Painting the foul lines
Trey Tremble plays the ballpark organ
Phil Elson is the play-by-play announcer for the Trav's
It's two hours before game time and the only people in the park are team employees.
The field receives meticulous attention. The running surface is a clay base covered with crushed pebbles.
The grounds crew gives it a good soaking before the game, and apparently there is a science to it all.
Brian Lyter explains, "It depends just a little bit on what the weather is going to do. But today, since it's a day game, it will dry real fast and it's not supposed to rain. So we'll try an get it pretty wet because the guys like it a little wet."
Other members of the nine-man crew place a stencil around home plate for the batter's box. Meanwhile, Lyter is a little stingy with the hose.
One crew member complains, "He's the only one who get's to run the nozzle. I wish we could, but we just hold the hose."
It may not sound difficult, but a low-tech solution is employed to assist the drawing of a straight line. Any flaw in a 322-foot straight line is painfully obvious..
And they use a special paint and applicator instead of the traditional chalk field markings.
The paint doesn't pile up. And it won't interfere with the path of a ball on a slow roller down the base path
The guy with the best seat in the house has the busiest hands.
Armed with only a list of songs to play, Trey Tremble uses no sheet music as he fills the park with the sounds of old time baseball.
Tremble says, "I try to make a big enough list where it has the old songs, songs from like the 1940s, the 50s you know, if it's got that ballpark feeling, the old fashioned songs. Then I have some recent-ish tunes that fit."
Upstairs, the broadcast team prepares for the 33rd game of the season. Already they are familiar with the newest players.
Phil Elson is the Trav's play-by-play announcer, "After seeing them everyday for about a month during a game, you start to learn a little bit more about their tendencies and their strengths and weaknesses. It takes about two weeks I think to really feel confident in knowing what some of the players are all about."
But on this day - in spite of all the preparations - in spite of all the fans both young and old - Mother Nature intervenes and sends the crowd running for cover from the rain.
And yet it seems little is interrupted other than the game.
Families are still having fun and spending time together, even if the picnic had to be moved in from the outfield burm.
Chris Schamber picnicked with several toddlers on the concrete under shelter, "No, no we're still going to have a good time out here, get some good food and then watch the game as soon as it starts."
At Dickey-Stephens Park they put a lot of work in even before the first pitch. It might just leave you Amazed by Arkansas.