This story will be white and legless, that is to say it will be BRIEF. I will be posting a massive blog post detailing my adventures in further detail once I get home, have a computer (not an iPhone), get more than 5 hours of sleep, and have had a chance to think out my words.
So here it goes, the condensed version of how I got on the board in 2013… I ended up hanging a crooked number to boot!
First, the disappointing bit. The Twins did NOT do anything special for St. Patrick’s Day! This would normally not bother me if the same standards were held against me or anyone I knew, in fact, I encourage people to NOT wear green. But here’s the deal, I remember seeing highlights on TV as a kid and the Twins were wearing green! I thought that was cool back then and really love seeing different styles if uniforms, no matter how ugly (heck, I’d still kill to own a Turn AHEAD the Clock Twins uni).
So let’s erase that bad feeling and get on with the good news. I’m here, safe, and with a few extra balls for my eventual mancave. On top of it all, it means I have started raising funds for a great organization, NAMI!
OK, so I got on the board by “hopping a fence”. I was excited, could you blame me? I was just BURNING to donate my first dollar! I got to the field WAY too early, especially for a team that is so secretive with their facility. The Twins are very open, you can see everywhere except inside the stadium without buying a ticket. Baltimore, you can try to look over the obscured fences to look at their minor-league fields.
Here’s exactly what I saw on my long walk around the entire “campus”:
I had to make it mine, especially since NO ONE would ever find the ball, and no one was watching me. (The yellow plastic on the bottom is the top of the fence I may have scaled.
And there it was, an official beginning to the 2013 ballhawking season.
Once inside the stadium, I went over to left field and waited in the only area I could catch homers. I figured that Doumit, even Morneau, and some of the earlier crew would pop a few out. And so my first instincts of 2013 were proven wrong. As I wanted to get closer to the dugout while the “lesser named guys batted” in order to maybe talk to some of the guys like Morneau and take a couple photos, that’s when the thunder-sticks were unleashed. Darin Mastroianni and Drew Butera were poking them out, right where I had been standing. Dang.
After the Twins wrapped up their session I tried for a toss-up And it was Drew Butera who helped me donate my second dollar. I like to think that it was my catcher’s mitt that did the trick, but it was probably because I hollered a couple times, flashed a glove, and was one if the few that was wearing Twins gear.
In the bottom Of the 2nd, Vance Worley got in a jam, surrendered a couple, but finally got a grounder to go to Justin Morneau. Justin bobbled it a little and it was a rather long toss for a 3-1 put-out, but it got the job done. On the way in I was prepared to try my best to get the first gamer (of the toss-up variety) of 2013. I shouted for Vance and he looked, but the gave the ball to Darin Mastroianni, who was in between Vance and I. Darin turned, looked around and that’s when I yelled out his name couple if times. He conceded and tossed the ball my way. I was the only fan asking for it and there were no children around, what did he expect. (Let’s go back to that, there were NO children around! That’s nuts! I guess I snuck in under the minimum 65 years old rule.)
You’ll notice that this photo is a different size and has been doctored (don’t worry, the doctoring is in purpose and well understood, unlike that Gretzky Honus Wagner card… check that ESPN short on it!). Self-pimpery: This photo was taken from my Instagram feed. Check it out, I’m doing a cool experiment where I only post one photo per day for the entire year (#Project365Pix). Many of the baseball game days will be represented in the future.
Well, I guess that means that with all three of the three balls I have gotten so far this year documented, we have reached the thank you section. As my thanks will be long in my expanded version, I’ll just say thanks to Drew Butera, Darin Mastroianni, Vance Worley, and the state of Florida. I know that we wouldn’t get March baseball in Minnesota, so thank you, Florida, for providing this sanctuary for baseball-lovers.
PS: it’s only 10:30 in Florida, making it 9:30 back home in Minnesota… but I am dead tired. I guess that running a heavy sleep deficit catches up with you. If only I wasn’t forcing myself to get up at 7:30 to start another day of fun in the sun. #FirstWorldProblems #LifeOfABaseballFanatic