This is an archived article that was published on sltrib.com in 2011, and information in the article may be outdated. It is provided only for personal research purposes and may not be reprinted.
It's a typical July Fourth at nearly sold-out Spring Mobile Ballpark.
About half of the 14,108 spectators have come for the postgame fireworks and a casual evening of patriotic country music, food, drink and hopefully a foul ball.
For many of the Salt Lake Bees (38-47), who hung on to win their third straight, 10-9 against Las Vegas (45-39), the Fourth is mostly just another day that blurs into the other 144 games of a Pacific Coast League schedule. On Monday night, they were the entertainment.
"It's changed a lot," said outfielder Jeremy Moore, recalling some wild Independence Days in Vivian, La. Moore's holiday included neighborhood barbecues, open for anyone walking by to sample.
"In my small town, people would be out cooking," he said. "The Fourth of July was a big thing. A great time to be home."
Gil Velazquez, Salt Lake's lone representative at this year's Triple-A All-Star Game, had many of the same memories. His Southern California neighborhood would come together in a big party.
"There'd be a couple barbecues going on," he said. "As a kid, fireworks were new and exciting."
Outfielder Kevin Melillo's most memorable Fourth was in 2004. His South Carolina team was knocked out of the College World Series and he had been recently drafted by Oakland, so Melillo spent the day celebrating his father-in-law's birthday, hanging out at a pool and waiting for a phone call with the right contract numbers.
The importance of the day has changed for infielder Andrew Romine, who would spend his holiday with family eating hamburgers and hotdogs, soaking up the Florida sun then watching fireworks at night. But Romine's Independence Day has taken a introspective tone since the recent death of a cousin who was stationed in Afghanistan.
"It takes on a different meaning for me," he said. "Now I understand. It means a lot more to me this year."
Chukars 13, Raptors 8 • In Idaho Falls, Idaho, the host Chukars hammered Ogden for 16 hits in the Pioneer League game. Scott Schepler had a triple and three RBIs for the Raptors.
Storylines Fireworks on, above the field
R Salt Lake starter Ryan Ketchner allows two runs in six innings for his fifth victory.
• The Bees' Paul McAnulty, Tyson Auer and Andrew Romine combine for eight RBIs.
• Las Vegas scores six runs in the ninth, including a grand slam by Ryan Shealy.