Saturday, June 18, 2016

#13: Load Up the Bases [101 in 1001]

Load up the bases, fire up the crowd.
Lets clear out the dugout, we're gonna get real loud!
Just throw me a fastball, smoke from the mound.
We're gonna end this thing with just one swing.
I'm gonna knock one out!
I'm gonna knock one out!
Load Up the Bases by Whiskey Falls

My earliest TV memories were of Sesame Street, Hee-Haw, and later when we got cable, televised Major League baseball games. My dad and I didn’t have many common interests, but we did have a mutual love/hate relationship with the Atlanta Braves. We watched them go from worst to first, and unfortunately by the time my father died, back to worst again. Dad’s been gone for twelve years and they haven’t made it back to first YET! *sigh*

One of my dreams was to attend a game.  The problem was 1) I don't drive on the interstate, 2) Even if I did, there's no way I'm driving in Atlanta (much less alone), and 3) I don't even know how to buy a proper affordable ticket without ending up with seats just outside the toilet.  I put it on my 101 in 1001 list, not really knowing if it was possible.

I heard a minister say once that there was no Hebrew word for "coincidence"--meaning "A man's heart deviseth his way: but the Lord directeth his steps (Proverbs 16:9 KJV).  No, I'm not saying that Baseball is the Lord's favorite sport (we all know it's college football).  I simply mean that God does care about the little things.  So I won't say it was a coincidence, but that God lined things up perfectly.  My friend Joni is an avid Braves and San Francisco Giants fan (?).  She happened to mention to me at church that the Braves and Giants were playing each other in Atlanta on Memorial Day--my 44th birthday AND my day off--and she and her family were planning to attend.  I asked her if there was any way possible for me to ride with them, plus I needed help buying a ticket.  "No problem," she said.

No problem?

Wait, where are all the excuses I usually get from my friends when it comes to stuff like this?

There weren't any.

The night before the game and the ride to Atlanta were reminiscent of the sleepless nights and giddy mornings I experience before a 5k race.  Walking from the Blue parking lot to our seats was like walking a 5k.  I didn't care.  I was at Turner Field during it's last season (they're building a new stadium, SunTrust Field). 

The seats were great.  They were in the shade and on the upper deck of the home plate side.  The pre-game festivities were a moving tribute to the military heroes we lost in combat.  The game was fabulous; the Braves actually defeated the Giants 5-3.  (Do the Chop here)  The only downside was the roasted peanuts; the bag I bought must have been old...very old.

I came home tired, but with a smile on my face. Thanks, Joni, for giving me one of the best birthdays ever!

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