I’m back. The mini-vacation was a great time and I am now fully rested so I can witness the Mets embark on a historical playoff push.
Before I get into fatigued shoulders and Mets closers, I wanted to share with you an experience I had with an old friend of ours.
As we traveled back towards our city of residence, we decided to stop in Indianapolis to catch an Indianapolis Indians (Triple A affiliate for the Pirates) game. If you are ever in town, I recommend it.
1. It’s minor league baseball which is always entertaining.
2. Victory Field is a great place to catch a game. Not a bad seat in the house, and a nice view of the Indy skyline complete with Lucas Oil Stadium in right field.
I couldn’t think of a better way to end our vacay then catching a ball game. We wound up getting seats in the upper deck (tier two of two), in the shade, along the third base line. As soon as I sat down I knew we were in a decent location for foul balls from left-handed hitters.
Not doing any bit of research about the game, I discovered the Indians were hosting the Toledo Mud Hens (Triple A affiliate for the Tigers). As they announced the starting lineups two things pleasantly surprised me.
First, Brandon Inge was batting second for the Hens. It is always a good thing when you get a chance to see an All-Star caliber player, even if it was in 2009.
Secondly and most importantly, providing protection in the lineup for Inge was none other than Timo Perez. It’s not every day a Midwestropolitan gets to watch a member of the 2000 World Series team live, albeit almost eleven years after his appearance. Needless to say I thought it was pretty cool:
Then it happened……
I have attended countless major and minor league baseball games in my lifetime and have never even sniffed a foul ball. That all changed last night.
On the second or third pitch of Timo Perez’s second at bat, he fouled off an outside fastball. It was one of those half line drive, half fly ball foul balls.
I got a great read off the bat, shuffled across my son who was sitting to my left and continued my shuffle for about four or five seats. The ball was about two feet above my head and a bit to my left, forcing me to reach with an outstretched non-dominant left hand.
For a split second, I experienced pure foul ball joy as I realized it was heading right to my outstretched hand. It was a fleeting second, as the ball struck my hand and caromed two rows below me.
Immediately, my daughter started sobbing. We have attended three games in the past three weeks, each game her fervor for a foul ball increasing. She realized Dad committed an Tim Teufel-esque error and an opportunity of a lifetime was wasted.
Her sobbing continued for a full half inning, crushing me with each moan and cry.
Right away I started rationalizing why I missed the ball. I have good hands, honestly I do. I was known for my glove in high school.
That’s it! I didn’t have my glove. I also spouted off the following excuses:
- My wedding ring got in the way as the ball primarily struck my ring finger
- I could have caught it with my right hand had I not been holding that damn baseball bingo card.
- Stupid fat fingers!
- The ball had an abnormal amount of spin on it
After coming up with every excuse I could think of, the next obvious thing to do was believe that every time a left-handed hitter came up to bat I would get a chance to redeem myself.
Needless to say it didn’t happen.
As the night went on my daughter got over it and we enjoyed the rest of the game. It turned out to be a pretty enjoyable night overall, as the Indians pulled off a 4-3 victory. As I walked out I couldn’t help but think of what could have been…..