Friday, August 30, 2013

Evan Gattis Bobblehead Night

Left work at 3:15 and headed to the Gwinnett game. Was so early I stopped at QT for a cold drink to sip while I waited for the gates to open. When I arrived I parked near the outfield gate, as usual. Left everything in the car and walked over to the main entrance to buy tickets. There were already at least 50 people in line, waiting for Evan Gattis bobbleheads. While in line I checked my phone for work emails, and missed a season ticket holder give away three nice seats. The guy next to me took them, then returned to his friend at the front of the line. He had been buying extra tickets to get more bobbleheads.

It was Three Dollar Thursday, so I took my chances and bought nine dollars worth of tickets, with hopes of getting three bobbleheads. Then I checked out the air-conditioned Fan Shop. While inside I overheard that the outfield gate wouldn’t be open tonight. I quickly went back outside and took my place in line. It was 4:05, so I had a wait of almost an hour…without my cold drink or book to read. Later the two lines became four lines, and I secured a place near the front of the line. I was sweating like a pig in the hot August sun. Chatted with the old lady in front of me, and we both greeted our favorite usher, who walked over and welcomed us with hugs.

Once the gates opened I grabbed my first bobblehead, got my hand stamped, and raced back across the parking lot to my faraway car. Dumped the bobblehead and used ticket in the trunk and raced back to the front gate. Repeated this two more times. With plenty of bobbleheads still stacked up I bought two more tickets and made another trip to the car. By now I was really sweating. After claiming my fifth bobblehead I stayed inside the gates. I could’ve continued to buy tickets and gobble up more bobbleheads, but five was enough.

To beat the heat I went back into the air-conditioned fan shop. Since it was the next to last game the fan shop had everything half price. I just had to buy one of those white bear stocking caps. Have no idea why.

Standing in line to buy the fourth and fifth tickets I saw a guy holding a replica of a 1969 Braves road jersey. He turned it around and saw it was number 35. He was talking to an old guy with his back to me: Phil Niekro. After signing some autographs and posing for pictures Phil went up to the Will Call window to get his tickets.  Later they showed him sitting behind the plate. When I walked past I saw he was sitting with several people, all younger than him.

When I finally took a seat there wasn’t too much time before first pitch. Got all ready to keep score, and checked eBay: already seven Gattis bobbleheads had been posted. During the game I copied a photo and posted one of mine for sale, at an expensive price. We’ll see if anyone snaps it up. Later I posted one on Craig’s List.

Durham scored twice in the top of the first, but Gwinnett scored three in the bottom of the inning. Constanza had three hits in his first three at bats, making the game look easy. Weak arm in the outfield. Cunningham had a nice sacrifice bunt, two walks, and a single. Much stronger arm. Mejia struck out three times, including once in the bottom of the ninth with the tying run on third. Then Brandon Boggs struck out to end the game.

After the game I was the first car out of the parking lot, at 9:20 pm. My drink was cool again, so I supped on Cheerios and diet Mtn Dew…knowing the caffeine would spoil my slumber. Called Ceil and Anna on the 45 mile drive home, and detoured up Peachtree Industrial to pick up Anna. She and Brittany had been in Midtown at a meeting of a new small church. Didn’t get home until almost eleven.

My Uecker jersey delivered yesterday. Very nice, fits well. The tail is not too long, not too short, but looks short because the Cooperstown Collection tag is placed too high, not all the way at the bottom of the shirt. The front number was almost under my armpit when I tried it on. Numbers are made from some sort of felt. Don’t know how they’ll hold up after repeated washings. I want to wear it to games, and the jersey will look best with a navy T-shirt under it. But if I wear two shirts I will sweat even more.

1 comment:

Nita said...

Why didn't you get Phil's autograph for me? I already have several but another would have been nice!!