A game clouded by a bit of sadness, as the 218th and final SP78 game was played at site AZ8, my apartment in Peoria, Arizona where I lived for eleven years, between 2003 and 2014. I’d finished packing the moving van that day, and would be leaving for San Diego early the next morning, so I decided to play this last game that night, even though I should’ve been going to sleep at a decent hour, to be rested for my early departure. I set up the board on the empty living room floor, opened up a super-size box of Cheez-Its to snack on throughout the game (a parting gift from my workplace co-workers), and began the July 28th match-up between the Rangers and White Sox, hoping it would be a quick, low-scoring affair.
Which, as the fates would have it, wasn’t. Not only did I get a late start, but a 2-1 Texas win in regulation evaporated when spoilsport Eric Soderholm tied it for Chicago with a sacrifice fly in the last of the ninth, forcing the game into extra innings. It took three extra frames, but the Sox finally won it when Mike Squires opened the 12th with a double, who was replaced by pinch-runner Greg Pryor, who then raced home with the game-winner on a base hit by Thad Bosley. And as you can see at the bottom-left of the scoresheet, the game should’ve ended at 10:37, but because of overtime lasted another hour beyond that.
Still, it was a fun and memorable way to end my time at AZ8, and after moving to California and not finding work or a place to live, I eventually moved back to Peoria, and ended up in the same apartment complex as before, where I could’ve moved back into an available AZ8, and continued its reign as the games-hosted leader, where its total would now have been well over 300. Instead, I chose a different apartment (AZ15) and started over again there.