Yes, it’s Sunday as I write this, but … well, I was busy yesterday. And, there will be no pictures, for this was a day for memories unhindered by a camera’s frame.
It began early, far too early for the events of the day. 5:00. Damn it! I have read for years how the older you get the less sleep you need. Personally, I believe you need just as much sleep, but your body prevents you from getting it. Restless leg syndrome, an achy neck that produces achier shoulders, and the ol’ guy bladder that gets ready to burst far too early in the morning. And, once I’m up, I’m not going back down again. So, I greeted the morning at 5:00. But, that’s OK. Because the greens were greener, the blues were bluer, the air was crisper, the birds were chirpier.
I got the youngest Midget Prince up and we were out of the house shortly after 6:30. We saw the sunrise through thin clouds that shot off sparks of orange and purple. Pretty damn beautiful. To which my son could only respond, “it’s early, it’s early, it’s early.” My kids are, unfortunately, at that age when the idea of a seeing a sunrise is right up there with eating canned spinach and getting a root canal. I get it. I was there once.
We spent the next three hours serving as volunteer refereeing for the SALLY Tournament, a women’s soccer tournament that raises money for leukemia and lymphoma charities. It was a good opportunity to spend a few hours with him and also do a good thing. The women played well and were, for the most part, appreciative of our participation. We received many thank you’s for being there. But, ladies, I really cannot call offsides if you always have at least one defender drifting back too far. It’s interesting the things I’m learning as I shift from coaching to refereeing — you see things differently. It’s not as easy as it all looks.
I also learned this yesterday, my slowly healing groin injury may not survive refereeing. By the end of the third game, I was struggling to walk. There have been a handful of times over the past nine months when I have aggravated the thing and ended the day not able to walk. You know, taking ten minutes just to go up one flight of stairs in our house can take it out of you.
After we were done refereeing at 11:00, we raced home. I got a half hour nap in and then I was off. Well, that and a couple of Motrin and two more in my pocket in case I needed them. (Good news — it never got worse.) For the thing I was more jazzed about than anything in a long time. It’s why the greens and blues were brighter, the air cleansed my soul, and the world was my oyster. With Guest Blogger, I was on the road to the Giants Playoff game.
We rode BART in and walked down the Embarcadero. Getting there early enough, we stopped in a bar for a pitcher of Trumer. If you enjoy the sudsy stuff and haven’t tried a Trumer Pils yet, you must. I have had many “favorite” beers in my decades of enjoying the stuff. But, this is the one. Never off, never anything but a great, great example of a pilsner.
Beer consumed, we entered the stadium. I got my Orange rally towel and let out a whoop. I was there. I’ve tried to explain here what this means, but there really are no words other than this. I was at a Giants playoff game for the first time ever and I loved every minute of it. Yes, the Giants lost, they reverted to the team that is relentlessly incapable of getting a two-out hit with runners on base. It was frustrating and I wish they had won. (has there ever been a more obvious statement?) But, I wouldn’t trade it for anything else I would have been doing yesterday. From first pitch to last, it was just an absolute joy to be there.
Thank you, Guest Blogger for joining me and making for an incredible experience. Good conversation, friendship, and a playoff game.
This day was a memory for me. It’s filed away on the good, no great, side of the ledger. When I’m old and doddery, I’ll tell my grandkids of the time I went to a Giants playoff game and they battled and battled, and the 2012 National League MVP (yes, I have no doubt, it will happen) came to the plate as the tying run in the bottom of the 9th, facing a heat-throwing reliever who reaches 100+ mphs with his pitches. They dueled on and on (yes, I know it actually wasn’t that lengthy of an at-bat, but this is my fish story) before mighty Posey swung at Chapman’s fastest pitch yet (remember, it’s a fish story) and missed. All the while 42,000+ fans stood on their feet and screamed and stomped their feet and waved their towels and begged and prayed for a miracle. And, alas, as happens so many times, the baseball gods said “not this time.”
But, the great thing about baseball … there is always, always tomorrow.