My company recently acknowledged my volunteer efforts with Beautiful People and rewarded me with tickets to a Yankees game in their Luxury Suite. A great gesture on their part yes, but I’m not sure the word “volunteer” really fits my situation. I mean what’s my other option? Sit around and not have Luke participate in anything? I’m kind of just being a dad so Luke could just be a kid.

I was a little nervous about taking the boys to the Bronx without my crutch that is my wife, but figured how hard could it be? We’re in a suite, so the kids are contained. Any father would agree that the toughest part about taking your kids to a sporting venue is the disgusting bathrooms, so that was covered with a private facility. We figured out what I will call the fastballs (Luke’s medication, snacks for the car ride), what I didn’t count on was the curve balls that were thrown my way.

Possibly the last time we see Derek Jeter

Possibly the last time we see Derek Jeter

 Mickey Rivers signing for the boys

Mickey Rivers signing for the boys

First Pitch, Curve –
The walk from the car to the Stadium – simple math, I have two hands and three kids. I constantly say my children are lacking the street sense that I grew up with in Queens. It was nice that they did not see a difference in walking on River Ave as opposed to my quiet street in Warwick, but it was really bad that they did not see a difference! I would eventually round everyone up and make it to the game safely.

Second Pitch, Curve –
Luke’s food allergies – this is an area that my wife usually handles. Whether it’s cooking at home or eating out, she has it covered. The suite we were at had all the food you can eat, but unfortunately it had NOTHING Luke can eat. Thanks to a very concerned suite attendant, he managed to get me three sliders, no buns, for Luke. It took me 3 innings to take care of this, but all was good once the burgers arrived.

with Mickey Rivers

with Mickey Rivers

Third Pitch, Fastball (over the plate)
My time with my boys – My overall experience would be sent to deep center, over the wall. We never get to go to a baseball game. I haven’t been to the new Yankee Stadium prior to this. My company took care of me the way I took care of my kids. It was a late night, but one that doesn’t happen often.
When I grew up, I was ten minutes from Yankee Stadium and five minutes from Shea. To say we were at either stadium twice a month is not blowing smoke, it was just so easy to do and we did it. We don’t have that luxury now or the time, but appreciate the times like this.

As an added bonus, we got to hang out with former Yankees centerfielder Mickey Rivers, who after 2 minutes my boys were talking to him like he was part of my family. We then said our goodbyes to Derek Jeter.

So on a night where I was outnumbered 3 to 1, I think I prevailed as the hero. From Shane’s face of astonishment when he first saw the size of a Major League ball field, to Luke chanting DEREK JETER! To Cole’s fascination with Mickey Rivers’ gold tooth with the star on it, it was a night to remember.

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