Tuesday, May 3, 2011

A Tribe girl's trip to the Indians Social Suite

In case you missed yesterday's post, you can find it here (or by scrolling down to the post below, duh).

Picking up right where I left off (so you really need to read the first post)...

Then it was game time.  

We picked up our tickets at will call and headed in.  

We went right up to the Social Suite so we could check out our digs for the evening. It's neat to be able to use the elevator because of the ticket you have instead of because your brother is in a cast. 

We arrived to the Social Suite and felt as though we had arrived.

It was awesome. So awesome that I had to get pictures of every angle of the suite.

Including the bathroom.

And the picture from the 1997 World Series.

We got to the park a bit early, as I was a wee bit excited, so we had plenty of time to look out over our domain.

We spent the game tweeting, discussing who @PureRagePerez was, and worrying that Jeanmar Gomez might have been unaware that this was an actual game, not a batting practice for the Tigers (he gave up 10 hits in the 5.2 innings pitched). We got to meet Rob, the Indians PR guy and the man behind @TribeTalk who informed us that since it was Fireworks night, we'd have the opportunity to go watch the fireworks from the visiting team's dugout.  

I'll let that soak in for a minute.

We were going to go to the dugout.  Right next to the field.  I am giddy just typing this. 

I guess I should tell you a bit about the game (but really, if you have a pulse and/or watch ESPN you're aware of what the Indians have been doing lately). The Tigers were up 3-0 heading into the bottom of the 6th so naturally, I was worried that the Indians of old (and new) would come back and any time and lose the game. Plus, I had already seen them win two games (out of the two I have attended) so my (and their) luck would have to run dry soon.  We are talking about the Indians here.

I found some time to put my feet up. 

The Indians managed to tie the game up by the end of the 7th causing me to wonder if we'd be going into extras. I didn't mind, I was in the Social Suite and could walk up the two steps at any time to warm up (a bit different from the bathroom Emily and I used to warm up in a few weeks ago).

Enter the bottom of the ninth.  The game's tied and the Indians manage to load the bases with no outs.  I was fully expecting a strike out and then double play. 

As I was saying, bases loaded, no outs, and Choo is up to bat.  He hits it foul. It was coming our way.  In the (empty) suite right next to us. C and I are on the end of the suite right up against the railing. He leans over and tries to barehand it. But misses it.  It hits his hand and bounces back down to the lower level.

He had the battle scars to prove his noble attempt.

By the way, he would have completely had it, had the bar not been in the way. I still think he would have had it had he ripped my hat off my head and used it to catch the ball. Why worry about a glove when you have a hat?

Dad and Mark saw this on t.v. and have it recorded. I'm looking forward to analyzing the tape to see how we can better catch the ball next time. 

Back to the game.  Choo had gotten out by the time we returned our attention to the field. At this point I am still thinking the Indians we all know and love are about to reappear by grounding into a double play (I've been thinking that a lot so far this year and a double play has yet to happen when I most expect it).  

Santana's up to the plate. The count is 3-1. Maybe we are going to see the winning run walked home?

No. Instead Santana (who we grew to know and love during his short stint as a Columbus Clipper) choses this as a prime time to hit his first grand slam.  A walk off grand slam.

The 7th in the history of Progressive Field. The 3rd of which was against the Tigers. I was speechless.  I still am speechless.  Santana's grand slam would go on to be SportsCenter's #1 play of April.  

You can check out the official recap here. To read through my tweets from the game (and boy did I tweet) head on over to my twitter page @radiantone7

Once everyone in the Social Suite picked them selves off the floor we were herded down to the dugout.  We went through the Press Box and passed Mike Hargrove (but he wasn't pointed out until afterwards). We were led down the steps of the field box seats, the gate to the field was opened and there we were standing on the warning track next to first base. Oh my.

I believe this was the point when I told C I was pretty sure the world was ending, but knew it wasn't because the Indians hadn't won the World Series, as it was still April. But man, this was surreal and seemed too good to be true. 

While the fireworks were getting set up we were able to walk around a bit (while staying off the grass) and gout our pictures taken. If you'd like to purchase a picture of us (or one of the other couples) you can do so here.  In the dugout we saw the players' sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, and gum.

I documented everything. 

Then we watched the fireworks.

Just like the players watch the game.

I shot some video of the (dark) experience. But I can't upload it because I am technologically challenged. 

Afterwards I made a call to the bull pen.

Tied my shoes.

And warmed up on deck.

We were told it was time for us to leave so we were corralled, left the field, and headed home. 

It was already 10:45 but I was no where near tired. Fortunately the Chocolate Bar was located at the bottom of our hotel.  We celebrated the awesome evening with chocolate ice cream, hot chocolate, and chocolate dipped strawberries.  When we noticed it was nearly midnight we headed back to the room.

After seeing the highlights from ESPN I was out for the evening. Exhausted from what was practically one of my dreams come true. It was better than your average game. Not quite at the level of attending a playoff game, but it was pretty close.

A million thanks to Rob and the every Indians employee (and players!) for making this evening so memorable. It's going to be hard to top our experience in the Social Suite.

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