It’s the All Star Break, official middle of the season and I looked at my stack of used tickets and was amazed. This isn’t even ALL of my tickets.
I vowed to keep them all just to see how many games I went to and while this is almost all of them, there are a few missing. A couple disintegrated in the wash and I lost 2 spring training tickets as well.
BUT this doesn’t include all the FREE games in Spring Training, Extended Spring Training or Gulf Coast league! It also doesn’t include at least 3 rain out games where we went but the games were postponed–those tickets will be given to friends so they can turn them in for another game.
I think I am going to do what a buddy of ours does, he buys a journal at the beginning of the season and he jots down every game he goes to, the date, teams and which players were there. I may stick my tickets in the journal as well.
I’ve only missed a handful of Threshers home games either due to illness or being out of town. Just think how huge the pile will be by the end of the season! The pile will also not include all the Fall Instructional games we’ll likely see.
For all those people who thought I’d be bored when I quit my job…I say “HA!”
Back in Baseballtown, it was good to be home. There’s something special about First Energy Stadium, to me. I love it’s brick, the way the players have to cross the concourse to get from the locker room to the field, the BEST hotdogs in all of baseball, the ostriches.
Ok, I’m not sure I like the ostriches. There’s a whole load of reasons and I’m not really into the “rebranding”, but I’m not going into that now. Let’s just look at this picture of a large bird in a little truck and leave it at that.
I really had a good time. I got to see my favorite players, Derrick Mitchell, Jesse Biddle, Kelly Dugan, Austin Wright, and Seth Rosin before the game.
Derrick Mitchell led off. Now before I start, I want to go back to two years ago this week. Back then Baseball Ross and I lived in Harrisburg, PA and we went to a lot of games in Reading. I had talked to Derrick Mitchell that night and had complimented him on his home run the night before and asked him to hit one for me for my birthday. He laughed and said, “It doesn’t work that way.” Well that night it did. He hit a home run for me for my birthday. I always tell Derrick that that was one of the coolest birthday presents I had ever gotten. (If you want to read the blog from that night and see the video, you can click HERE)
So Derrick was up to bat and then…it happened (again) he KILLED a ball right over left center near the 370 sign.
Another homer…and what is this week??? That’s right, my birthday. After the game, I saw Derrick, he had remembered that my birthday was this week and he even said, “I felt really good after that first one, I’d have hoped to hit you a second for your birthday.” It blew me away, that he could remember! (And people wonder why Derrick is my favorite.)
I also have to mention a funny thing that happened after the game…I was talking to Derrick as I mentioned above and a kid about ten years old kept interrupting while Derrick and I were talking. When Derrick left to go back to the locker room, we said our goodbyes and he gave me a hug. The kid then looked at me and asked me if Derrick was my dad! (ROTFL) Considering that I had been feeling, err older since it is my birthday this week, that kid really made me feel good.
I got to see Kelly Dugan and Maikel Franco in their Fightins uniforms for the first time as well…
Another cool thing that happened was that I got to visit the press box. I had the privilege of becoming friends with a talented local writer who kindly invited me to visit him in the press box. It was my first time in a press box during a game. I found it quite cool and was grateful to have had the chance to check out the game from that very different perspective.
Something that Ross and I love is the Berks hot dogs. When you see as many games as we do, you get stuck eating a lot of food from the concessions. Over the years, you get to appreciate the places with good food and loathe others where the food is not palatable. I love the concessions in Reading. The Berks hotdogs are the best in baseball.
Reading lost that night, but while I wish they had won, I still had a great time. I saw my favorite players, had a homer hit for my birthday, saw my new friend in the press box, saw my favorite usher and had a great hot dog. We saw a beautiful sunset (picture at the top of the page).