I have spoken with other guys my age who can vividly recount their first big league game, so I think it might be worthy of "milestone" status. By that I mean, one of those events that is intensely anticipated, yet still turns out to be every bit as good as expected. Milestones are those experiences that make indelible footprints on the path to a fulfilling life.
Tomorrow, I will visit Angel stadium with Romeo to see them play the Orioles in a game that is all but meaningless for both teams. Meaningless, that is, in terms of the 2010 MLB post-season, but it is not a meaningless game to us. We have planned this for a long time and my 4-year old, baseball-crazy son has been counting down to this day all summer long
I bought two front row tickets behind home plate and two more front row tickets up against the bullpen in left field. We plan to move around, catch a few home run balls during batting practice, chat with the bullpen pitchers, befriend the on-deck hitters, and run the bases. That's right -- it is "run the bases" day for kids under 12 so we will be allowed on the field for a single, glorious lap.
I don't know what Romeo has up his sleeve, but here's my plan: I will sprint to first and make a proper, wide turn in foul ground so that I can accelerate across the inside corner of the bag toward second. I will go hard into second with a pop-up slide, eliminating any chance of an imaginary double-play, before digging hard and low toward third, where I will arrive with a dramatic, head-first slide. Without even spitting the dirt out of my mouth, I will scamper up, head for home, and bowl into any kids awaiting their turn to run, scattering them like tenpins.
Look for me on Sports Center. I'll be the guy covered in dirt, wearing the proud expression of a man who took his son out to achieve a milestone but ended up bagging one of his own.