Sunday, August 29, 2010

So Close Yet So Far

Last night, a married couple that Tracey and I are friends with offered two tickets to today's game. They knew someone with a row of season tickets and no one was going because of the heat. They were going, would we like to go with them? Hell yeah!

I've been wanting tickets to Frank Thomas Day all season long. Another friend of mine was going to ask an employee of the park for tickets, but they fell through. I couldn't afford tickets to a game against the Yankees, so that was out of the question.

Somehow, I knew I was going to be at the park and it turned out that my premonition was right.

We started our day at 9AM. We showered, checked e-mail, and waited to be picked up. We were picked up a little before 10:30 and arrived in the parking lot just before 11. The lines outside stretched all the way to the parking lot. People were shoving past others and generally cranky. It's not a sight that usually greets me when I arrive two hours before game time. The four of us all thought better of waiting in long lines because we each had this.
We got to go through the Stadium Club entrance. Shortly after 11AM, just after they started to let people inside, we were informed that this entrance was out of the Frank Thomas bobbleheads. Um... what?! There's no possible way that 10,000 people passed through the gates before us. Not even 5,000 people. But whatever. The tickets were free. The bobblehead would have been a bonus. The real attraction was inside anyway.

Once inside, we see some people with five or six bobblehead boxes in their hands. Interesting. We scope out our seats and sit down for a little bit. Great view, huh?
Not bad for a crappy camera phone. There was a whole slew of activity down by the White Sox dugout and we had a great view. Then I spotted the dark sheet over what will be the newly retired number 35. Even from our seats, we were able to get a good view of it.
We left our seats and headed to the eats. Tracey and I went one way and our friends went the other way. We picked up some food and headed over to Loretta's Lounge. We ate our sandwiches and had a nice chat with an older couple. The gentleman had been a White Sox fan since 1942 (right before the Johnny Dickshot era) and the lady had been a casual fan since 1967.

I could faintly hear Gene Honda's voice in the background, but the crowd was starting to stir. We finished our food and headed back to our seats. Tracey made a beeline for the bathroom as I trudged through the crowd to section 135.

As I start to pull my ticket out to show the usher, I hear my name. It was our friends. I turned and walked over to the garbage can where they were standing next to, wondering why they weren't down at our seats. Just then, our male friend ran towards the mens room. "Didn't his pre-game churro agree with him", I wondered aloud. His wife said that he hadn't been feeling well the past few days.

"Hey, there's Bobby Thigpen!"

He felt better this morning, but now he was really feeling bad.

"Wow, I didn't even recognize Dan Pasqua!"

He returned and looked really pale.

"Damn! James Baldwin!"

He ran to the bathroom again.

"OMG FISK!!!"

Wow, he ran quick to the bathroom. I haven't seen anyone run like that since Juan Pierre stole his fiftieth base.

"Hey, it's JD! Damn right he should still be playing today."

Back from the bathroom and he looks paler than Casper. He can't be here any longer. We have to go.

"Cool! Billy Pierce!"

And then we turn towards the exit. We are well on our way home when Gavin Floyd gives up the first inning home run.

Yeah, I was at the park today, but I missed out on the game and the bobblehead and the pre-game ceremony. Oh well. It was still fun to be inside the park, even though we really didn't get to see anything.

And to the people who were shoving their way past all of us from the parking lot to the entrance: I'm glad you didn't get a bobblehead either. The one snooty girl was wearing a Konerko jersey. I wonder if her rude self could identify him without any help. People who only go to the park for the giveaways are really annoying.

4 comments:

csd72 said...

I am shocked how crazy it was at the park today. I had no clue that the bobblehead would be such a big deal. I didn't get one, but like you I saw people with multiple boxes. Oh well it was a great day anyway. You didn't miss much as far as the game went. It was a 3.5 hour Yankee win.

White Sox Cards said...

It would've been nice if we made it through the entire ceremony. LOL

I'm just happy I was able to go, however brief.

Sooz said...

Stinks you had to leave early, but you did get a to see some folks anyway.

White Sox Cards said...

I got to see two people that I collect (Thigpen & Fisk) and left before another (Baines) was announced. All in all, not a bad trip to the ballpark. Plus, it was all free.

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