August 13, 2003

Sowing the Steves of Glove. Hey, everybody! Guess who just got back from on the town (Queens) with Jahna D'Lish, who was given two free, primo box seats to the Mets/Giants game, where not only did Mike Piazza go 3-for-5 with a homer and 5 RBI's to lead the Mets in his first game after almost three months out, but where that same certain friend of Miss D'Lish got his very own foul ball?!?!

The answer is, of course, former Secretary of State Warren Christopher.

No, wait, the answer is me! And while it was definitely a delightful night at the ballpark (for which D'Lish was repaid handsomely in Bud Lights), the highlight was undoubtedly that foul ball. Now, you might have noticed that above I said "got" a ball as opposed to "caught" one. This is unfortunately too true, because while the foul ball hit by Roger Cedeno in the fifth was certainly very catchable, as the meteor-like ball hurtled towards me a rather large part of my brain decided I didn't really need a baseball that badly, and I froze at the crucial moment of non-impact, not even making any contact.

Just to back up and set the scene a little: D'Lish and I were sitting in the last row of our field section, a row that had only the two seats and some room to either side. Now, when I stood up to supposedly catch the ball, I ended up actually standing a foot or so to the left of my seat, and when the ball finally shot down it landed...on my seat. And stayed there somehow. Leaving me the much simpler and pain-free task of turning around and picking it up, then waving it around like I actually did something. Still, it was pretty damn exciting.

Now, this wasn't my first foul ball. Late in the 1996 season at the Kingdome I grabbed one under similar circumstances (except that the ball had bounced around and landed at my feet) off the bat of Geronimo Berroa (who hit 36 homers that year). This may have been the same game that Mark McGwire hit two mammoth upper-deck shots in the same inning, but as I get older they all kind of run together.

And then there was a memorable game I attended years ago with Friend of the Donk Keith, the last home game at Shea after the Mets had been eliminated. It was late in the meaningless game had we had moved down to the fourth or fifth row behind home plate. There was a bouncing foul ball that landed right in the first row, under the seat of some Richie Rich executive type sitting on the aisle. Specifically, it had landed in a discarded tray filled with condiments, and Richie Rich was unable to find it. After a few seconds had passed I saw my opportunity, jumped out of my aisle seat, ran down the aisle and grabbed the ball, then returned to me seat with the mustardy treasure.

Well, a few seconds later Mr. Richie Rich runs up and tries to grab the ball out of my hands, screaming how it had landed under his seat, and we weren't even supposed to be sitting there, and blah-de-blah-blah-blah! I mean, what a complete prick! I finally let go of the ball, because what the hell else was I supposed to do, and I was becoming covered with mustard. God, I hope something really awful has happened to that prick. Anyway, that game was also memorable for us since we had the honor of sitting behind Larry Doby's son, an imposing guy who was extremely pissed off at those bastards at the Hall of Fame for not electing his dad. Doby was finally elected in 1998, and Keith and I have always suspected that a personal visit by his son might have swung a few of those Veteran's Committee votes.

(Oh, yeah. The cryptic headline has to do with the fact that every time Mets starting pitcher Steve Trachsel came up to bat the PA played the Tears for Fears classic "Sowing the Seeds of Love," which is a fairly odd song to hear at the ballpark. Anyway, D'Lish and I decided our version made more sense in that context, so we sang it real loud every time he came up.)
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