Take me away from the ball game

I have a nostalgic love of baseball. Growing up north of Cincinnati in the era of Johnny Bench, Joe Morgan, and Pete Rose, with a father who played ball in high school and college and would pitch whiffle balls to us in the backyard as he urged us to “choke up” on the bat, it was only natural for me to grow up with a sense of the game and its players.

Growing up, I didn’t go to many games. Mostly, I remember my father and my maternal grandfather listening to the games on AM radio on my grandparents’ back patio, drinking godawful beer like Hudepohl and Gennessee Cream Ale.

I saw the Reds play most often with my friend Lori, whose father had season tickets for his business clients. The seats were fantastic – right behind home plate, maybe ten rows up – and the people-watching made up for the fact that we were too young to drink. Invariably though, we would leave in the sixth or seventh inning when the Reds were down by a few runs, and then we’d listen to the game on the radio on our drive home only to hear the announcers shouting and fireworks blasting in the background. A home run. We missed it.

When we moved to New York, it was obvious to me which team I would root for. Growing up with the Reds, it was impossible for me to betray the National League and become a Yankees fan. And I’m a sucker for the underdog.

For my birthday in 2001, Kyle gave me a HUGE present. Tickets to all of the Mets’ Saturday home games that season, plus a few pairs of tickets to Yankee games. The seats at Shea Stadium were on the upper deck, but directly behind home plate. Adjacent to a couple who also had Saturday tickets and with whom we became good friends.

All of this sounds great, right? So why would I want to get AWAY from the ball game?

I work in a building next door to Coors Field. It’s a beautiful area of town with great restaurants and bars (that I don’t frequent because then I would have to drive 25 miles home afterward). And even though the Rockies aren’t doing so hot, there’s still a fair amount of traffic (foot and vehicle) on game days.

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