Royalty Tours USA

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Royalty and company go to Pittsburgh and get a pleasant surprise upon arrival!

Steve Fekete with the King for Game #6,999 on 6.9.12
Saturday morning I got up early so I could go to Avis to pick up a car rental for the weekend. I wound up renting a Crown Victoria which worked out well since the King and I were being joined by our pal Mike Carroll aka Sabre Mike.

I got in the car and I drove back to Astoria to pick up the King. We went to where he works because I told our friend Mike Carroll to meet us there since he was taking a Metro North train to Grand Central Station which was a few blocks away.

We picked him up around 10:40AM and off to Pittsburgh we went to see the Pirates play the Kansas City Royals at 7:15PM. It should be noted this was going to be Mike Carroll's first visit to PNC Park, home of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

After making a few stops along the way, we arrived within walking distance of the ballpark around 5:30PM. We put a few quarters in the meter which was in effect until 6PM and we were good for the night.

After doing so, we walked over to the ballpark and we went to the box office by the left field gate to get tickets for the game. I asked what the cheapest tickets they had available. They told me all the standing room tickets were sold out. The young man at the window said he had a single ticket for $18 in the upper level. I was a bit surprised by his answer. I walked away and told the King and Mike Carroll what he said. Mike decided he'll buy that ticket. We wanted to make sure he got in first since it was his first time there.
As for the King and I, we walked down the block and we went to the ticket window by the home plate gate. I went up to the window there and the lady at the window said she had a few standing room tickets available for the game. That was amazing because I was just told they were sold out by the left field gate. With that being said, the King and I lucked out. I gave the King his ticket so he could go in since he needed to go to the bathroom. I then decided to get us tickets for the Sunday game so we could just go in once we got there. I wound up getting $10 tickets. The lady at the window was very nice and helpful. She told me the same tickets are $12 the day of the game.

After I got myself together, I was going to go inside the ballpark. All of a sudden, I got an unexpected surprise. Steve Fekete aka the Padre Punk was standing in front of me. I reacted by saying and I quote "what the eff are you doing here". He totally caught me off guard. I told him I thought you were going to be in Milwaukee to see your Padres play. He said he was last night. He wound up flying in to Pittsburgh to take part in this historic weekend for the King.

He spend $300 to do so. What a nice gesture and pleasant surprise it was to have him there with us. He proceeded to get himself a ticket for the game.

I told him he lucked that I wound up walking down to that home plate gate. I normally would have got my ticket by the left field gate. When the young man said the standing room tickets were sold out it turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Steve got to find me outside the ballpark. After we spoke briefly we headed back down towards the left field gate and we went in.

After we got our tickets scanned, they gave out free programs. I decided to help myself to a bunch of them since they were there for the taking. The lady who was standing nearby decided to give me an attitude. She asked me why I needed so many. I told her I need them for friends. She looked at me like I was crazy. I thought she had some nerve since I was a paying customer. It's not the first time I've been treated like that when I've gone to Pittsburgh and I'm sure it won't be the last time either. That's just the way it is.

Shortly thereafter, I decided to actually look at the program and I noticed it had Jason Grilli on the cover, I couldn't believe it. I went back and I took some more from a different area. That was a highlight for me since I was hoping to see him during batting practice. Unfortunately there was no batting practice for some reason.
Steve and I proceeded to go to section 116 which is behind home plate. That's where the King said he would be. Steve then surprised him. It turned out to be quite a treat to have him with us.

Steve said he wanted to be part of the King's historic weekend and he was.

As for the game we saw, the Pirates beat the Royals in a very sloppy played game, 5-3. Both teams honored the Negro Leagues by wearing their uniforms. The Pirates wore ones from the Grays and the Royals wore ones from the Monarchs. Ironically a few years ago we were with Steve when we visited the Negro Leagues  Baseball Museum in Kansas City.

This was the 6,999th baseball game for the King.

Stay tuned for the special post that will recap his historic 7,000th game on Sunday.

Thank you for reading and following along.

Yours truly,

Gary Herman

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