We're pretty sure a narrative about our 10-year-old brother Ben's first two Major League Baseball games would get rather complicated. So instead, let's try to recap Friday and Saturday night with little bullet points:
*Ben and my dad arrived in Minneapolis around 4 p.m. Friday, and Ben was already well into plotting mode as to how to get autographs at Target Field. He is huge into baseball cards, memorabilia and stats. Kind of reminds us of another guy who would have been 10 in 1986. We told him it might be pretty tough to get an autograph, but that we would give it a shot once we got there.
*Upon arrival around 6 p.m., Ben started snapping pictures left and right. We knew he would like the baseball card wall on the far side of park's exterior; we didn't know he would take about 15 pictures. He as obviously fired up.
*The four of us -- my dad and the RandBall Better Half being the other two -- went inside the ballpark and started working our way around the concourse to our seats. That's when Ben finally had a good look at the field, pausing to do the double-take almost everyone does when they see a Major League field for the first time.
*Our seats Friday were in the outfield, section 131 -- right next to the bullpens. We had a great view of Delmon Young throwing out a runner at the plate, as well as Scott Podsednik's ridiculous catch to rob Delmon down the line. By about the fifth inning, Ben was in full-throat -- often using reverse psychology in an attempt to get players to hit a home run ball to him (and yes, he brought his glove, as you can see in the picture). If you were near us, you probably heard countless times, "Hey (batter X), don't hit it right in my glove." You also probably heard a lot of other things. He was clearly a little excited, though we have no idea where he gets his propensity for yelling at a game (ahem). He also brought a three-posterboard-wide "Circle Me Bert" sign. Not sure if we were circled, but it wasn't for lack of effort.
*After the game, he went sprinting around the concourse toward the Twins dugout, colliding once with a poor woman who never knew what hit her. He was racing in an attempt to get players' autographs after the game. Alas, it was to no avail. BUT: He did convince one of the security guards standing on the field to let him throw a ball to them, and have them rub the ball on the Target Field grass and dirt. It's going in the scrap book with everything else, Ben says.
*About 12 hours later, we were back at it again for Saturday's noon start. This time, we tried for autographs before the game. We slipped past an usher and went all the way down to field level where the Twins were stretching. Standing no more than 30 feet from the heart of the Twins' batting order, Ben shouted at several different players -- gaining several friendly acknowledgements, but again no signatures. Still, being down that close was a thrill.
*Our seats this time were in the first deck down the third base line, a little past the bag. Ben wasn't quite as vocal this go-round, but the game delivered again. Four home runs, including O-Dog's game-winning blast, made for another memorable day.
*After two days of glorious outdoor baseball, what did Ben want to do? Go find a baseball card shop so he could buy some more cards. Wonder where the kid gets it from ...