Wednesday, May 10, 2006


The Birthday Game

Yeah, yeah, my birthday was Saturday, but I continued with the theme right into Sunday. May 7th is my cousin's birthday, and with just two week 'til she graduates from Sloan, Nathalie had started to regret her absence from Fenway Park in her two-year Boston stay. We didn't have tickets, but she asked me to try to get into the game with her, and I wasn't gonna let the girl down. I told her we should meet there early and stand in line for "day-of-game" tickets.

I had heard of these fabled tix, those held by the club and released when the gates opened. I didn't know how many there were, and didn't know how likely we were to get them, and we came prepared to scalp. On my way in from Kenmore, I asked some scalpers and got the usual BS "they're expensive today. $80 apiece for bleachers." Right. I'll take my chance with the line, I figure. When I got there, the line seemed pretty long to me, but then again, what do I know? The two girls who got in line behind me had done a little research. They had asked up toward the front of the line how many tickets were available and found out it was always at least two hundred. Then they counted people in the line as they walked back and found themselves at around the 148 mark. This made me feel a lot better. And when Nathalie finally showed, she managed to sneak in line with me, since the dude hadn't come by yet passing out the numbered rules handout which you need to purchase a ticket.

We were waiting for quite awhile, chatting with the girls behind us (who ended up right next to us later in section 21). We caught up on our family stuff: my new niece, her sister's next trip in from Denver, her mom's winter tour of Texas, my dad's dating the crap out of every girl he can find on, our grandmother's golf game, etc. A couple guys came by from WEEI asking us to fill out a survey to win tickets to a sox game. Nathalie wrote that her favorite New England pastime was drinking beer, and I shocked the shit out of these fellas (the looks on their faces was better than the actual prize, a bag of potato sticks,) by answering their trivia question "what is Coco Crisp's real first name?" Apparently in a week of asking the question, I am only the second person to answer it correctly, and the first with breasts. (shouldn't this qualify me for the tickets right then and there?)

Anyway, eventually we get in, buy steak subs, and find our seats to eat them in. Then we wander about for awhile, sitting in some sunny field box seats since it was cold. No sooner do we sit down when some lady comes along to block our view:

Now I ask you ladies, who the hell wears tight pants like that and lets her panty-line show (even with a thong?) and then proceeds to make sure everyone sees it by standing on top of the seats? Anyway. It wasn't very nice of her to stick her ass in our faces like that, which is the only reason I'm ranking on her, I suppose.

We ended up moving down a bit as the sun shifted, and stayed in the field boxes through the top of the first. Lenny was laboring, and it looked like it might be a rough day from the start. We were at a bit of an angle, so of course it was hard to tell, but some of those plate-calls were pretty close, and you could see he was frustrated. When the seat owners finally arrived, Nathalie hit the women's' room and I went off in search of fried dough before going up to our actual seats. I saw bits and pieces of our first inning rally from the TV's everywhere, and when the bases were loaded I decided I had to walk up and watch, even though I couldn't find the Cuz.

I hit the open air and see a pitch headed into homeplate, then connect with the Captain's bat. Crack. And just like that we're up 4-1, Lenny's troubles are forgotten, and people are just sitting down again when I make it up the stairs and find Nathalie- not in our seats. Someone else is in our seats, because someone else is in their seats, and we all just smile and stay where we are, knowing someone will likely come along eventually to set off a chain of musical chairs. Indeed an inning later a few guys come along to start the ball rolling, and it turns out two girls were sitting in the right seats, right row... Wrong section. Terrible job;)

and here's the view from our real seats, section 21, row 10, seats 12 & 13:

During the game, I blathered on like an idiot savant to Nathalie, filling her in on the players with tid-bits of useless information. I offered to shut up at one point, but the Cuz claimed to appreciate my insight... ya gotta wonder if others in the vicinity were screaming "yes! Shut the fuck up, bitch!" in their heads, but since they said nothing I was free to run my mouth. When Keith Foulke came in, one of our new friends next to us (also named Nathalie) groaned. She and I had a minor disagreement over whether or not Keith had gone to crap (and yes, Beth, I was on the better side of that argument), but it stayed friendly, and as we were tacking on more runs in the bottom of the eighth I pointed out a new pitcher up warming in the 'pen. "That's Manny Delcarmen warming up," I told them. They looked at me in disbelief. Go ahead, click for big on our view, and see if you believe I could tell who was up there. Honestly, I wasn't even sure Manny was back up from Pawtucket, but for some reason I knew it was him:

For the ninth we had moved down, but they wouldn't let us in the field boxes behind home plate without a ticket- I bet those are pretty much redsox-owned seats only. We sat just above, and stuck around for awhile as the rush slowed to a slow trickle of fans still relishing their day at the park... And a good day it had been to be there, indeed. A guy who had been sitting in front of us stood up looking for hi-5's as the final out was made. "Sweet," it had sounded like the first time he offered the hand, but as I watch him insist on the celebratory slap from each fan that walked by at the bottom of the stairs between sections 21 & 20, it dawned on me... This was a SWEEP. Which is, of course, much more than sweet.

We managed to get sweep-boy and his buddy to take pictures of us- My Cuz is the one with the drop-dead gorgeous eyes; I'm the one who looks retarded in pictures:

But we didn't have time for re-takes, as he had an important job to do...

...Even if some people didn't understand it.

Nice! I finally found your blogspot. You seemed to hit all the high spots except all the cool peeps you met towards the end of the game! Happy bday, and it was nice to meet you at the game on Sat.

Happy (belated) Birthday !

Sounds like ya'll had an amazing time ... (i'm jealous !)
thanks dan & novy! dan, be sure to refresh your page; I've edited the cheap seats post at the bottom.
Thanks so much for the mention! My first Blog - gotta love it! And Reb you are right, Its very cool to run into old firends you have never met before! (um... does that actually make sense to anyone else but me?)
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