A Day I’ll Never Forget
I finally made it back out to Yankee Stadium! I saw my first game this year last Thursday, August 11. It was the rubber game of the series against the Angels. The Halos won the first, the Yanks won the second. I knew it was going to be a good game, and and all-around good day. But I didn’t think it’d be THIS good.
Some of you might know that aside from my blog here at MLBlogs, I write for the FanVsFan Network at my site Pinstripe Partisan. I love that site for a number of reasons, one of the main reasons being that the people who work there are amazing. One of the leaders of the site himself is a Yankees fan and a native New Yorker, and he was generous enough to give me not one, but TWO free tickets to this Yankees game. So not only did I have the time of my life, but I was able to experience the day with my older brother, who had not yet been to the new Yankee Stadium.
But he didn’t just give me tickets. He gave me tickets, that for me, were perfect. When I found out where they were, I couldn’t wait to go.
My brother and I took the train down to the Stadium. Bobby is just as much of a Yanks fan as I am, and he was dying to see the new Stadium. When he first caught a glimpse of it as we were walking towards it, he was in awe – so much that he called home and told my Mom: “Ahh, Mommy! It’s so beautiful, you have no idea…” While on the phone, he turned to me and demanded that I take a picture.
We got the the Stadium 2 hours before the game was scheduled to start. Our plan was to go to our seats as soon as possible and watch batting practice and possibly get autographs. When we got to our section, Bobby reminded me:
“Virginia, please don’t embarrass me.”
Why so concerned?
Our seats were two rows behind the Yankee bullpen. And it was a day game. After a night game. Which meant that some players would be resting. Which meant that some backups would be playing.
WHICH MEANT THAT I HAD A CHANCE TO BE TWO ROWS AWAY FROM FRANCISCO CERVELLI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I can see now why he was worried about me.
The first Yankees we saw up-close-and-personal from our perch atop the bullpen wall was Freddy Garcia. He was getting some throwing in. Then Mike Harkey, the coolest bullpen coach ever, entered, and my brother and I (then the only people at the wall) yelled out, “Hi Hark!” AND HE WAVED!!! I thought my day was made. Oh, but there was more to come.
I was watching the hitters take BP, waiting for Cervelli to be done so he could come into the bullpen. BP was long, so my brother and I left for awhile to look around the Stadium, whose beauty was mesmerizing. When we got back to our seats, the wait wasn’t very long. Bobby pointed to a sexy looking man approaching from the dugout. I started to freak out.
“Virginia, you’re doing it.” he warned.
I managed to not explode. I let Francisco Cervelli approach. I captured his warm-up routine with about 50 pictures. Here are some personal favorites:
Before I knew it, he entered the bullpen. I was wearing my “Cervelli 29” shirt I bought last year at the Stadium. It was crowded at the bullpen wall now, but I figured, “It’s now or never.” And I was the only one in the ballpark that I knew of wearing his shirt. I was his ultimate fan. All these other idiots asking for his autograph didn’t really care about him. I didn’t want to harass him like the rest of them.
When he got close enough, I just yelled out, “Hey Francisco!!!! I’m wearing your shirt!”
Now I don’t know if he heard me, or if he saw the shirt when I turned around to show him. All I know, is that he waved at me, and I almost died. I’m lucky that I didn’t fall into the bullpen and die. I really am.
FRANCISCO CERVELLI WAVED TO ME. Holy Jesus. My life was then complete.
So he did more warm-ups, then when he exited the ‘pen, he waved again at us! Such a sweetie.
Oh yeah, then the GAME started. That was fun.
Bartolo Colon pitched a good game for the Yankees. I thought I was going to see Nova, but he pitched the night before. So when I heard it was Colon, I was happy. He was our first choice for a starter to see live!
The game was quiet at first, with no teams scoring through the first 4 innings. In the 5th, the Angels jumped out to a 2-0 lead on an Alberto Callaspo 2-run homer. That upset the sellout crowd, but they soon began to cheer when the fan who caught the ball threw it back.
In the bottom of the 6th, my cutie Curtis Granderson decided to give us something to smile about for real. After a Derek Jeter single, my GrandyMan homered to tie the game at 2! Then the next time the Yanks were on offense, big things happened, thanks to Mr. Robbie Cano. The bases were loaded after an Angel error, and Cano made them pay.
GRAND SLAM! Seeing that live was amazing. The ball jumped off Cano’s bat like I’ve seen no other. It got out of the park in a hurry, and Yankees fans went crazy. 6-2 lead!
*Note: Francisco Cervelli walked in that inning, and for some reason, Girardi called for Russell Martin to pinch run for him? I didn’t know why he did that. My Grandma said it was because a female fan was harassing Cervelli, and he couldn’t take it….wasn’t me!
Cory Wade made things messy in the 9th, so Mariano Rivera had to come in. Always a pleasure seeing him make his way to the mound.
We were all aware of Mo’s mishaps on the mound that week. We didn’t want to witness another one. And when Russell Branyan pinch hit, we were a little nervous. With 2 men on, Branyan homered…yikes. All of a sudden it was 6-5. I thought maybe that was all Mariano would allow.
Thank God I was right. We couldn’t afford to stick around for more innings – we had a train to catch! Luckily, Mo settled down and finished up the game. YANKEES WIN 6-5!
My brother didn’t want to leave. Once we got home, he said, “We need to go back.” He then proceeded into his room, and began looking up more Yankees tickets. I hope we can go again before college starts!
It was a day I’ll never forget, that’s for sure. How often can a girl say that her crush waved to her at close distance, and she didn’t die? I’m proud.
It was an amazing early 18th birthday present for me. My real birthday is tomorrow. I’ll enjoy my last day as a kid today.
Thanks again to Michael H. for that amazing day! You’re the best.