Monday, August 02, 2004

The Important Things

D and I grabbed the ferry up to the Stadium yesterday morning. The day started off wet, gray and gloomy and the chances of us actually seeing a game appeared slim. But season tickets and reserved seats on the Yankee Clipper mean that you get up early, miss breakfast, walk through the rain to the ferry (past the Newsies announcing new terror alerts against financial institutions and some unannounced bike race that completely screwed up traffic on Wall St.).
For those of you who haven't taken the ferry up to the Stadium I highly reccomend it. The trip takes an hour and the city literally unfolds around you, all the landmarks are there, sometimes close enough to touch. Plus they sell ice cold beer.
Anyway, 4 minutes walk over an Amtrak trestle, through a parking lot under the Major Deegan and through an overhead tunnel and their she is.. Yankee Stadium. Through security, into Box 315, row E seats 3 and 4, humidity thick enough to cut with a knife, relatively low turn out for 20 minutes prior to start (53000+ seats sold). A beer and a hotdog and we're set to cheer our team.
Sitting in front of us a man and his 4 year old son, the boy hardly able to stay in his seat. As the game goes on D and I talk with him a little, play with his kid (I hope D can post a shot of this kid growling at us). El Duque starts with a couple of Ks, all his pitches exhibiting the phenomenal movement that made him so automatic when he first joined. And as we're talking I tease out that this guy is Navy and soon to join his regiment in Iraq. This guy and his kid quickly grew on us and a Tony Clark homer and a high five exchanged between the three of us and the thought of him in Iraq became disturbing to me. Guy's a father of three, first time at the Stadium ( after a big family barbeque a close friend gave him 2 tickets and told him to drive down with his son to enjoy the game), clearly enjoying spending the time with his kid and since he had driven down ( we didn't know he had or we wouldn't have offered) refused our offer of a beer.
You know, a win for El Duque, homers from Clark, Arod and lil' smackie, a dominant 9th for Mo, a great Sunday with D in the Stadium. But our new friend in the row ahead of us cast a different light on the day. I was glad the Yanks got a win for you, and happy to have met you and played with your boy.
Here's to the safety of you and the rest of NMBC 27 and all our men and women around the world. Come home safely.
Lilgunnie there's a beer and a dog and tickets to a game on me when you get back. Thank you for your bravery and your service. And for helping us remember what the important things are.

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