From the Eyes of a Patriots Fan
It was a picture perfect night for baseball on Friday (August 16th). While I realize that statement this is cliché’, it is apropos that evening at TD Ballpark, home of our Somerset Patriots of Bridgewater, NJ. The park bustled with activity, from a dance performance given by a troupe of young entertainers, to the obligatory opening pitches, then the singing of the National Anthem with baseball buddies standing on the field, the typical sling shots of tee shirt to raucous fans, several ballpark games and a very special visit off of the pages of Marvel comic books, Spiderman!
“If you do the crime, you must do the time!”
The webbed one was in the HOUSE! And did not miss a single ‘high five’ or hug from a young child in crowd. He literally popped into the press box, during the game, succeeding in making my heart miss a beat.
That night also marked my return to operating the Datronics system. Since it had been awhile, I will admit that I felt a little apprehensive and uneasy, but it all worked out, I had basically flawless night. It was a real pitcher’s duel until a blast off the bat of James Skelton in the seventh to make it 3-0. Of course there was the challenge of a run scoring via a wild pitch; a couple of pick offs, four double plays and a complicated rundown, 1-3-6-3-6-2. Somerset added three more runs in the eighth inning and the bullpen protected their shut out, as the Patriots beat their Freedom division rivals 6-0.
Many thoughts raced through my mind that evening. The prevailing reason is why I consider any day at the ballpark, any ballpark, to be the ‘happiest place on earth.’ I do not mean to discount or infringed on the Walt Disney Company, just my sincere thoughts.
I ponder at what makes us baseball fans? As for me, it is easy. I was born to be one. I was also aided by a trip to Connie Mack Stadium in Philadelphia as an eight year old during the mid-sixties. It was that moment when I walked out from the shadows out to my bleacher seat. My eyes were awaken by the vibrant emerald green carpet, the sounds of cowhide hitting wood and leather, the smell of hotdogs permeating the air. It was that very moment that I became a fan, hook, line, and sinker! Out on the field were my baseball cards coming to life.
Then I think of my brother Ken. He never had an inkling or desire to watch a baseball game. His forte’ was art and politics. In fact I can still remember a conversation from several years ago when I mention how exciting it was that Bridgewater was getting a minor league team. He responded that while minor league baseball was popular at the time, it was only a passing fad. Nor did he think it would help the community’s economy. Well, my brother has been a ‘season ticket’ holder for many, many years. I think that he has watched more professional games than I have. The Patriot players refer to him as the ‘artist.’ Kenny sketches and paints portraits of most of them. In exchange he asks only for an autographed ball. Anytime that I walk around the ballpark with him, it feels as if I am in the presence of royalty. My brother has become ‘somewhat’ of an icon, that, and a HUGE Patriot’s fan. He has also become a fan of the game.
Then there is Gina, the young lady who operated the Datronics during the summer. When I met her this past Wednesday, aside from politely answering my question about the system. I learned that she was ‘home schooled,’ and that she is entering her senior year at Liberty College where she is majoring in ‘Sports Management.’ What I also found out is she was not always a baseball fan, she became on after she started working for the Patriots. I guess that you might say that she became a fan by osmosis. She has become a Mets fan. This year she went to her first major league game, and saw the pitching phenom Matt Harvey.
You see, we are brought to this magic while traveling upon different avenues, but it is a destination we never want to leave…