There would be no high fives on this day. The Twins would squander yet another early lead to the Yankees and once the box score was made final, there was a sense of “well, I guess that ends 2010” at Target Field.
With all of the highs that the 2010 Twins accomplished, this was a most depressing way to end the season. Even ONE playoff win at Target Field would have been nice, but it was not meant to be.
Enough of the sadness, the whole of 2011 and first half of 2012 will more than fill your cup “half-empty” if you are a Twins fan. There was a silver lining to all this, albeit a very personal one, I got 5 balls in one season!!
So without further adieu, here is the story of the last ball of 2010…
Ah ball #5, how it seems so long ago, you were a first, you were a last, you represented good during darkness, and joy during defeat. I was lucky enough to score 2 tickets to this playoff game and decided to take my mom with. It was the first game I could remember (and maybe first ever?) where it was just her and I. She supported me by going to nearly every one of my baseball games through high school and had at least a general appreciation of baseball (probably because it meant so much to me).
So there we are, early in the stadium and I am trying to show my mom a little bit about the park and also want to see if I can work my magic for a second playoff game in a row. If you cannot tell, I am pretty hooked on snagging balls. Since I was able to get one the day before in the Lottery section, why not try there? The section again has almost no people (none that my memory can place, but that doesn’t always mean exactly zero) plus there are flowers on top of the fence, my mom should like that. Sure enough, she notices that right away and she starts snapping some photos… alright!
I had noticed that people had shouted at the players the day before and some were even lucky enough to get a ball tossed to them, so I figured that I might try this method out, too. I had no reason to be shy, after all, I was the guy who went to hockey games dressed up as Waldo and body painted on numerous occasions, I would also later go as Green Man at the Warrior Dash, and have plans to go to a Twins game in Kansas City as Bigfoot (in July, is it hot there?). I had also heckled numerous players in the past, both at Twins games and SCSU hockey games, so much so that players actually acknowledged me and others noticed that I had gotten in their heads.
Again, I digress. So I was all for doing some call outs for a toss up, that is, if I was feeling like there was no shot of a homer in my area in the first part of BP. I go about 20-30 minutes with no homer, so that’s when I start calling. I don’t even remember which team I was calling at, was it the Twins or Yankees, my memory is fuzzy. I now catalog every ball to as great of detail as possible; so much so that I really pay attention once the 2nd out is recorded in order to know exactly what happened with the toss up ball that the Twins player tosses into the stands as he returns back to the dugout.
I called out for a few minutes (probably on and off for 15-20) and then it happened, a guy notices me standing there with my mom and since we are the only ones around he tosses it up to me. Excellent! I finally got a ball at a Twins game with one of my parents. The universe works in strange ways. Yes, I put myself in better situations now than I did as a kid, but to think that I would get my first ball with help from my wife was crazy, but to think that I would also get a ball at a game with only my mom before I would get one with my dad, that’s double-rainbow type of crazy!
So right after that we start taking photos together with the ball. My mom also seemed quite pleased at the new possession. I still had my weird ‘one ball rule’, so after the photos we went to get some brats and drinks and pick up the last score card of the 2010 season. The inauguration would soon be over. Target Field was no longer that baby of which you tell every one of your friends about, it’s now a toddler. I know the stadium quite well, but it’s still growing, changing so slightly. Small tweaks here, a new place there, and it still demands a stroll through now and again.
This entry’s thanks goes out to my mom. Thanks for going to the game with me and having fun. Even though it was a loss and the last of the special year, it didn’t really matter. Oh, and thank you nameless baseball player for the toss up. You truly did make a memory that was shared by a mother and son.
And now on to the awkward 2011 season…