crowd when he had an adult keeping an eye on him. (He always wound up on the news –somehow, someway, Jane Miller would wind up interviewing him!)
My show ended at 7 and we were packing up our equipment when he came to me 30 minutes before the game and made an announcement
“I think I’m gonna throw up!” he said.
I said something like, “Yeah, this postseason thing is rough on the stomach. I’m a little nervous, too, son it’s been 13 years for me, too! Maybe they have some Tums or Pepto over at the Mobil station.”
He said, “NO, Dad! I think I’m gonna throw up, like I’m sick, like I ate something bad!”
I said, “You can’t do that. It’s the playoffs, man!”
He INSISTED that he had to leave and I could NOT not go home with him.
He INSISTED that I stay for the game because he knew how important it was to me.
It was a Friday night, the city was buzzing for the first ALCS game in Baltimore in 13 years and I wound up throwing my 12-year old son into a cab at the Mariott on Eutaw Street with a cabbie who looked legit, gave him a $20 bill told him to go my Mom’s house near Eastpoint Mall. Twenty minutes later, I was in the stadium and he was, well, THROWING UP, in my Mom’s bathroom.
Must’ve been the nerves, huh?
But he has no regrets. I honestly don’t even know if he remembers it.
Then there was the night I lost him at Oriole Park in the early 1990’s. I had him at the stadium with me — we always went on a Friday night because I didn’t have to work the clubhouse after the game — and I left for a bathroom run, and he was gone when I got back.
Next thing I know I see him sprinting up the aisle right behind the Orioles’ dugout. I went down to cut him off and asked him what he was doing.
“Hey Dad, I made a new friend,” he said, excitedly. “I saw the comic book guy, Steve Geppi, down in the front row and I saw that there was an empty seat next to him so I ran down there and the usher didn’t say anything. I told Mr. Geppi that I was your son, and he told me to sit down and he bought me a soda.”
Ay, yi, yi!
“But Barry, I don’t EVEN KNOW STEVE GEPPI!”
My son’s response: “Well, you do now!”
Luckily for me, Geppi turns out to be one of the nicest men on earth, and I STILL apologize to him to this day because of my son’s bravado.
Truth is: my son cared a lot more about comic books than he did baseball, even though he did play some Little League and was a relatively decent player. He’s a pretty athletic guy to this day, plays basketball, football, the whole nine.
He’s not one of those “throws like a girl” kinda guys at all. He plays pickup basketball, hockey, football — all sorts of stuff.
But with baseball as a kid? Not so much…
He just didn’t care to sit around a hot, crowded stadium more than a few times a summer and he always had something better to watch on TV than baseball when he was a kid.
I was at the ballpark most of the time for work, and only occasionally during the summer would he ask to tag along. Usually when he did, it was more to get “dipping dots” or “Boog’s BBQ” than it was to actually see