March 14, 2011

1, 2, 3 Strikes, You're Out!

While we're on the topic of Clemson athletics, I have to mention that we went to our first baseball game of the season last Tuesday when USC played Clemson at Fluor Field here in Greenville.  It wasn't exactly the lovely Spring day that you come to associate with baseball games, it was a dark, cold, night actually....and Clemson lost....but we had fun....for the most part.

The game was supposed to be on Saturday, but it got rained out and rescheduled for Tuesday night.  I figured Ryan wouldn't be able to get home from Charlotte in time for us to go, but low and behold, I get a phone call an hour before the game was supposed to start saying "I need for you to get yourself and the kids ready and be prepared to go in 45 minutes."  Without the use of a magic wand, I was surprisingly able to shower, feed the boys dinner and get them and myself ready in time with a few minutes to spare.  We pretty much met Ryan in the driveway as he pulled in and we were off.

Of course, here it is, minutes before the game and we didn't have tickets.  I can't even express how upset I was going to be if we didn't even get to go in after I had spent the last 45 minutes of my life running around like a crazy person trying to get everyone ready in time!  So I dropped Ryan and Austin off at the front gate and when I got back from parking, thank goodness, they had secured us a couple seats.  We walk in, find our section, look at the tickets to see which seats we had and then realize that we had been sold two tickets...in different sections.  It was a big ole mess.  Every time we found two empty seats together we would sit in them just long enough to get booted out by the actual owners of those seats.  Even the guy who helps you locate your seats was trying to help us out after feeling bad about our poor luck, but it just wasn't happening.  So, instead of sitting in two different sections, I just decided to take Austin to the in-park playground and let Ryan and Owen enjoy the seat and watch the game.

After about 45 minutes of playing, Austin and I went back to our section to find that Ryan had located two empty seats and had been sitting there for a good amount of time with no problems.  The game was already in the 6th inning so we figured we were safe.  I'm not kidding, y'all, we were all sitting down for maybe 10 minutes when these two guys came up to us and said we were in their seats.  I mean really, who gets to a baseball game in the 6th inning anyway??  It was just no use.  Three strikes, we were out.  This time we all went to the playground and just decided to watch the game from there.  At least Austin was having a fabulous time!

Speaking of Austin, while he was running around on the playground he ran up to a random boy who was wearing a Clemson sweatshirt and started doing the C-L-E-M-S-O-N chant in front of him after noticing the letters on his shirt.  Well, this boy took an immediate liking to Austin and started calling his friends over to watch as Austin repeated the chants for each of them.  It wasn't long before the boy came over to me and asked Austin's name and then said "I like him, he's funny!"  I admit, I was quite flattered.  My kid was the hit of the playground!

So, Austin and these 4 boys (who I later found out were all 12 and 13) talked and played together for the remainder of our time there.  They were cheering for Clemson, giving high fives and fist bumps, helping Austin down the slides, teaching him the ins and outs of the playground and just having a good time.  At one point Austin found a plaque with the alphabet on it and he started rattling off all his ABC's.  The boys were amazed and one of them came over to me and asked me what grade Austin was in.  Oh it was too funny!  I was just standing there watching, amazed that these 12 and 13 year old boys were having so much fun with and watching out for my little 2 year old.  If I could have shaken their parents hands, I would have.  I mean, it really was one of the sweetest things I'd seen in awhile.

That right there pretty much turned a kind of "blah" night into something much better...and then the Tigers lost...to USC of all teams...and when we finally got home, Austin was so wound up from his night out that he didn't go to sleep....until 11:30pm.

So there you have it, our first baseball game of the season.

Oh, and I took a total of four pictures.  (I really need to get better about taking pictures at sporting events.)

Austin checking out the scene over at Liberty.
Ryan and Owen gave up their seat to come and watch with us from the playground.
Austin trying to watch the game, but getting distracted by this man spitting smelly black stuff into his Mtn. Dew bottle...ehh, gross.
And finally, Austin meets the Chick-fil-a cow...
...and is not all that amused.

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