The King and I unexpectedly returned to Cleveland on August 27th thanks to Hurricane Irene who was bearing down on NYC. The King told me to get him a car rental so we can see some baseball elsewhere. He drove us to Cleveland and we saw the Tribe play again. This time our buddy Rick Morris of the FDH Lounge had the privilege and honor of taking in a ballgame with us for the first time. We met him for the first time briefly at a Cleveland Browns game back on November 14, 2010. Needless to say, Rick had a blast. We saw one of his favorite players, Jim Thome hit a home run as he had returned for a second tour of duty with the Indians. It was a very special moment for him as it brought back fond memories.
This time we made our annual visit to see the Marlins play the Indians on Sunday afternoon. Ironically we saw the Indians play the Marlins back on June 8, 2004 in Cleveland too.
I did tell Rick Morris back on November 20, 2011 when he interviewed me that May 20th we planned to return to the Rock N Roll City. As the day got closer, I got in contact with a gentleman named Keir Kurinsky who started following me on Twitter. He said he was taking his one year old daughter Ada to all eighty one games with him this season. I thought that was rather cool and unique. He said his wife is 100% behind him doing so. I must say he's a very lucky man. His daughter was adorable. As the game got closer, we arranged to meet up. He told me he had two extra tickets available for us. He was kind enough to hook us up and he met us right outside the gate too. We all introduced each other and we proceeded inside the ballpark. It was great to see the royal treatment he received as he saw different employees who recognized him since he's going to all the home games this year.
We started talking and Keir told us that he has traveled around to a number of different ballparks as well. He said he went to Monterrey, Mexico in 1999, Tokyo, Japan in 2000 & San Juan, Puerto Rico in 2001. It was amazing to hear him say that because the King and I told him we were there too.
We proceeded to talk about another guy who we know from Cleveland who went to those places as well. The only difference was this guy went to see the Mets when they played in Monterrey, Mexico in 1996. In addition, this guy saw Major League Baseball in Hawaii in 1997. I'm referring to Mike Trabert aka Mr. Ballpark as he calls himself. The King and I met him when we saw the Mets play in Japan. We've tried to hook up every year since. This time we were hoping to see him at some point at the game. I told him where we were sitting in case he was there. He does share season tickets with a bunch of people. As he's notorious for doing, he came by and he caught us off guard. It was a pleasant surprise to see him again. We got to catch up on our recent travels. He asked us if we've been to the New Marlins Park yet. We said no. We're planning to go there in the middle of July. He didn't know when he was going there yet. I hope we can cross paths when we go there.
Back on September 23, 2000, our pal Andrew Van Cleve met Mr. Ballpark when he was at a doubleheader at Old Milwaukee County Stadium. He ran into this guy who told him about a few guys he met in Japan that see all kinds of games. I asked Mr. Ballpark if he remembered meeting Andrew but he couldn't remember. He said he probably did. It was funny because it took Andrew 10 years to finally track us down. Now we've become really good friends.
The power of sports travel has really improved our lives greatly. The fraternity continues to grow. Now when we go to Cleveland we have more people to see.
As for the game we saw, the Indians fell to the Marlins by a score of 5-3. Ex-Met Jose Reyes did have two hits for his new team.
The Indians threatened in the ninth inning prompting Mr. Ballpark to say and I quote "Mr. Ballpark wants extra innings." That's what I said back in Japan when the Mets played the Cubs as Benny Agbayani delivered the game winning grand slam home run in extra innings to send us home happy. That was such a thrill. This time Mr. Ballpark didn't get his wish.
I want to personally thank Keir Kurinsky for his generosity and company. In addition, I want to thank Mr. Ballpark for taking the time to see us again.
Hope we all can reunite again sooner than later at a ballpark somewhere.
Thank you for reading and following along.