Goin’ deep at the Smith Center with Lonesome George

It was my 21st wedding anniversary Thursday, so I took the missus to see George Thorogood and the Destroyers at the Smith Center. (I think she was expecting dinner and a rose at Hugo’s Cellar.)

We sat in the front row of the gallery. Or as Lonesome George would have put it, the upper deck.

George Thorogood is a huge baseball fan. He used to play semipro ball. This is why the official Destroyers T-shirt resembles a baseball jersey.

The first time I heard of George Thorogood was in college. I was taking a directed studies course called “Baseball in Literature.” The text book was called “Baseball Diamonds.” It was edited by Kevin Kerrane, a University of Delaware professor. Kerrane was the manager of the Delaware Destroyers — not George Thorogood’s down and dirty rockin’ blues band, but the name of their old semipro baseball team in the Roberto Clemente League.

The foreword of the book had a snapshot of the Delaware Destroyers baseball team. George Thorogood was sporting a toothy grin and a Mets cap. I don’t remember what Jeff Simon was wearing. Jeff Simon also played for the Destroyers; he’s been Thorogood’s drummer since 1973.

One of the my favorite baseball documentaries is the “When It Was a Game” series on HBO. George Thorogood was a narrator in one of the episodes. He talks about going to watch the Reds play the Phillies when he was younger, and how the Reds had Vada Pinson and Frank Robinson and Tommy Harper, speedy African-American players, and watching them play baseball was like watching guys play rockin’ blues.

After the concert, I stopped by the souvenir stand to buy one of those Destroyers T-shirts that look like baseball jerseys. They didn’t have any. Almost every T-shirt for sale had a skull and crossbones design. Or the words “bad” and “bone.”

I bought a poster instead.

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