#socialmediabuttons {text-align: center; margin: 0 auto; display:block;} -->
Wednesday, September 21, 2011

To Catch an LA Angel

My family and I were lucky to catch a Freeway Series game at Angels Stadium this past July 3, (the first time I’d been to the ballpark in more than a year.)
We had fifteen in our group, but I was the only one who waited (in the sun) to get into the ballpark as soon as the gates opened.
I love walking around the empty concourses and sharing a word or a smile with staff and vendors who have yet to be frazzled from hours of serious capitalism.

By about 11:45 a.m., I was standing about twenty rows up, adjacent to the bullpen – in Section 103 or 102 – and was soaking up the scene
I was also acting like a girl as I squealed – a little – as I saw players making their way onto the field, or recognized those already busy doing warm-ups.
A few people looked around to see who was squealing, and I shamelessly pointed at my then-fifteen-month-old son, blaming the aforementioned noise on “something he’d eaten for breakfast.”
Anyway... so I'm standing there, holding my son, when one of the Angel relief pitchers, Scott Downs (#37) caught my eye. He held up one arm – telling me to get ready – pulled the arm back and chucked a baseball toward ME!
Needless to say, I tried to one-handedly catch aforementioned Rawlings artifact, but the bundle of joy in my left arm (I’m a leftie) meant I soooo missed catching the ball
it wasn’t even close
and another fan snatched MY, er, the ball for his own family memory.
Now it gets interesting... Downs saw I was jumping up and down
like a girl again...my ball! my ball! Oh, at this stage, I must point out I’m forty-two and about as bald as a scuffed baseball.
Crushed, I look at Corey to say “there you go, son, that’s the one that got away,” when I realized Downs had gone back to the bullpen to get another ball.
No, he’s not…
He catches my eye, asks if I'm ready (with the practice throw of his arm)
No, seriously, he must be acknowledging someone else.
I whip around and there’s no one in my immediate sphere of influence
it’s a very small sphere, more like a tiny circle
and have the awareness to move my son to my other arm.
No, c’mon, seriously, he’s not going to give me a second shot, is he??
Mr. Scott Downs, my now-favorite Angel sailed the ball directly into my hand where it landed on top of our television,
This is significant, because we’re a military family, who just moved to Hawaii and there is nothing else on top of the television – everything is still in boxes – I justify this by telling myself we have three years to unpack.

I sometimes wonder why Downs threw the ball to me

Was it because I was holding my son and this is something he can relate to, or was it because Downs saw I was wearing the #34 jersey of Nick Adenhart? Adenhart is the young Angels pitcher who was killed, along with his friends, Courtney Stewart and Henry Pearson, only hours after he pitched his first game of the 2009 season. (I wear the jersey in honor of Nick and only at Angels Stadium.)
I don't know, of course, but I'll be forever grateful to Scott Downs, and hope to get the chance to tell him in person this coming Sunday. I’ve got tickets to the game against the Oakland Athletics (following the end of the Southern California Writer's Conference in Newport Beach.
If anything happens, I’ll be sure to post it. If not, I look forward to the day when my son is old enough to understand the significance of an Angel’s kind gesture.
UPDATE Sept. 27: Although Scott didn't have a good game, and the Angels lost the game, he'll always be welcome in our home:)

As always, I value your time and appreciate you spending a few minutes of your day with me. Mahalo and regards,

“Aloha to learn what is not said, to see what cannot be seen and to know the unknowable.”
Queen Lili‘uokalani, (1838–1917), the last reigning monarch of the Hawaiian Islands.


Post a Comment

Dude saunters up to Dude-ette: You Comment Here Often?

Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...