Friday, August 6, 2010

Seeing Alex Hit Number 600

As proof to my Unity friends who are so concerned that I am not enjoying my retirement, I offer this ditty.

I got a call from one of the Ed Notes contacts last week. A guy around my age, he is still in the system, having taught only 10 years. Ugh! He has been an ATR over the last few years. Double Ugh!! Now he is being harassed by his principal - in a closing school yet. Give him a triple Ugh!!!

Well anyway, he figured a good way to catch up would be at a $5 senior citizen afternoon game at Yankee Stadium. Now I missed all 4 Yankee games when we were at the AFT convention in Seattle in early July. (Unlike so Unity people, many of whom went to at least one Yankee game, I actually was busy - processing video of all their shenanigans.) So I jumped at the chance. I told a former colleague who just turned 80 last week that I would treat her to a Yankee game and dinner afterward. Who would a thunk that Alex would go almost 2 weeks trying to hit number 600 and we would have a shot at seeing it? "He won't do it today," my friend said. "And if he did, we will be so far away for $5 he will look like a speck."

So, I took the subway up to her at her place in the city to meet her by 10 am on Wednesday. What do I care about getting on and off the subway? I have the golden senior citizen half fare card. But when we get back on the subway I realize I still have a free transfer and my card is not charged. A buck and change saved. I am my father's son.

We get to the stadium by 10:45 and meet my ATR friend and by 11:15 we're in. Now to find the seats - I'm ready with a tissue to control the nosebleed. But when we get in and take a look at where we were sitting.

Holy Cow! - as our old pal Phil used to say. Section 124 grandstand, row 25 (just inside the shade zone) between home and third right behind the visitor dugout, with a direct view of the pitchers mound. Just look at the map and weep.

We checked the prices. $245 seats - for 5 bucks a piece. Let's see now - saved a buck and change on the free subway transfer (plus the alta cocker half fare card) and got $245 seats for 5 bucks. What could be bad about this? Okay, maybe the $6 Nathan's hot dogs and the other hazari I was eating - at least $25 worth. And the fact that we were in "foul ball hitting us in the face territory." But I had my hat ready to snag anything coming my way - sorry I didn't drag out my 50 year old glove. Probably shrunken to the size of a mitten by now.

We're 10 minutes into the game and Alex does it - a monster over the center field wall into Memorial Park (which we didn't get in to see due to massive lines). I got so excited I hit my friend in the cheek. No way I was going to get away with dinner at Nathan's.

Then the game got pretty boring as Yankee pitcher Phil Hughes looked like he was sleep walking - working so slow - even though he only gave up a few hits. I mean you could see the grass grow between pitches. The game didn't pick up until he was taken out. Alex did nothing more though Jeter had 4 hits.

Oh yeah. And dinner was at a French restaurant on Lexington Ave. across from where Bernie Madoff used to live. Quadruple ugh!!!! And I'm not talking about the food. But at least the bulky wallet I came with was no longer bulging out of in back pocket on the subway ride home.

 Today I get a call from a teacher friend who says, "You saw the 600th home run." "How did you know," I said? "I saw you on TV," she said. Hope I wasn't picking my nose. Or scratching in funny places.

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