Tuesday, May 15, 2012

Foul Ball Territory at Fenway Park

It's C's 10th birthday, and the only thing that he wanted to do for his birthday was to go to Fenway Park to to see the Red Sox play on his birthday.  Seeing the Red Sox on C's birthday has actually become a little bit of a tradition, or sorts.  Well, to go to see the team dressed up as a major league team called the Red Sox.  I looked on line and got some tickets for the two of us.  Of course, Stubhub prices were plummeting faster than Kevin Youkilis's reputation in the league.  And while I could have sit in the lower bowl (with the comfortable seats) for 50 bucks a piece, I picked the Left field box seats or as I like to call it, prime foul ball territory.

After a little traffic and a LOT of walking, we finally arrive at our seats.  It looks like that we will be sitting by ourselves in these seats, we had a row of four all to ourselves.  We waited patiently as the Indians were warming up in the outfield 10 feet away from us. 

We were playing the first place Cleveland Indians tonight trying to shake off a terrible string that saw some terrible baseball against the Orioles.  To add to my interest (Cam had no idea really who these guys are - even though he had both jerseys at one point), Derek Lowe and Johnny Damon joined the the Indians this year.  And while C was a little scared to talk to Derek Lowe as he was giving autographs and pictures for the good looking women flocking over to him, he seemed definitely ready to grab a foul ball.

As the game begins, we settle into our seats.  Clay Buchholz is pitching and we notice that the Indians' line up consists of ALL lefthanders.  Yes!  A fast ball pitcher pitching against an all lefthanded lineup?  We were definitely going to get a foul ball, even if I had to steal a ball from a five year old who just wasn't fast enough to grab that ball.  Alright, I promise not to...

Lowe and Damon talking brain surgery
After Johnny Damon grounds out to the shortstop to start the game, the Jason Kipnis steps up to the plate. 

"Who's Jason Kipnis, Dad?"  C asks me before I look up. 

"Why, is he one of the umpires?"  I guess I am not paying close attention this season.  Oh this is his second season?  Nevermind.

On a 0-1 count to Kipnis, our first chance for a foul ball arrived.  He skied the ball in our direction on a 92 MPH Fastball.  The ball looked like it was coming directly to us!  C and I both tensed up and started moving to the ball.  It was coming fast, I started moving toward the ball, but it then looked like it was going to land a couple of feet in front of us.  I was hoping that C, who was on the outside aisle side would move to the ball, but he, like I, watched the ball land in front of us.  Nice catch...by the Dad with his family of four in the row in front of us.  I was pissed because I was convinced that that was going to be the closest we came to getting a foul ball.

Meanwhile, the Red Sox looked good for the first time in days.  Will Middlebrooks hit a double that scored two runs and the Red Sox soon take a 4-1 lead. Dustin Pedroia was also leading the charge as a double to the opposite field made it 7-1 in the Sixth Inning. The game was secondary however, to our quest for a foul ball.  Every time one of the hitters hit a foul ball I was popping up to see if it came close.  We were a shooting range as our area of the ballpark was getting peppered with foul balls.  None as close as that ball in the top of the First, though.

In the Sixth inning, C was headlong into a bag of popcorn, and I a beer, when another ball was sent skyward toward us.  It was heading in a similar trajectory as the ball in the first inning.  Again we were going to be close to it.  By this time, C and I had switched seats and again C was going to be closest to the ball.  I was nudging over to the ball but it landed diagonally from us!  AHHHHHH!  Damn it!

To add insult to injury, the Red Sox started to bleed away the 7-1 lead.  We needed to get out of there before we had to witness the bloodshed.  The crowd started getting a little uptight, I doubt even Sweet Caroline would make for a good time, so we headed to our car, crossing our fingers that the team would hang on for the win. 

Ultimately, they won 7-5; making C 6-0 in games he's gone to personally.  We didn't get any more chances to catch a foul ball, but we had a good time and spent some quality time together, man to man.  Not bad for a newly minted 10 year old.  Happy Birthday, C!

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