Oh! What a night!

This was one of those amazing nights that I won’t soon forget. Not just for the game but a lot of things.

Baseball Ross and I went to the Threshers game tonight and it was Ladies’ Night where they give away a gift basket. On a whim, I signed in and we got something to drink and took our seats.  It was hot, really hot. We were not getting any air and the game was moving very slowly. 

By the top of the 4th, the Threshers were down 7-0 to St. Lucie and Ross and I were drenched with sweat. We thought we’d wait to see if I won the gift basket before we left.

I won!

I went to pick up the basket and suddenly the Threshers picked up 3 runs! I got back to where Ross was standing and we took some pictures:

   
  
And then my friend Phinley came over:

 

Then Ross suggested we take one with the field in the background…and with the distraction of taking pictures we failed to notice that the Threshers has loaded the bases so as Ross took the picture…they were scoring on Andrew Pullin’s GRAND SLAM! The game was tied at 7!

  

The basket was awesome!   There were two bottles of wine, two huge coffee mugs, a hat (sparkly too), a headband, tickets to a concert and two coozies!  

We took the basket to the car we realized we needed to walk our dogs…so we ran home and took care of the pups.

My mother was one of those “always send a thank-you card” kind of people. So I sent the Threshers a modern day version, a tweet of the picture of me with Phinley with my note of thanks—AND IT WON PHOTO OF THE NIGHT!

To claim the prize I needed to pick it up tonight before the game ended…they were tied 8-8 so I prayed for extra innings and dashed back to Clearwater…

I must be good luck, because just as I claimed my second prize of the night, Aaron Brown hit a walk off single to score Dylan Cozens in the bottom of the ninth! They literally won at the same time! 

I win the basket- they get a grand slam, I win photo of the night and they walk off winners too…coincidence?

The photo of the game prize was a pizza at the Galley, which is just a mile or so from my house and another hat:

 
My total “haul”

  

I gave the 2nd hat to Ross and we will get pizza for Fathers’ Day on Sunday-what a great night we had! I don’t think I’ve ever been so lucky! What an amazing time!

  

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There’s a New Love in my Life–The Dunedin Blue Jays

There’s a new love in my life, but let me start a different way…

I was born in Central Pennsylvania, I’m a Phillies fan at heart and always will be, but since we moved to Florida there’s been someone else. Well, may be I should say, someones else.

You see, I live three blocks from the Dunedin Blue Jays’ stadium. At first, I went there just when the Phillies or Threshers were there, like you’d expect, but the more I went, the more I was hooked. You see, there is something different about Dunedin, you feel like you belong. Go to a few games and they get to know you. There’s a smile as you walk through the gates, a wave from the ladies at the concession stand (even if you don’t need anything) and a real sense of community. It doesn’t feel like a big corporation, it feels like a team that belongs to the town, you feel like you’re part of something.

Every game a local charity holds their 50/50 drawing, there’s a toy drive for the local children’s Christmas charity, there’s the annual charity bowling tournament, sponsorship of little league teams, you name it, the Blue Jays are there for the community.

That’s why when I saw this article in the paper today, I smiled because OF COURSE they’d support TJ…

Boy with Famous Lemonade Stand Takes Pitch to Dunedin Blue Jays Playoff Game

In case you missed the original story: Dunedin neighbor is sour on boy’s lemonade stand

Then there was this: Dunedin boy with lemonade stand reaps windfall; neighbor under city review

So, now you know why, I’m seeing someone else…at least some of the time. So if you’re looking for me tomorrow night, you’ll know where I’ll be…

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Yappy Hour Makes Veronica Happy

Tonight was “Yappy Hour” or as it’s better known as Bark in the Park.

I took my youngest dog, Veronica. Baseball Ross and I have come to realize she is not a “normal” dog. She’s extremely intelligent and actually seems to enjoy a baseball game.

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It was really hot (the main reason we could not bring our other dog, Maggie. She is 14 years old, and the heat really bothers her.) At one point, the sun was on our seats and the heat became very uncomfortable. So we made a little bed under the seat for Veronica.

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She really seemed to have a good time and even gave me a big smile when I asked her she was having fun.

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And at the end of the night she even was a little silly, trying on my hat.

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Don’t think we forgot our other dog, Maggie. We took homehalf a hot dog for her so she wasn’t left out. And if you knew a new Maggie, all she would’ve wanted tonight anyway was the hot dog.

Veronica so loves going to baseball games. She’s quiet, attentive and honestly she’s more well-behaved than most children. I wish she could go to every game, and I think she does too.

The Celebrated Jumping Frog of Pinellas County

Ok, I may not be Mark Twain, but today’s story of the Phillies baseball game does involve a jumping frog.

Baseball Ross, our visiting friend, B and I managed to snag seats in the front row along the third base side. It was a beautiful sunny day, one of the best in a long while. It was at the beginning of the fourth inning when the Hooters Girl turned and said, “Look! It’s a little frog!”

Everyone turned to look and indeed, there was a little yellow frog poking his head out from between the padding and the concrete retaining wall. When it realized we all were staring at it, it ducked back under the padding. The Hooters girl then poked the padding and that’s when it happened!

The frog jumped and easily leapt a good two feet…right onto B’s hand! She screamed and threw her hands up! I screamed thinking she had done that because a ball was coming with us! The frog then leapt and ended up under the front row. Several people screamed that they didn’t like frogs, but the gentleman on B’s other side and I became very concerned that someone would step on the little guy.

So we tried go get to where we could corral him. Eventually, the gentleman managed to grab him and toss him back on the field…the Hooters girl was not happy with that! She took the opportunity to take a bathroom break and leave the field.

The poor little guy looked traumatized by the ordeal.

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It was then that Mike the security guy came by and I gave him my cup and Mike got another guard to capture the frog dubbed, “Ryan Hopper” back to the wetlands outside the stadium.

We also learned today that sitting next to the Hooters Girl (when she’s not hiding from a frog) can get you on TV.

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Can you see us?

Soon after the “Celebrated Jumping Frog” Ryan Hopper was returned to the swamp, we realized we were up 9-3, we decided that since it was B’s final night here in Clearwater we’d take her to the beach and every Phillies fan’s “Mecca” the “Taj Mahal” known as Ryan Howard’s house.

Started over two years ago, Casa de Howard isn’t even nearly done.

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From the street, it’s vast, three times the size of the surrounding properties.

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The house is situated on a PUBLIC beach, only a few blocks from a public beach access lot.

The house is a monstrosity and the rumors of a “lazy river” running THROUGH the house are true.

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You can’t quite see it, but there are concrete bridges crossing the river.

It really was larger than any house I’ve ever seen and from Ross and I just finishing having our little house built last year, let me assure you that Howard’s place isn’t even close to being done.

May be by the time B returns on her next visit, Howard’s house will be completed…..or if it’s like everything else when it comes to construction, may be not.

BREAKING: Ramon Hernandez out as Clearwater Manager

The Phillies announced today that Ramon Hernandez “will not manage Clearwater this season as previously announced for personal reasons.”

Williamsport Crosscutter Manager, Nelson Prada has been promoted to take the helm in Advanced-A Clearwater.

A Great Time in Reading, Even Though They Lost

Twilight in Baseballtown
Twilight in Baseballtown

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.

Wait! Ostriches?

The Ostrich

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.

Derrick Mitchell sends one over the fence
Derrick Mitchell sends one over the fence

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…

Maikel Franco
Maikel Franco
Kelly Dugan
Kelly Dugan

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).

It was an awesome night in Baseballtown.