As a huge baseball fan, there aren’t many nights that top opening night. Obviously there are a few games that are more important than the opening night game. But the overall experience of opening night really can’t be beat. We’ve sat all winter long, waiting for this day to come. Most of us haven’t heard the crack of a bat in quite some time. We’ve missed the smell of the grill. The taste of the cold brews. This is what it’s all about, folks. Opening night is when we get back into the swing of things.
My buddy, Scott, and I got tickets sitting in Captain Morgan’s Cove. It’s a nice little addition the Indianapolis Indians crew added out in left field a few years ago. These are, in my opinion, the best seats in the house! Scott and I got to the game shortly after the gates opened so we could visit the gift shop and get in and chow down on some baseball fare. We each ordered up a foot long hotdog and a Sun King lager.
After we finished our hotdogs we saw Rowdie making his rounds in the Toyota Tundra. The Indians do a promotional thing where they deliver a family to their seats. Rowdie stands in the back of the Toyota and waves to the fans as they drive around the warning track of the field. I reached out and gave Rowdie a high five as they rolled by.
This opening night game had a 60 degree weather guarantee. If it wasn’t 60 degrees by the time the first pitch was thrown, everyone in attendance would get a free game in April. Well, Miss Nicole Misencik from Channel 13 News delivered some GREAT news. At first pitch, it was only 56 degrees! FREE baseball for everyone! After hearing this glorious news, Scott and I decided we would return to Victory Field to redeem our tickets for the April 21st game.
Sitting in Captain Morgan’s Cove is pretty awesome. For $35 you get your ticket to the game and a $10 voucher to be used on food or drinks. And like I said earlier, they are the best seats in the house. You sit right behind the bullpen guys. That said, there are four seats just in front of the regular Captain Morgan’s Cove seats. These seats, as we found out from our waiter, are owned by Budweiser and typically given out as some promotional thing Budweiser does. Our waiter said that if they were still empty after the fourth inning, we could move down there. So, at the top of the fifth inning, that’s exactly what we did. They are some pretty amazing seats. We were pretty much sitting ON the field at that point!
That didn’t last long though. These douchebags come walking in, in the middle of the sixth inning and they said they were going to have to kick us out. As it turns out, these idiots were the ticket holders for these seats. Who, in their right mind, comes to a game in the middle of the sixth inning?! Clearly these guys weren’t here for the game. They probably should have just stayed at whatever bar they were at to begin with. Baseball should have a rule; if you’re not in the stadium by the third inning, you’re not getting in! It’s called common courtesy.
So after the douchebags showed up, Scott and I decided to walk around Victory Field a little to take in the sights and see what was going on in the festival area. We found a speed pitch machine and I decided to give it a whirl. Now, it’s been over 10 years since I last threw a baseball with any speed on it. I figured I should still be able to hit 70mph though, no problemo. HA! Right. I stepped up to the game, gave the kid who was running it my dollar, he handed me three baseballs, and then it began. I tossed out the first one, tossed out the second one, then guessed my speed on the third, tossed it out, and nailed it! As a prize I got a little blow up baseball that has the Indians logo on it. Not much of a prize for a guy who just threw a 65mph slurveball! But, I had to try it a few more times to try to get a pair of baseballs. After spending $6, I figured I’d better stop right there before I needed Tommy John surgery!
Anyway, back to the game. The game was scoreless through the first seven innings. Andy Oliver was pitching for the Tribe for the first six innings and doing an excellent job of it! Vic Black came in during the seventh and had a nice showing. That is, until the 8th inning. Black loaded up the bases with the last one being an intentional walk. That’s when Chunk came out. It wasn’t really THE Chunk from the Goonies, but that’s exactly who Mike Zagurski reminds me of. Chunk gave up a Grand Slam to Jeremy Hermida on his first pitch, which was ultimately the fatal blow to the Indians.
Even though the Indians lost, it was still a great night. It was opening night! A night that gets everyone back into the groove of things. The sights, the smells, the sounds. I love baseball and everything about it. I’m hoping to get out to many more Indians games this year, most of them in Captain Morgan’s Cove!
Chunk owes us a truffle shuffle for giving up that BOMB of a Grand Slam though. You hear me, Zagurski? You owe us a freakin’ truffle shuffle!!!