Tag Archives: For Love of the Game

Florida Bound….But for now, the Indianapolis International Airport

It’s not often I have not one, but two hours of free time on my hands where I don’t have ANY homework waiting for me.  No Stat S-300 folder sitting lonely in my backpack, no “Espanol Tareas” to complete (Spanish homework) and no Sport Marketing P418 waiting for me to figure out what market I am targeting for the next up-and-coming sport product.  No, readers, I am sitting in the Indianapolis International Airport, very new and clean might I add, waiting for my 7:14 p.m. flight to Ft. Myers, Florida, home of the Spring Training Minnesota Twins, their High-A affiliate Fort Myers Miracle, and many of my good friends that I have made since making this sandy, sun-filled state my second home.

Currently, I am sitting at an un-named sports bar watching the Indiana Hoosiers basketball team hopefully defeat Northwestern…and if they lose, hopefully it’s  in exciting fashion….an exciting loss is almost as good as a win for us these days.  Ah, but I am optimistic that by the time I return to IU to see if I have really outgrown Kirkwood and Walnut that the basketball team has redeemed itsself.   To might right is a man dressed in a suit that is worth at least five times that is currently in my bank account talking about “capital trust, capital qualified, and capital non-qualified trust” on his BlackBerry Tour.  To the left of me is a man from the East coast, only identifiable by his thick accent that I hear all too much on the IU campus.  His heaping plate of pasta and bread sticks that he brought from the “authentic pizzeria” across from the bar also gave him away.  Have you ever seen the movie “For Love of the Game?”  If you have, remember the man in the airport rooting for the Yankees?  According to IMDB, his real name is David Mitchell Evans.  Anyway, he precedes to name every Yankee player and their number dating back eons and is a general annoyance to everyone else in the bar.  Yeah, that is who I am sitting by right now.  Between him and Mr. Business on my left (Tour still glued to his right ear discussing an account in Persia), I am stuck somewhere between the Bronx and Wall Street.

I also just ran into my journalism Sport Research J-460 professor, on his way to Maryland, where he lives permanently.  Good think he canceled class today…apparently we both had important flights 🙂

Oh, IU is leading 20-17 over Northwestern.  HOO-HOO-HOO-HOOOOOOSSSIIEERRRS!

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Filed under Baseball, College, Ft. Myers Miracle, Intern, Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Life, Minnesota Twins, Minor League Baseball, mlb, MLB Network, Sports, Spring Training, Uncategorized, Writing

Spring Training is Here, pt. 2

Spring TrainingPitchers and catchers, along with some over-eager position players, have finally reported to Ft. Myers and Hammond Stadium. Since this is my first spring training, I had no idea that people came to watch the morning practices–there is even a concession and souvineer stand set up.

Since I’m still somewhat new to the scene, I’m a little star-struck…so I snuck out of the office and caught a few minutes of the pitchers and catchers working out. You can tell which fans are seasoned ones, well equipped with a wind-breaker (they get cold easily these days), a roster and pen, and a methodic trailing of the players as they move from the main field to the bullpen to the back fields.

As I stood behind a crowd of people by the bullpen, I noticed a young boy, probably four or five, who refused to leave when his dad said it was time to go. He had found the perfect gap to watch the pitchers warm up, and he follwed their pitches–back and forth, back and forth. It’s amazing when you see a kid in such awe of these athletes, but I didn’t know whether to smile, or be sad at the sight, knowing there is only an 8% chance any baseball player will ever wear a major league jersey. Either way, I hope these players know how much of a role model they are to these kids (ahem… are you listening, Michael Phelps?).

It’s interesting to be in an employee position here, where I can stand from afar and take in what being a “fan” really is. It’s fun to see the older fans come out to practice in the morning, people that have probably been coming, faithfully, for years, and fun to see Dad’s bringing their sons to what is maybe their first glance at Major League Baseball, and everyone in between.

Vin Scully (in For Love of the Game): “After 19 years in the big leagues, 40 year old Billy Chapel has trudged to the mound for over 4000 innings. But tonight, he’s pitching against time, he’s pitching against the future, against age, against ending. Tonight, he will make the fateful walk to the loneliest spot in the world, the pitching mound at Yankee Stadium, to push the sun back into the sky and give us one more day of summer.”

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Filed under Intern, Joe Mauer, Justin Morneau, Minnesota Twins, Minor League Baseball, mlb, Sports, Spring Training, Uncategorized