Tuesday, September 23, 2008
White Boy's Farewell to NYC Baseball as We Know It: The Diary
By White Boy South Bronx
This past Thursday I said goodbye to the two NY baseball stadiums on the same day.
But White Boy, the Mets were playing the Nats in DC that night. What, are you playing softball at Shea or something?
Actually, rhetorical-question-asker, I did. My dad's boy has an in at Shea which confidentiality dictates that I not divulge. So my dad and his boys and I played a softball tournament at Shea and then I went right back to the Bronx to attend my final game ever at the Stadium. Here is a diary of my long afternoon's journey into night......
4:oo pm I arrive at the diamond club entrance where a huge white dude asks in a angry tone "Can I help you?" I almost nervously forgot I was supposed to say "Dennis softball game." But after nearly shitting myself, I remember to say this and a far less intimidating short dude smiles and shows me how to get onto the field at Shea.
4:10 Holy shit!!!! I am walking on the field at Shea!!!! This is incredible. Being the amazingly cool guy that I am, I instantly sprint towards the 338 sign and do my best Endy Chavez impression, which is to say a rather pathetic one. (Editor's note: Probably better than your Yadier Molina impression.)
4:50 It is finally my turn to play. The set up was like the final 4 in the NCAA tournament. Two teams play for 5 innings and then that team plays the winner of the next game.
5:00 Wow, it would have been bizarre seeing Shea, except that I went to a bunch of games during the Mets not-so-glory years in the mid-90's. Also bizzare, I am playing RF at Shea Stadium.
5:15 Top of the third inning. Bases jacked and 2 outs. I am put in right field either because of my rocket arm. Or maybe for the same reason everyone was put there when we were 7; I'm a horrendous fielder. I kept praying Please don't hit the ball to me! Dammit!! It is coming towards me and sinking fast. I run as fast as I can, which is to say really slowly, reach my glove down and to my utter shock and delight the ball is there. Everybody on my team congratulates me, I had saved 3 + runs with a web gem! I'm a hero to half of the Baby Boomers on Long Island!
5:45 After helping our team win by getting 3 hard singles and scoring a run, I say to my Dad, I feel like Luis Sojo. We had three high school baseball superstars from my graduating class, and a guy who was 6'5, 250 pounds of muscle and me, the guy who was thrilled to get three hard singles and score 3 runs. We won the tournament.
6:15 I say an unemotional farewell to the most aesthetically nauseating sports venue this side of Nassau coliseum and head towards the 7 train to head up to the cathedral. BIG GAME AT THE BRONX TONITE!!!!!
7:20 shit shit shit!!!! I left my phone charger in the bag I left with my dad. I now will be an hour late to the game because I have to buy a freakin charger on 42nd street. On the plus side, this might be the only thing you can buy on 42nd street that doesn't come with a free STD. (What a terrific audience. Try the shrimp.)
8:00 Ahh, time for meaningless September baseball. (Editor's note: Unlike your softball game?) As a Yankee fan I am used to this but in a completely different way. Usually we have a playoff spot instead of tee times clinched by now. Ugh. I did get a tad wistful, however, upon seeing one last view into the stadium from the elevated 4 train.
8:20 Abreu hits a mammoth home run to the right field bleachers which I'm told was already his 2nd of the night. Ah, the solo home run, a favorite of the 08 Yanks. The stadium erupts like this is game 7 of the WS, which pisses me off. I tried to tell the crowd that I won the only meaningful game played today. They quickly tell me to fuck off.
8:45 Javier "I have lots of talent so teams always take a flyer on me even though I suck" Vazquez was predictably lit up allowing 4 earned over 3.2 innings. So far only Muss pitching great and Jeter getting an RBI infield single are making this game tolerable.
9:15 A-Rod gets a run home on a double-play ball that went through the wickets of Juan Uribe. Clutch Alex, clutch. 8-1 Yanks, as if it matters.
9:45 With the game nearly deadlocked at 9-1, I begin to think about the Jeffery Maier game and being in the RF bleachers during game 6 of the '96 Series and going nuts, almost knocking over my dad's cigar (I later found our he made a big bet on the yanks winning the series, converting him to a Yankee fan).
10:15 Despite Jeter being lifted for the immortal Cody Ransom, we stuck around till the end and were rewarded by seeing prospect Humbero Sanchez's debut. He looked real good against the Chisox triple A brigade. Could he be next year's Ian Kennedy? Only time will tell.
-White Boy South Bronx