|Dave Block and I|
A few weeks ago I got an e-mail from fellow roadtripper Dave Block who lives in San Diego. I initially met Dave thanks to my blog last year at the end of July. He called me on the phone when I was on the road with Paul Derrick from Houston. He told me how impressed he was with my blog. We wound up meeting up over the September 11th 10th Anniversary weekend. We've been in contact from time to time since.
Like I said earlier, Dave contacted me and he wanted to know my schedule from August 17-23 so I wrote him back a detailed e-mail with my game plan. Dave and I went back and forth to finalize a way to hook up. I will now recap the amazing time we had together.
Saturday morning I went to Avis to rent a car for the weekend. On the way there, Dave called me to tell me he arrived in Washington DC. He flew in on a redeye flight from San Diego. I told him we'll meet him by Nationals Park between 4 and 5 o'clock. He wanted me to put his bag in the car. I told him that's not a problem.
After I worked out the final details of meeting up with Dave, I picked up a Grand Marquis which was very similar to the Crown Victoria that I've rented a few times recently so it was easy for me to adjust to the vehicle.
After I got the car I back home to Astoria to pick up the King. After that, we went to 45th Street and Lexington Avenue where we picked up our pal Mike Carroll aka Sabre Mike. Mike told me a few months ago that he wanted to see the Mets play the Nationals in Washington. I told him no problem I'll count you in. Then Dave contacted me and he decided he needed to get away for the weekend. It worked out well as we went through the Lincoln Tunnel to head down South to our Nation's Capitol.
Dave called me around 3PM to see where we were. At the time, we just stopped in Delaware to get some lunch. We were about 90 miles away from DC. He told me he went sight seeing and now he's back at the airport killing time. I told him we'll be by Nationals Park closer to 5PM depending on traffic. I know going from the Baltimore area to DC is no bargain. It's a very difficult 40 mile drive. As expected, this time was no different. Dave called me and he said he was outside the ballpark waiting on line to get a ticket. I told him to be patient. We finally got to him just after 5PM. He got a ticket and then he came with us to park the car. We let Mike out so he could get tickets for the King and I as well as himself. As we were walking to the ballpark after we parked the car, Mike called me to tell me he rounded up tickets for us. As I say, team work makes the dream work. I greatly appreciated his help and I told him so.
We all met outside the center field gate. It was around 5:30PM so we had plenty of time before the game started to walk around. Little did I know, my boy Gio Gonzalez was signing autographs at the team store at 5:40PM. Stay tuned for the details of that. I'm going to do a special post.
Once we were done walking around we all went upstairs to get ready for the game to start.
We wound up standing behind section 313 which is under the press box and right behind home plate. It was a standing room only crowd as people gradually filled in all the seats.
As for the game we saw, the Mets and Nationals hooked up in a pitchers' duel. The game stayed scoreless until the seventh inning when Ike Davis of the Mets broke through. He hit a two run homer off of Nationals' starter Edwin Jackson who pitched great. That turned out to be the only runs in the game as the Mets behind Jonathon Niese beat the red hot Nationals, 2-0.
During the game, the King and I met a lady named Nancy Broderick. She was holding up a sign saying the number 56. She said that this was her 56th baseball game this year. I recently retired after spending 34 years with the Federal Government. Now she plans to enjoy her retirement seeing baseball games. She took a picture with the King and I. She heard the King's lifetime totals and she said she's going to use that as inspiration for the future. It's always great to meet others who share a similar interest.
As an added bonus, they had a concert after the game featuring Third Eye Blind who is a modern rock group from the '90's. Dave said he never heard of them. The King and I have heard some of their music. Mike Carroll is a big fan of theirs. He asked me a few weeks if we were going to stay after the game to see them. I wasn't planning to. Since he wanted to stay so I told him we will.
It turned out to be a nice 50 minute show on the field right behind second base where the stage was set up. They told the audience they're working on a new album and they plan to be back in DC again soon.
After we went back to the car, Mike wanted to go to Ben's Chili Bowl for a post game meal. He told me it's an institution. He said they we're opened until 2AM. So I decided to follow through on his request. After driving through the District we finally arrived there around midnight. The place was small and it was jam packed with people. We patiently waited our turn and we enjoyed our meal.
After we finished, I drove back to the Baltimore area we spent the night.
Stay tuned for some special posts that will recap the Sunday we all spent together. It was quite a day start to finish.
Thank you for reading and following along.