Saturday, March 26, 2011

The Spot Starter: The Real Field of Dreams

Twice in the first few times I brought my son to a Phillies game, something happened at both games.  I'll explain at the end what I mean in case you don't figure it out during my rambling.  The first game was against the Washington Nationals.  My wife and I arrived at the game with our son, Aidan.  We walked around prior to the game and a few pitches into the first inning.  Eventually, we decided to hang out above the bullpens out in Ashburn Alley.  In between innings, the bullpens send a player out to toss with one of the outfielders.  This game, it was Saul Rivera tossing with the outfielders.  After the first inning, he came back from the field and saw us standing there with a baby and pointed to him.  He lightly tossed to ball up to us for Aidan.  The ball was headed right towards me. In all my twenty-seven years, I've never caught a ball or a puck at a sporting event, and here I was with a baby in one hand and a baseball headed towards me. I was ready.  The ball didn't take as long as I'm making it seem to get to me, but I have my hand open awaiting its arrival and BOOM, my wife sticks her hand in front of mine and knocks to ball into a flower pot above the visitor's bullpen.  Rivera laughed, smiled and shook his head.  Fortunately, one of Philadelphia's finest was standing above the bullpen and was able to get a Phillies security guard to hop over the gate and get the ball and hand the ball directly to me.  As soon as I got the ball, I left because I know people were thinking we were foolish for dropping a lightly tossed ball.

The second game was against the Atlanta Braves, which by the way I got the tickets from the author of Kornhole's Alley.  Anyway, I had to work early and my son was being watched by my mother-in-law.  I raced home from work down in Delaware County up to her house in the Olney section of Philadelphia.  From there, I went to pick up my own mother who I was bringing with me to the game.  We arrived to the game with about twenty-five minutes to spare.  I did the same thing I always did when I go to a Phillies game.  I head out to the left field gate and get myself a Schmitter.  So I eat my Schmitter and we decide since I have the little guy let’s go hang around above the bullpens and hope for another ball.  As we start to walk away from the seating area, my son is holding my hand and he starts kicking his leg.  I have no idea why, but I figure he's just uncomfortable.  A few steps later he kicks some more and his diaper falls out from the bottom of his shorts.  I couldn't stop laughing so fortunately we were outside of a ladies room and my mom was able to change him and we were able to move on.  The reason his diaper fell out is because my mother in law didn't change him, and because I was racing to make the game we never took him out of the car seat until we arrived at CBP.  So after we changed him, we headed to the bullpen where Eddie Perez was kind enough to give us a ball which, fortunately this time, I caught without interference.

The reason I mention this is we're currently living though the best Era in Phillies baseball.  Not just of our lives, but of every Phillies fan since the 1880's.  The Phillies have made the playoffs every year since my son was born in 2007.  Going to Phillies games with my son has given me memories when he was two, and no doubt will when he's twelve, twenty-two, and thirty-two.  I'll cherish every memory of going to the games with him.  Even if I'm embarrassed by something that happens, but especially every ball he gets.  He's four, and he's already gotten three balls.  I'm twenty-nine and my total stands at ZERO.


Thanks for sharing, Eugene. Neither picture is of Eugene nor Aiden. If you'd like to share a story, post a gripe or revolutionize the way we think about baseball send your submissions to:

1 comment:

  1. I hate when my diaper falls off when I walk down Ashburn Alley. Nice story, Thanks.