Published by admin on 04 Sep 2008
When I told Mr. F I wanted to go to a Dodger game, it was partly to cross off another item on my 101 in 1001 list. When he seemed totally excited to go and started talking about Manny Rodriguez*, I got a little worried. I mean, I just wanted to go and eat a hot dog and hear the crack of the bat, and he was talking about actual players and Joe Torre and how in the hell did I start dating someone who actually enjoys baseball, and was he going to start listing stats and make me pay attention at the game and how would that be any fun?
Then I remembered that his son plays professional baseball in Europe and I calmed down. I mean, it’s not like he’s some kind of sports freak, or maybe he was! Maybe he pushed his son like crazy to be a baseball player and his son, just to please him, kept playing, and then when he couldn’t take it anymore he moved to Europe and that’s when Mr. F followed him out there and told him he had to be a baseball player no matter what!
Actually, I didn’t think any of that. I mostly thought about hot dogs. And how many I could eat without feeling really guilty. The answer was high. And, maybe I was too, but more likely I was drunk. So I flat out asked him, “Do you like, LOVE baseball, or… Because I just sort of want to be at the ball park. I like the atmosphere and hot dogs and my grandpa watched baseball…” And then he stopped me and said, “Look, man,” sometimes he calls me man, “I just love the inherent drama. Also Manny used to live at the Ritz in Boston, which I dig.” And so I breathed a sigh of relief and told him that we should get tickets, thinking one Saturday in late summer we’d catch a few innings from the nose bleeds, eat a dog (or seven!), drink a beer (or 3 vodka tonics!) and be done with it.
A few weeks later he said he got us tickets. Good tickets. Enviable tickets. For a night game. And there were four of them. So we invited the newlyweds and set out for a game at field level, third base line, free food, and interesting insight on one of your friends (Ands’ has a favorite re-up, who was sent back to the minors and then got asked back to the Big Show, his name is Somebody Dewitt.) (His first name is not “Somebody.”) (His last name might not be Dewitt.)
There is something so magical about a baseball diamond. I know, I know! Baseball is boring! I agree. Wholeheartedly. But when you’re at field level and you can see Manny walking by and the crowd does the wave and people all sing the ball game song, and there are free Dodger dogs, you kind of overlook the fact that not a lot seems to be happening. And then after two vodka tonics and some peanuts and a serious moment of celebrity stalking, you realize that a lot is happening. And after that a bat breaks, our re-up hits a homer and the Dodgers win!
I am so glad I put this on my 101 in 1001 list. Even if I checked it off a month too late.
*His last name is Ramirez. I’m a dork.