The following was written by David Franco over at Next Level Ballplayer. David is a former teammate of mine and is nice enough to write for Diamond Hoggers from time to time. You can follow him on twitter here. The following is an excerpt from his adventures of getting into the All Star Game and watching the game with Matt Cain’s agent. The full story is at MLBeef.
3:55pm-ish: It’s now officially decided that I’m getting dropped off at Kauffman. Now starts probably the most ridiculous part of the evening… The drop-off.
The drop-off scenario is kind of tricky when the car you’re in doesn’t want to park in the stadium. The goal becomes to get as close to the stadium as possible without getting into a point of no return. Luckily time is on our side, with 3 hours until first pitch. The road that you turn off to head into the stadium has no stopped traffic. There are plenty of cars on the road, but traffic is moving.
We are driving down the street with the stadium on our left, approaching the left turn that we would take into the parking lot if we were planning on parking.
Me: Just pull off on the right side of the road up here and I’ll walk. This is as close as we’re going to get… right here is good… right where those two cars just pulled off…
M-in-Law zooms past my desired drop off.
M-in-Law: I want to get you closer than that.
It’s too late to argue. Now our lane now looks like we’re about to get back on the freeway if we continue straight.
Wife: Mom, you gotta make a U-Turn here!
M-in-Law: I can’t!
Wife: Yes you can!!
M-In-Law and Wife as the car is making a fast-and-furious-type U-turn that may or may not have been legal: AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH
We aren’t close to hitting any other cars, but both of them are literally screaming until we are straight again… I consider opening my door and jumping out.
Me: Okay, just pull over and let me out here… Don’t turn right up there into the stadium… Once you go in, you won’t be able to get back out… Seriously, you don’t want to turn in here… Don’t go in here!
M-In-Law (As if I had specifically asked her to turn into the stadium): I’ll just pull in and then turn around.
Me: There’s no turn around! All lanes are one way coming into the stadium!
She turns in.
Now we’re in those 50 yards of road before cars have to pay for parking. She goes down half way and stops. I can’t get out of the car soon enough. I want to explain why this was such a horrible decision, but it’s no use now. I say goodbye and close my door with absolutely no idea how they are going to get out.
I feel like a middle school kid whose mom drops him off at the movie theater to meet his friends, only she pulls down the wrong way of the one-way drop off lane, then hops two wheels up on the curve as she comes to a stop. All the while, she stops traffic and causes a scene… I’m debating whether I’d rather be that middle school kid… back to the moment.
Other people are watching now. There are six lanes, all with sporadic cars coming in each. The first attempt to turn around results in a horn honk from a car and a my M-in-Law slamming on her breaks. Then she gets across 2 lanes and has to stop horizontal to let a few cars in Lane 3 get by. Meanwhile she’s holding up cars in Lane 1 and 2…
I feel like turning away and never looking back, but I can’t help but watch. She almost side swipes someone in Lane 5 before getting to the empty Lane 6 which she must have assumed was her safe lane out… wrong. As she’s picking up speed and coming up to the street, a Ford truck turns in, both hit their breaks, and then they come to a full stop facing each other.
4:15pm: At this point I’ve seen enough. I can’t stinking watch any more of this. I turn towards the stadium, take a deep breath. Not sure where to go, so I just start walking.
4:17pm: I’m wearing a Miami of Ohio baseball hat. Practically the first tailgate I walk by has Miami of Ohio corn hole boards set up.
4:22pm: Sipping on a silver bullet and eating baseball-shaped cookies with my new best friends who (like me) graduated from Miami. The fact that I’d never met them before had no bearing on their hospitality… The “drop-off catastrophe” is a distant memory.
4:27pm: PrimeTime calls.
PrimeTime: Hey dude. I have good news and bad news. Good news is that I found you a ticket. Bad news is that it’s $270 (Matt knows that’s a lot of money to me).
Me: Cool man. Where are the seats?
PrimeTime: Actually you’d be sitting with Matt Cain’s agent (yes the Matt Cain who was the starting pitcher for the National League All Star Team) in the Field Box section. I don’t know where they exactly are, but I’m sure their good.
Me: So the $270 is face value?
I think about it for a second, but at the end of the day there is no way I’m saying no to this deal. A last minute Field Box ticket for face value from the agent for the NL’s starting pitcher tonight… Seems too good to be true. I call Landon Williams (Matt Cain’s agent) and he answers. This is really happening. In less than 20 minutes after being dropped off I have a ticket locked up and am good to go.
4:41pm: Landon is on his way to the stadium from his hotel. I have some time to kill and want to check things out. I say goodbye to my Miami friends and head towards the fan fun area.
4:46pm: I see a “Hit a Homerun for the Troops” deal where they have five batting tees set up and for every wiffle ball you hit over the fence they donate a buck to a charity. I notice that a few older kids are hitting and feel that it’s safe for my 29 year-old self to take a few hacks. Plus the line is short.
Now by the time I get to the front of the line the average age of the five kids hitting on the tees can’t be more than 10. I look behind me and notice that I’m about twice the size of everyone else waiting to hit. It’s like I’ve found myself at Disneyland in a line to hug Daffy Duck. The kid right behind me makes it worse when he taps me on the mid back (about as high as he could reach) to ask, “Are you in line?”
What a punk. Calm down little man. Yes I’m in line… I’m feeling awkward.
The lady calls me up to tee #2 and I promptly hit my first ball for a home run. I don’t even feel good about it. Check out the kid on the tee behind me in the video. That’s what I was surrounded by. And worst of all, I was flying solo. At least if I was with a buddy, we could wager $5 on whoever could hit the most homers. If needed, the tiebreaker could be that each of us randomly picks an unknowing kid to compete in the homer off (I’ve thought through this too much). Anyways, I line out and ground out to end my three swings and quickly move on… I definitely should have left $2 to make up for my last two lame swings. I feel like I’ve personally let down the troops.
5:07pm: I make my way to the front of the stadium and Landon calls. He just parked and is on his way. He’ll call me when he gets to the stadium. When I hang up I look down and notice that my phone battery is blinking. Crap. I quickly write down Landon’s phone number just in case and pray that my phone holds on long enough to meet up and get my ticket.
5:15pm: Landon calls.
Me: Hey man… hello… hello?
Phone is dead. Not good timing. Never met Landon before in my life and have no idea what he looks like. On top of that I don’t want to keep Matt Cain’s agent on a wild goose chase trying to find some random guy who wants a ticket. After all I’ve been through to get to this point, is this seriously going to happen now?!?! I’m kind of panicking.
I need to borrow a phone. In this day and age that shouldn’t be hard right?
Continue and read the full story at MLBeef