Sunday, August 12, 2007

Being a Part of History at the Ballpark

“Hi, I just landed.” —me, from the airplane, landing at Lindberg Field, San Diego.

“Oh, man! It’s extra innings . . . did you hear what happened?” —Paul, from PetCo Park, Saturday night, August 4, Padres vs. the Giants.

“No, what’s up?” —curious, I’ve been ensconced in an airplane for the past four hours—I have no idea what’s going on.

“Bonds tied the record in the second inning. We are all here—Kellen, the two Kyles and I.” Father-son fantasy realized. Be at the ballpark when Bonds ties the record. Not a Giants fan. Not a Barry Bonds fan. But baseball history is baseball history. In person. They are there.

“Okay, call you later.” . . . thinking . . . He really does not want to leave the game early just to pick me up at the airport. Extra innings. No problem. I’ll get a cab. Pull out cell phone. Redial.

“What’s up?” he asks. It’s still extra innings.

“Hey. It’s me again. Look, I’ll get a cab to the Omni. Meet you at the bar.” I’ve just flown in from Canada, but you’re at the ballgame with our son and the boys. I can chill.

“Yeah! Great idea!” —obviously relieved— “Call me when you get here.” You’ve just flown in from Canada and I’m at the ballgame with our son and the boys. You can chill.

So I share a cab with a charming young woman who lives a few blocks from PetCo Park downtown San Diego. The Padres game has just ended when I arrive at the Omni (which connects to the ball field). The Padres win. Yeah. Here’s to you Barry, but the Padres won. Now you can go home and break the record in San Francisco. The Padres beautiful ball park is on the cover of SI just because Barry hits a home run. The game ran so late that the L.A. Times ran the story about Barry tying the record but did not record the winner of the game. So just in case anybody out there in baseball land doesn’t know: Barry hit his record-tying homerun against the Padres, but the Giants do not win. The Padres beat the Giants.

In fact, a mere three days later, Barry breaks the record in the Giants versus Washington Nationals game. The Giants do not win. The Nationals win the game.

But we aren’t going to remember all that. We’ll remember the father and the son who were able to witness baseball history live, in person, together. How cool is that?

No comments: