball team that has not yet matured into their prime, and a very old rock band that has ripened way past theirs. Put the two together, add fireworks, and you’ve got Super Saturdays, a promotional night meant to plump attendance at Florida Marlins games. It worked this past weekend, when 24,000 fans showed up at Dolphin Stadium for a ballgame and concert afterwards by Cheap Trick. That’s considered a very good draw for the Marlins. And while these baseball players and rock and rollers are clearly not tops in their leagues, both achieved small victories Saturday night.

Firstly, the Marlins defeated the Washington National Disgraces -- I mean Washington Nationals, by a score of 9 to 3, in an affair that was described in the daily paper of record as an “ugly game” and a “slop-fest.” What else can you say when there are thirteen walks, three wild pitches, two hit batsmen, two physical errors, and many other mental ones? Game highlight: Marlin no-name Jason Wood, a longtime minor leaguer playing in the bigs for the first time since 1999, hit a home run. It was to be a good night for resilient veterans.

Speaking of which: Cheap Trick’s triumph was a surprisingly well-played set that featured all four of their big hits ("I Want You to Want Me," "Surrender," "Dream Police," ‘The Flame”) -- five if you count the theme song to That 70’s Show. The long-toothed rockers from Rockford, Illinois, who will ultimately be known as much for contributing to a resurgent popularity of the checkerboard motif than anything music-related, nonetheless had the baby boomers bouncing in their seats and waving their illuminated cell phones in the air like so many lightweight protest signs. This baseball team, this rock band, and this generation really wants you to want them.

Still to come for each of the ten remaining Saturday home games are concerts featuring the likes of Joan Jett, Gloria Gaynor, Kansas, and, on May 26th, the Puerto Rican dance band El Gran Combo (teamed with the Mets -- that should be a good one). Acts for the season’s second half will be announced at a later date. Super Saturday festivities also include, besides the fireworks display, free parking lot give-a-ways for the first 5,000 cars (like a Marlins license plate), and other give-a-ways for the first 25,000 fans (we got an orange rally towel). Individual advanced tickets for Super Saturdays start at just $12. Now that’s a cheap trick! --Lee Klein

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