Wednesday, July 23, 2008

play ball... and run like hell

About a month ago, my husband got a notice from work that in a few weeks his company would be having a barbecue at McCoy Stadium (home of the Boston Red Sox's minor league team, the Pawtucket Red Sox), complete with free tickets to a game. We decided it would be a fun time and penciled it in our planners (um... okay, I wrote it on the calendar. In crayon, 'cause it's all I could find. And I didn't exactly remember to send in the response on time, but that didn't matter because Hubby's work reminded him. The point is, we were all set to go to the game, all right? Geez, stop criticizing and focus here, people). A few days before we were to go see the Sox, it was announced that David Ortiz (a.k.a. Big Papi) would be playing a few games in Pawtucket as part of his rehab for a recent wrist injury. Well, it turns out he would be playing on the night we were there. This was cool for a number of reasons. First, I love the Red Sox. Not that I'm a big sports person, but I'll admit that I'd rather watch a baseball game than a football one (sorry, Amy), and I believe in rooting for the home team, even when they couldn't win a game to save their lives. And, since I grew up five minutes from McCoy, minor league games were a regular summer event for my family, so it's always nice when I get to go back. Also, Big Papi is a legend in these parts. He's an incredible hitter, and he just seems like such a big lovable teddy bear of a guy; he's become one of our favorite players (although I'll admit to being partial to Jonathan Papelbon as well. That guy's just nuts; I love when he dances to the Dropkick Murphys' song on the field after a big win). And of course, there's the fact that Hubby and I rarely get to take Big Sister out without Magic Baby tagging along. (I decided, since the game was at night, and since the game was sold out thanks to Big Papi, that bringing a 2-year-old was a bad idea.) All in all, it seemed like a fun, inexpensive (unless you factor in all the food a pregnant woman must consume during the course of a game) time and we were all excited to go.

Here's a recap of our Big Trip to McCoy.

Here's Big Papi stretching before the game. Our seats were behind the outfield, which affords a great view... if you don't mind looking at baseball players' backsides, and if you don't mind flying objects coming directly at you.

Here's The Man (at his third at bat) hitting a home run. I love being able to say I saw Big Papi hit a home run. It's one of those stories I can't wait to tell my grandchildren. Yeah, I'm like that.

Here's a view of the stadium, right before the spontaneous thunder, lightning and wind started. We tried to stay to watch Big Papi's fourth at bat, but something about standing on the metal bleachers right under the lights while lightning struck nearby didn't seem like a safe idea to me. So we left, and (of course), just as we exited the stadium, the sky opened up. Torrential rain. Lightning and thunder simultaneously (not a good sign). And the group of us running down the street, dragging our screaming eight-year-old, looking for my dad's car, because parking had been so bad we decided just to have him drop us off and pick us up, which would have been a great idea, had not the heavens decided to surprise everyone with a sudden storm. Quite a picture, no?

Once we were safely out and had collected the boy (and dried off), I started thinking about the game, though, and realized a few things. While it's true that metal bleachers and a pregnant woman are not the best combination, and while the wonderfully unhealthy stadium food was, well, unhealthy, and while the storm was unexpected, a nuisance, and a little scary... overall it made for a great night. Good memories were made, and good times were had by all, and really, isn't that the point? So I guess, while it wasn't exactly a perfect night (did I mention it was way too hot to knit?), it was pretty darn close. And I'm glad to have gotten a chance to be there. Lightning and all.