(Originally published as a prelude to the “Free The Birds” walkout in Sept. 2006, this is Part 17 of a 19 Chapter Series on How baseball and the Orioles created WNST.net. If you miss the “real” Orioles plan to join us for @FreeTheBirds12 action on Thursday, April 5th.)
I met my wife at a hockey game. She had season tickets in the front row tickets at the Verizon Wireless Arena in Manchester, N.H. for AHL Monarchs’ hockey. It was the first professional sports team to come to her city. She was in the FIRST ROW of the building.
Obviously, sports are important to her.
When I found her (and released her from the relative misery of New England winters) she didn’t know how to keep score at a baseball game, but being the high-achiever she is, she WANTED to know because she knew it would make the game more fun for her.
My wife, God love her, was TRAINABLE!
You wouldn’t believe the baseball memories I already have with my wife. I guarantee it’s more than ANY of you have with your wives, even the most ardent baseball fan.
We’ve been to 13 different MLB stadiums during the four summers of our marriage and making road baseball games is usually a deciding factor in whether we book a trip.
We got to see Miguel Tejada’s final game as an Oakland Athletics member. It was Game 5 of ALDS in 2003 in Oakland. It was one of the best baseball games I’ve ever seen. Zito vs, Martinez, tight game, Damon carried off on a stretcher, the “crotch chop” of Derek Lowe. VERY memorable! And we woke up that morning in Vegas and just jumped the cheapest flight we could find. Next thing I know I’m the back of my buddy Julio Bermejo’s Toyota Highlander in traffic in the trunk area of the family truck with his parents and friends in the car. Jenn had to go the bathroom. We’re on the BAY BRIDGE netween San Francisco and Oakland, bumper to bumper. This was not a good situation.
But as my pal Agent Orange would say: “Comedy ensued!”
But these are the memories that ARE baseball.
Hopping a ride to Oakland in the back of your buddy’s car: FREE
The view of the most beautiful city in the world out the window: FREE
Two tickets to the A’s-Red Sox Game 5 for all of the marbles with Zito and Martinez pitching right off the third base coaches box: $80
Seeing San Francisco from the Bay Bridge with friends, music blaring, old couple in the front seat, my pal Julio driving and my wife peeing in a cup under a blanket:
The memories we have of the 2004 postseason alone would make most marriages or friendships whole. I was with her for EVERY pitch of the postseason as her team won the World Series.
We spent the early part in Baltimore, watching on our living room TV as the Sox dispatched the Angels.
We were in Mexico for the middle of the ALCS, but before we left I called my ticket broker