Friday, February 20, 2009

The Greatest Sports Memory

So as I mentioned two posts ago, my favorite sports event ever was a Giants/Rockies game in September of 2006. Matt Cain pitched a gem so the game was pretty fun. A couple of my friends were lolly-gagging it in the suite area (drinking) and we stuck around after the game for about an hour. Once we decided to finally leave, a Giants worker slammed a gate in our face and told us we had to go around.

We walked back through the main concourse and noticed there were people on the field. My two drunk friends ran down there to check it out. Within seconds they were on the field and picked up gloves and a ball. They were running to the outfield to play catch.

Well, of course, my other two friends and I (all sober) were not going to let them have all the fun. We wandered down and nodded to the guy sitting at the homeplate gate. We walked past him and onto the field. We also picked up gloves and started playing catch and taking pictures. It was amazing. Playing catch on a Major League outfield was absolutely a childhood dream come true. We took pictures of us on the field, in front of the clock and scoreboard, and fake robbing homeruns. What happened next made this experience legendary...

They called everyone to come in from playing catch. There were four or five Giants' interns explaining how the program was going to work: [My thoughts are in brackets]

"First off, we'd like to thank you all for your genorosity and for coming out today. [Uh-oh...] We also want to make sure you've all signed waivers- well, we know you have, but just in case come up and sign one. [Waivers? We don't need no stinking waivers! PS, thanks for the quick out on that one- thought we were caught for a second.]

"So to start, half of you will be at homeplate taking batting practice and the other half will take batting practice. Then we'll switch. [What! No way!!!] After everyone has gotten some practice in, we'll be playing a homerun derby type game. Whoever gets the most points will win prizes. [At this point I'm looking across at my drunk friend and shaking my head- he looks me square in the eyes and starts nodding...]

"Everyone be safe and let's get started!"

My drunk friend grabs a batting helmet and bat and is the first in the cage. He takes his cuts and around the 10th or 12th pitch they tell him it's the last one he'll get. He takes his cut and starts running the bases. Apparently he got a double.

My other drunk friend was second in the cage. The man on second steals third on the first pitch. On the last pitch for batter #2, batter #1 runs for home. He slides in safe.

After my friends getting reprimanded for running the bases, my two sober friends and I stepped in and also took batting practice at AT&T Park!!! I must say I got a hold of a few off the 50 mph pitching machine.

So at this point, we all roll back to the outfield. The feeling is starting set in that we are going to get caught. We assumed that they had the names of everyone for the homerun derby-esque contest, and that whether we used real or fake names, we would be caught by attempting to participate.

At that point we go in shifts to try to leave. Unfortunately, the only way out was through the Giants' clubhouse. We did not realize this. The sober group tried to leave first. An intern yelled at us and told us we weren't allowed up on the concourse (where we were attempting to go.) I made up a story about how I had to leave because of an urgent phone call (I was very vague.) She said it was no problem, but we had to go through the dugout exit. Unfortunately, one of the drunk friends coming back in our car. So we called him over awkwardly once we knew which way to go. He ran over and we headed down through the dugout (also awesome.)

As we were going out, there was some small talk with the intern saying we had fun eventhough we had to leave early. We were homefree (despite our other friend who was still inside- he ended up ok.) Unfortunately she then asked the fatal question, "So, what group are you guys with?"


I let my other friend answer. "Uh... about that... We didn't really know what was going on, and we came down to the field and uh..."

Basically it was a lot of She said, "So you guys just crashed our charity event?"

"Well, we really didn't know..."

"So when we asked for everyone to sign waivers, you guys didn't think anything of that?"

"Yeah, uh, see, the thing is..."

The key thing was that we continued our forward movement and security was not called. We got to the door and she left us with some sacasm, "Thanks. Yeah. Thanks." To which my drunk friend replied "GO GIANTS!" as we exited. Icing on the cake.

On the way home, we could not stop smiling about our time on the field. We called everyone we knew explaining the whole experience. I don't see how any sports experience could get much better, but there you go. That's my #1.


Matt Clark said...

I'm so jelous that must have been awesome the closest i'v gotten was the 10 dollar tour of pac bell it's pretty cool

GMoney said...

Fantastic...charities are so smug.

Tony B. said...

Yeah, one of these days I should make a donation to Junior Giants- but that might "taint" the story and we know baseball has enough of that going on these days.