As many of you know, I'm a Yankee baseball fan through and through. However, little do people know that since August 15th, 2008, I bet I haven't watched one full baseball game of any team out there. You see, my Dad who was the ultimate Yankee Fan died that day and a lot of that love for baseball died with him. The last game we watched together was the 2008 Yankee Old Timers' Game and he cried through most of it. It broke my heart.
SO, fast forward to about 3 weeks ago when we were hard-pressed to come up with a birthday gift for our nephew Luke. He turned 10 and I suggested to Becky that I just take the kid to a Twins game. Becky, stunned, said, "Oh, ok, but you know he's a child and you really don't care for kids." I told Becky that I thought Luke had matured a bit and he didn't annoy me as much as he used to. For the record, kids who are well behaved don't annoy me that much, but like most things, one bad apple spoils the bunch.
Not bad seats!
Naturally, I think Luke's mom & dad were a bit stunned on the $50 per seat tickets I got, but if I'm going to invest time in going, I want to see, hear and feel what is going on. Upper deck to me is a waste of money if you want to see a game. SO, if he never gets this close again, he can say he was right near the action for this game (Sept 19, 2014) in Minnesota.
I miscalculated the drive, so we got to the night game (7:10pm) at 4:30pm, so we were pretty much first in line at our gate. The Twins' staff were VERY helpful on telling where to go and giving us direction, even with my Yankee hat on. Looking back, I can't remember wearing a baseball cap since working weekend shifts at KLMJ, so it had been 14 years. (More stats in a bit) Luke is just so excited and I'm even smiling a bit about it. The drive wasn't bad and the parking was a snap.
We get our good seats and I tell Luke to go behind the Indians' dugout, say HI to everyone and they would give him a ball. I don't think he believed me, but on the 2nd attempt, he came back with a ball and he was VERY excited. I put the ball in my back pocket after Luke dropped it and it rolled down 6 rows. We ate and it sprinkled a bit, but it wasn't too bad.
Luke and his glove waiting for a ball.
My heart swelled with pride and I got tears in my eyes as the Twins honored an 86 year old POW who got to raise the flag during the National Anthem. His hands trembling, he saluted the flag just like he would have done in his 20s. What an emotional time. The Twins did a great thing. (More about that later.)
Top Notch Tribute!
Luke watched the game, asked a few questions, and it went into extra innings. He was very excited when the Twins won the game with a bases loaded single in the bottom of the 10th.
Now for some statistics:
Excellent experience, excellent staff, great section manager who took pride in his work, excellent facilities, and fan engagement with Twitter, Instagram and the MLB App.
I am hard pressed to remember the last ballgame I went to, but I think it was taking my Dad to the Royals game in KC and we had press passes in 1996. I also went to a Cubs game and had press passes to a game at the Metrodome in the late 80's and met Billy Martin and the "good" Yankees.
My Grandpa was a Twins fan and a Harmon Killebrew fan. If the Twins won, it was because of Harmon. If the Twins lost, it was because the "sonsabitches" wouldn't take Harmon's advice on this or that or the other team pitched him outside so he couldn't hit the "goddamned" ball. Yeah, dyed in the wool Killebrew fan.
The first game I ever went to was when I was 9 and Dad took me to a Twins/A's Double Header at the Old Met. Great time. Luke was 10 and this was his 2nd game ever.
Again, hats off to the Twins for the nice time. I think I will have to contact their Social Media Manager to do an interview with them sometime and post it.
I'll be back.