In April 2019, Heather took me to see our Yankees play the Houston Astros on the road at Minute Maid Park.
Even though the Yanks lost, I still had a great day at the ballpark! I’m a sports freak so whenever I get a chance to see an event live, I eat it up!
(Except golf. Since I played golf extensively from age 39 to 57, I love watching the game!
But only on TV.
I’ve seen tournaments in Akron, OH (Firestone Tournament of Champions), Dublin, OH (Jack Nicklaus’s Memorial Open), St Petersburg/Clearwater (Valspar Open), Dallas, TX (Byron Nelson Invitational) & several here in San Antonio (Texas Open, Senior events @ The Dominion & Oak Hills)…But never really enjoyed them in person.
You hafta follow a particular group around the course…or stay in one spot & see all the different groups play through…or a little of both.
But you’ll always miss the majority of action that’s continually going on around the entire course.)
And it seems that I’m often privileged to see some memorable happenings whenever I do get the opportunity to be a spectator at a live event.
As a kid, I sat in the very top row of the left field upper deck (last seat at the very edge) in Shea Stadium in NY when Bob Moose pitched a no-hitter to lead the Pittsburgh Pirates past the Mets 4-0 in September 1969. In fact, I got free tickets by clipping coupons off Borden Milk cartons!
In 1978, I went to game 3 of the Yankees-Dodgers World Series. The Yanks had lost the first 2 games out in Los Angeles & the crowd was anticipating a big turnaround. Ron Guidry pitched them to a 5-1 victory, but Graig Nettles played the greatest game at the hot corner than any 3rd baseman I’d ever seen! He easily saved 5-6 runs with magnificent fielding plays in the victory as the Yankees swept all remaining games to repeat as World Champions.
As a big Boston Bruins fan, I’d often sneak into Madison Square Garden by slipping $2 (TWO DOLLARS!!!) to the usher taking the tickets at the entrance. I’d go to a lot of different Rangers games with my buddies, but always tried to attend whenever they played the Bruins. One Sunday night, after a Boston victory, fans started heckling, and throwing stuff at, the Boston players as they were leaving the ice & heading into the tunnel. That didn’t sit very well with them as several players climbed over the glass barriers & start beating on the Rangers fans. Boston winger Terry O’Reilly even took the shoe off one guy & starting beating him over the head with it. Yeah, beat ‘em, then beat ‘em up!!!
Seemed that no matter what bowling league I was in, the other team would always bowl their best games ever. In one season in San Antonio (University Bowl off I-10) & again in Columbus, OH (AMF Sawmill Lanes), my team had 5 perfect games bowled against us! I, myself, have never reached that pinnacle (12 consecutive strikes), although I’ve come close several times with 11 strikes (a 290 game & several 279s).
I’ve never had a hole-in-one in golf, though I’ve come pretty close on 3 occasions: cam up about 4 inches short on a par-3 at the Mission Del Lago course here in San Antonio & then on consecutive days at the Disney courses in Lake Buena Vista, I bent a 7-wood that rolled right toward the hole, but bounced off the flag stick at the Disney Magnolia & Palm courses! I did have the pleasure of witnessing one close up when my partner (Angelo Mileto, from Systems Support at Citi under Randy Klause) smacked a beautiful 5-iron from 178 yards out on the elevated tee box at #17 at Cedar Creek here in San Antonio. And he didn’t even get excited…I went nuts while he was completely nonchalant about the whole thing!
In 1995, I was at a San Antonio Spurs game at the Alamodome (before they started played at the AT&T Center) when, all of a sudden, a massive fire sprinkler suddenly went off mid-game, completing soaking hundreds of fans sitting behind the basket. The sprinkler was located at the very base of the Club Level, so it was just high enough to get a few sections’ worth of fans pretty wet. Yeah, they eventually were able to turn it off & resume play!
In August of 1985, I was at Yankee Stadium when the Yankees were taking on the White Sox. Bobby Meachem was on 2nd base with Dale Berra on 1st when Rickie Henderson lashed a no-out, sinking line drive to left-center field.
Meacham held up at second to see if the ball was gonna be caught while Berra was off & running with the crack of the bat. The ball was quickly retrieved & relayed home. Catcher Carlton Fisk was patiently waiting as Meacham slid home “(YOU’RE OUT!!!), soon followed by Berra (“YOU’RE ALSO OUT!!!”). Two runners on, no outs…batter hits a double…no runners score, double play!
There was this one basketball game I watched (it wasn’t live, but since I watched it on TV at the Downingtown Inn in Pennsylvania, it almost felt like I was there!) when I was a kid. Actually, I only got to watch less than a minute of the game.
It was the night after Thanksgiving 1969w & I went “exploring” around the resort. There was this empty building that I believed housed a big banquet room. I’m poking around in the dark when I come across this room off to the side…that had this ancient TV in it!
I couldn’t believe it when I was actually able to get it to turn on. However, every channel was nothin’ but static…except for one.
Channel 9, WWOR, home of NY Knicks games.
It was toward the every end of the game.
The Knicks had the ball with :16 left, but they were down by 5 points to the Cincinnati Royals (later the Kansas City Royals & now the Sacramento Kings).
In fact, Bob Cousy, the all-time Celtics great guard, was player-coach for the Royals.
Lo & behold, the Knicks staged one of the greatest comebacks in sports history, beating the Royals by 1 for their 18th consecutive victory & starting off their eventual championship season with a 23-1 record!
Some pretty memorable moments…
Oh, wow, I forgot to tell the story about when Heather & I went to the Yankees game at Minute Maid Park!
(Ya know, you’re supposed to be helping keep me on track. You guys slackin’ off again???
Because of my physical condition, I need a wheelchair to be able to go a venue like a ballpark as I could never, ever make the walk. Heck, we parked about a block & a half from the stadium & it would’ve taken me a damned week just to do that (with several rest stops along the way).
Anyway, Heather was great in wheeling me around (I felt so bad as it took us almost 5 hours to get there from San Antonio with all the Houston rush hour traffic & I also can’t help with the driving any longer) and we had ourselves an excellent time.
When it was time to leave, we waited in our seats to allow most of the crowd to go first.
On the way out, she stopped outside the entrance to the men’s room for me.
I grabbed my cane, got myself up & shuffled off into the bathroom.
But as I was standing up in front of the wheelchair to steady myself & catch my balance, I couldn’t help but notice this little boy, holding his Dad’s hand, walking toward us.
The little boy’s eyes seemed as big as pizzas as he stared at me, mouth wide open, as if he was just witnessing a miracle.
He even tugged on his Dad’s hand to get his attention.
I smiled, gave him a thumb’s up & went inside to do my business.
I can’t remember whether or not I actually turned on the light in my halo before getting up. I know it glows in the dark, but…
Then again, it coulda been my horns! (Halo, my ass!) 🤪
Thank you so very much for listening!
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