Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Evan at the Phillies Game

So I didn't even get to write about Evan's experience at the Phillies game on September 21st against the Washington Nationals. I've been so busy with work and driving back and forth between Philadelphia and New York. I had been wanting to take Evan to a Phillies game all summer, actually, since April, but just never got it together. Thankfully, the Phils won the National League East, so a lot of seats opened up for some of the final home games, which no longer had playoff implications. The seats I was able to get were 3 rows behind the Phillies dugout.
L-R Raul Ibanez, Shane Victorino, Jimmy Rollins.

We got to our seats, and Evan seemed interested, well, that was until the 2nd inning when I heard Evan trying to get my attention. "Daddy....daddy....I want to go home now." At first I tried to distract him by pointing out where the Philly Phanatic was, or if there was some kind of play happening, but Evan was 'over it' by the second inning. I was able to keep his interest until the 4th inning, when I had to come up with a Plan B. I didn't want to just leave, so I told him we could go to the playground inside the ballpark. We spent some time at the playground, and walked around the entire inside of the stadium in a complete circle, right back to where our seats were. To get him to go back to our seats, I had to come up with a new strategy, or face toddler meltdown right then and there. That's when I saw a vendor with cotton candy. "Evan, if we go back to our seats, we can get some cotton candy!" 

Evan agreed and we went back to our seats. As we were coming down the steps, the Philly Phanatic was on top of the Phillies dugout. Had we not moved, Evan would have had a perfect view, but by the time we got to our seats, he was gone. So I nervously waited for the cotton candy guy and tried to keep Evan's interest in the game. As one inning ended, I saw Raul Ibanez running off the field towards the dugout with a ball in his glove. I yelled "Raul!" He looked up and saw me holding Evan and tossed the ball to me. Everything went into slow motion. I saw the ball coming towards me against the black night sky. I knew that dropping it or making some awkward attempt to catch it could be horribly embarrassing. I reached up and snatched it one handed, and handed it to Evan! Some of the people around us cheered. I think every dad's dream is to heroically snatch a home run ball, or foul ball and hand it over to their kid. To my 3 year old son, I was a hero, even if only for a moment.