I was never much of a baseball player growing up, the positions I was assigned are proof of that. Far left field and catcher–both required little movement on my part, especially left field (honestly, how many kids do you think were hitting out that far?). Still, who could pass on all the lemon-lime gatorade and big league chew that came with dawning a recreational league uniform? Not me. Skilled or not, I saw it through and can thank baseball for some of my best memories, the fondest of which resides in Shea stadium.
When you’re ten years old, it’s one thing to play in little league, but it’s another to visit a major league stadium with your Dad. Can you imagine the first time? The sheer scale of the structure. The tremendous roar of the crowd. A magical world where items as basic as water are sold for five times their regular value. Ahh yes, the ball park is a wonderful place to be. So when Ford told me that this month was my opportunity to see a live baseball game, my second one ever, I was sold.
Truth be told, even with television available, I hadn’t really watched baseball or many other traditional sports since that trip with my Dad. If I do watch any sports on TV, they’re always more obscure, stuff like World’s Strongest Man, Sumo, Lumberjacking, and Competitive Eating–basically anything that would air on ESPN2. However, my lack of “game-watching experience” wouldn’t damper my excitement because this wasn’t just any live game, but Game 4 of the playoffs for the title-defending Phillies. This game was part of a bigger story, and, after thirteen years since my last live game, I was going to be a part of it.
You can watch the video at the bottom of the post for a glimpse into the Fiesta shenanigans. My friend, Angel, and I were seated in the 32nd row by the third base side. They were awesome seats (Thanks Ford!). Before you jump to the video, there were three things which I consider highlights from the game that weren’t included in the footage:
1) We were seated in a section with the only two visible Dodger’s fans in full fan garb. They seemed like nice enough guys, but fan tensions wouldn’t allow something like good-nature get in the way. Their presence definitely stirred the sea of red jerseys and led to many hilarious/tense moments when they cheered their visiting team.
2) The Kiss Cam is something they do in stadiums to rouse the crowd. If it lands on you, you’ll see yourself on the big screen, and that means it’s smooching time. Of course, this can usually lead to some funny moments where they accidentally picked a brother and sister, causing them to feel incredibly out of place. However, this Kiss Cam segment was punctuated by the operator focusing on a lone visitor in the stadium. He was way up in the corner, talking on his cell phone, oblivious to his presence on the giant screen. The tune All By Myself began to play, and that, my friends, is comedy.
3) It got a lot colder toward the end of the game so I was in the mood for some hot chocolate. My friend, Angel, was already leaving to get himself a soda and asked if I wanted anything. I told him “hot chocolate.” He asked if I wanted anything on it. I thought to myself, maybe whipped cream or marshmellows, but then shook my head ‘no’ deciding the stadium might charge extra for such a luxury. He then returned, placing a hot dog in my lap. He swears I said, “hot dog.” I swear I said, “hot chocolate.” We both swear it was hilarious.
Well, in the words of Michael Jackson’s World Tour: this is it. This was my final mission of six and my time with the Fiesta will wind down along with the month of October. You can view the full extent of my adventures at the fiestamovement site. What else can I say after an experience like this? Even long roads end.