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My First Baseball Game

Mark Herschberg
Sheriff

Joined: Dec 04, 2000
Posts: 6037
Despite growing up in the US, I had never attended a professional baseball game. In fact, the only professional sporting event I've been to (aside from DanceSport) was a Celtics Jazz game a few years back, and only because the company I was leaving had season tickets, and I figured I should take advantage of them (the tickets, not the company) before I go.
Anyway, things have been going very well for me lately. Yesterday (Wed) I ran into a friend of mine who mentioned that she was heading down to NYC on Thur. I was also planning to go to the city on Thur so this was very fortuitious. I asked her why she was going and she said her bother got tickets to game 6 that day and she was going to get tickets to game 7. I thought, "what the hell" and asked her to get me tickets, too. Her dad was going to pick them up around 5pm on Thur. I said he was nuts and they'd be sold out by then. She then asked me what my reservation price was for the tickets if they have to get them from scalpers. I originally said about $250-300. Then I decided, what the hell, this is a once in a lifetime thing, so I'd pay whatever. (I realized the next day that was a bit risky, because they apparently went up to about $2,500).
Anyway, he got us seats for $600. Gate 2, Sec M22, Box B, Seat 8. Now I was born in NYC, grew up outside of NYC and Chicago, and have live in Boston for 12 years. Obviously, this has been a very conmplex post season for me (or as complex as it can get for someone who really doesn't follow baseball). The friend I went with was a Sox fan, along with her father, and dressed accordingly. I decided to dress in beige to stay neutral, and see how I feel at the game. Clearly the Yankess fans out numbered the Sox fans. I was tempted to give in and buy a Yankess cap as I entered, but decided to hold off.
Entering the stadium was pretty cool. I had never been in one before. The people, the lights, the manicured field... I can see why kids love it. It just feels so big.
Before leaving Boston, I had been warned by both the friend I was with, as well as another friend of mine that the games can be pretty rowdy and the fans vicious with each other. We had stood on the subway with some other Sox fans, but there weren't any problems. While waiting outside a Yankee was talking to my friend's dad about how the Sox were going to lose, but aside from some ribbing about the team, wasn't being rude.
When we tried to find out seats, a Yankess fan sent us to the first deck. I thought that was rather rude. we finally found our seats at the start of the first inning. We were surrounded by a sea of blue. The other Sox fans would wave and smile at each other, clearly standing out in their red, but were greatly out numbered by more than 10 to 1 (at least in our section).
I decided by the mid first inning to root for the Yankees. Part of this was because I thought Yankee fans generally less rude then Sox fans, although I heard some bad anecdotal evidence form other Sox fans after this game. Part of it was being a native NYer. Part of it was probably just being surrounded by Yankees fans. There's more, but I don't want to get into it in a public forum and have it haunt me for the rest of my life.
The soon turned out to be a questionable decision. The game itself was fun and exciting. The time seemed to fly by. It did feel pretty close to the game, but I could see everything. I was amazed at how small the field was, and yet at the same time, how much empty space there was in the outfield.
I bought two beers which were handed down the line, and I hadned up money, getting my change handed back down. It's kinda amazing that in this day you can pass money through a bunch of strangers and not have problems. I guess it's because it's public. Still, a think someone with a quick hand could skim off some money.
As the innings strecthed on my friend kept asking if I would convert. I held true, but certainly it seemed like this could be the year for the Sox. When Ortiz made it 5-2, that seemed like a pretty strong lead. I called my friend in CA (a Sox fan--the one who had warned me about rowdy fans), throughout the game. I told him we'd come back in the 7th. No such luck. It came close. You could feel the momentum in the stadium, and then felt it crash when they failed to bring the runners home.
The 8th inning was amazing. The entire stadium was exploding as runs were scored and finally when they tied it up. By this point everyone was standing nearly continuously.
The tention was fantastic in the next few innings as the game was tied. When Boone came up no one was expecting anything like that. His first hit was powerful, but into the stands. Once the second was launched, ever before it elft the infield the entire stadium was screaming. It was cool feeling tens of thousands of people so excited. Interestingly, as soon as they one, about 50 cops took the field and fanned out long the foul line in front of the stands, I guess to prevent people from storming the field. I thought that was kinda funny.
I figured that $600 was excessive for one game of a sport I don't really follow. But I also figured this would be a great game (two top pitchers, game 7 in the series between two teams with a longstanding rivalry). Certainly it'd be useful since so many people make small talk about sports, I'd have a game I could talk about for years to come. Most importantly, I kept meaning to see the Greatful Dead. Not that I like their music, just that they had such a strong cult following, and I had some friends who went every year when they came to Boston. I kept saying, "I'll go next year." I never did and eventually Jerry died. I've been meaing to go to Fenway and see a baseball game for years. An ex-gf (huge Yankees fan) even planned to take me to a game, but we had broken up before she could. I didn't want to miss another rare opportunity to experience a piece of the American Pie. All in all, when I consider my lifetime earnings, the $600 seemed like quite a reasonable cost. That was one great game!
--Mark
Thomas Paul
mister krabs
Ranch Hand

Joined: May 05, 2000
Posts: 13974
You certainly picked a great game to be your first!!! I haven't been to a playoff/World Series game since 1978. There is nothing like the feel of the crowd at a crucial ballgame. Being that it was against Boston, the crowd must have been doubly intense!
There is nothing like sneaking out of work and running off to an afternoon baseball game on a nice warm summer afternoon. Sitting out in the sun drinking a couple of beers under a crystal blue sky with the perfect green grass below you is as close to heaven as can be found on earth.


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