I was fortunate enough to get $35 front row seats down the left field line of Monday night’s Blue Jays-Cleveland Indians game. Several things to note:
- I got my first foul ball in about 20 years of going to baseball games in the 7th inning (imagine my dismay last year when my fiancee caught one at the third baseball game she’d ever been to), but it was somewhat cheapened. Our seats along the left field line put us in close proximity to the ball boy, and he simply handed me a ball that he had fielded. Asterisk? I’m not sure if it counts, but it was hit by Shelley Duncan and has black paint from the bat on it. I’m sure in five years the ball boy will seamlessly drop out of the story. Speaking of Shelley Duncan…
- My fiancee returned from a trip to the bathroom with surprise gifts for me: a Jose Bautista t-shrit jersey and a beer. I have never been more in love with her.
- Shelley Duncan hit a homerun into the fourth deck in left field…the farthest ball I’ve seen hit in person since I saw Mark McGwire hit the ball entirely out of Dodger Stadium.
- The ball boy down the left field line took his job extremely seriously. He didn’t crack a smile once, looked on in disgust as a young girl who he had handed the ball to dropped it back onto the field accidentally, and nearly came to tears when he short-hopped Corey Patterson in left field when he was warming him up between innings.
- A group of young adults sat behind us crushing beers and making obnoxious comments all day long. I was used to this sort of behavior when we sat in the $14 seats, but I expected a little more class down below. Among the highlights: “My girlfriend will give you a blowjob if you give me a ball” and (to Austin Kearns after he dropped a fly ball) “You’re off my fantasy team Kearns!” To which the staff member sitting on the field in front of us replied, “Why would Austin Kearns be on your fantasy team?”
- That staff member was legit, and he has the best job in sports. He sits on a stool along the third base line with a perfect view of the game, and basically gets to talk with fans the whole time. Oh, and he even got a two-inning break where he was replaced with someone else.
- Shin-Soo Choo is the luckiest man on Earth. He got more cheers than any of the Blue Jays combined due to the gigantic Korean contingent in the stands, and I assume it’s similar in cities across the country. I thought the place was going to erupt as the Korean flags flew when Choo singled to right field. Of the 12,902 announced fans (more like 8,000 actually in attendance), I bet half were on the Choo-Choo Train.
- Jo-Jo Reyes threw a complete game for his first victory of the year and was surprised during his on-field post-game interview with a Gatorade Shower from fellow pitcher Ricky Romero. Not only that, but he also received the standard shaving cream pie to the face later during the interview. I thought the celebration was a bit excessive for a complete game that wasn’t even a shutout– then this morning I read that Reyes had managed to avoid setting the record for most consecutive starts without a victory. This was Reyes’ first win in 28 starts. Turns out the Gatorade and pie in the face were totally deserved. Glad we could be a part of history.
Overall it was a great night of baseball, and if I wasn’t on the Jays bandwagon before I certainly am now.