READER WARNING: If you don’t care about baseball, skip this post, one of my periodic updates on our son’s progress through the Los Angeles Angels organization.
I may have imagined such a night, but I couldn’t have scripted it any better than it happened.
Unlike the year before, we got a call the night before letting all of us know our son was reporting to the major league game the next day; this is routine for the minor league players to get them some experience with the play at that level.
A sold out night game versus the Giants in Scottsdale Stadium meant that tickets were iffy. 11 of us converged anyway (some of us from about two hours away) with hopes of getting into the game, even though we knew our player probably wouldn’t make it into the game himself.
Son’s request for tickets didn’t get processed and the clerk at the will call window didn’t have anything for us. Following a brief discussion between the manager and the staff, the very accommodating Giants people just handed us some bleacher tickets and told us to enjoy the game. Not as miraculous as it might seem, since they deal with families like us all the time. Very nice gesture, nonetheless.
Once inside, we scanned the field and couldn’t believe he was actually taking BP at that very moment, so his dad and I dashed over against the backstop. Watching Manager Mike Scioscia watching our boy swing it was like a feature film playing in my brain.
We got a little bit of parental love when batting practice ended: glove bumps, the megawatt smile and a couple seconds of that good old baseball small talk, and then he disappeared into the dugout.
With most of his immediate family present (missing brother Casey in California and sister Marie in Prescott), his girl Addison, and his childhood buddies from Prescott (Wes, Jeff, and Jay), we squeezed into the distant right field bleachers where we had a great long view of the dugout.
Another baseball parent (thanks Carolyn Berg!) was sitting above the dugout and gave us updates on where he was standing along the rail so we could watch him watching the game.
In the top of the 8th, I didn’t see him leaning on the railing where he’d been through the entire game … looking down near the on deck circle, I spied a guy about his size wearing a helmet, holding a bat.
Never mind what was happening on the field, which the rest of the 10,000 plus spectators were following. Our group, surrounded by a sea of Giants fans, were watching, waiting, holding our collective breaths … and then we saw him step up onto the field, do his signature pre-at-bat move: the bat held in both hands raised high and then stretched behind his neck. Then his name was announced.
You won’t read a description of what happened next on MLB.com as there’s only a mention of the Angels picking up 2 hits in their defeat; Chris Pettit‘s early in the game is the only one noted. You will spot his name if you take a look at this wire account that didn’t make it into our hometown newspaper since the game ended too late.
If you’re a family member on FaceBook and want to see what happened when he singled to right on a 1 in 0 count, you can watch this video that a wonderful Giants fan recorded and sent me. Thank you Robert. Sorry, if you’re not a family member, it’s got privacy settings on it so you won’t be able to see it.
It won’t be written about anywhere else, but for us it was as good as it gets. Your kid batting 1.000 in the majors. For a day.
And we know it’s official because the bench coach gave Dillon the official score card.