Royalty Tours USA

Thursday, July 17, 2014

Royalty goes to Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati & meets up with some special people!‏

After the King & I left Pittsburgh Saturday night after the Pirate game, we drove to Columbus, Ohio where we spent the night at Travelodge. On the way there, we stopped off for dinner at Eat' N Park in Washington, Pennsylvania. I wound up having a seafood dinner along with their salad & soup bar while the King had chicken strips. After we finished eating we continued on to Columbus which put us 110 miles from the Queen City of Cincinnati.
Scoreboard at Great American Ballpark
Molly, Me & Kathy McKee
My official stamp at GABP
We got up Sunday morning ‎& we drove to Great American Ballpark to see the Cincinnati Reds host the Philadelphia Phillies that afternoon. We wound up parking the car on the street in downtown around 11AM. I walked ahead of the King. He told me he'll catch up since I had to go to the VIP Concierge desk to pick up the Champions Club tickets that my pal & founder of the MLB Pass-Port book, Tim Parks left for us in my name.  After I got them, I walked outside to wait for the King. Shortly thereafter, I got to meet & greet a few special people who came to the game special to meet & greet me. They were Kathy McKee & her daughter Molly. They're big Reds fans & they also love having their Pass-Port books. They have a half season ticket package but this particular game wasn't part of their plan. Kathy told me that she had rainchecks from other games that she needed to exchange. With that being said, she wound up getting seats in the upper level which were right above us in section 427. The King & I were sitting with Tim in section 227 which was just to the right of home plate. A few minutes after I met them, the King came along. Without further adieu, I introduced them to him. We then proceeded to go inside through the season ticket holder entrance. When we got inside the King said he'll meet me in the Club. In the meantime, I got to spend some quality time with the ladies. We wound up going all the way down by the Reds dugout so we could take a picture together. A lady who was nearby was kind enough to do the honors for us. Thankfully it came out really nice. After we spoke for a little while we walked back up to the concourse so we could get our Pass-Port books stamped at guest services which is one of the seven locations that had the stamp. More importantly, I needed to show Kathy my trick to getting my stamp in the strike zone as she calls it. She claims  that the stamp at GABP is off center. That may be true because my stamp was slightly off LOL. Regardless with my influence her stamp came out really good. I was impressed. Based on her track record, she was on the mark in my book. I hope she continues to improve her ability to get it in the zone. I told her practice makes perfect. After plenty of tries, my stamping ability is excellent. A year ago when I first got my book, I was afraid to do it myself. Nowadays I don't let the people who work at the ballpark do it, I do it myself. After we finished getting validated, we walked over to the entrance to the Champions Club, where we said our goodbyes. I thanked Kathy & Molly for taking some of their precious time to come to meet me. It may have been short but it was sweet. 

My meal at the Champions Club
I proceeded to take the elevator up to the Club level. They put a wristband on my wrist which allowed me to indulge in the all you can eat food they offer their premium guests there. Kathy gave me fair warning so I made sure I brought my appetite. I wound up having pulled pork from Montgomery Inn, a few slices of LaRosa's pizza, potato chips & cinnamon covered pretzels which Kathy told me were a must‎. She was so right. They were outrageous. I also had countless cups of water. The King had a few burgers & kielbasa. All in all, we enjoyed the privilege that Tim gave us. When we finished eating we went to our seats. Shortly thereafter, Tim arrived. We thanked him for the royal treatment he gave us. We enjoyed talking to him during the game. We even got a surprise when we were shown on the jumbo tron during the game. Apparently Tim waved his magic wand & he made it happen. It was really cool. Kathy saw us & she wrote me a text to let me know. 

The King & I with Tim Parks on the Jumbo Tron at GABP
As for the game we saw, the Reds fall behind early 1-0, but starter Homer Bailey wound up pitching a great game & he helped himself out by giving him ‎& his team the lead 2-1 with a two run single in the bottom of the fifth inning. That was followed by a two run homer by Billy Hamilton. It should noted that the King decided to get his brand new MLB Pass-Port book stamped at that time. He said to himself, he won't hit a home run. It never fails, the King misses the slight bit of action & sure enough something special happens. His timing in that regard is impeccable. The Reds wound up winning the game, 4-1 as Homer Bailey went eight innings & closer Aroldis Chapman blew away the Phillies by striking out the side in the ninth inning to preserve the victory.
Me, Sandy Helton Smith & The King at GABP
When the King & I headed out of the Club to leave the ballpark we were greeted by a few more special ladies. They were Sandy Helton Smith ‎& her co-worker Marie Murphy. They're big Pass-port fans too. Ironically last October when I went to Nashville I met a young man named Tyler Garret Smith who happens to be Sandy's son. He told me when I met him that his mother knew Tim Parks. What a coincidence it was. Sandy was so happy & honored to meet the King & I. We only got to talk for a short time since we had to hit the road because we had a long ride ahead of us. Regardless it was time well spent.
Stay tuned for the recap of the rest of the journey.

Thank you for reading & following along.

Yours truly‎,

Gary Herman

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