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What I’ve Been Up To, Part 1

Cripes, just when I think I’m getting back into a regular blogging roll, my train of thought gets all derailed. When I posted last Thursday, I was getting ready to go to my first-ever professional football game, a preseason matchup between the Eagles and the Patriots.

lincoln-financial-field.jpgI never knew parking was so much more expensive for football games than for baseball games! Thank goodness we’d gotten the tickets themselves for free. The weather cleared up nicely, and we had a pleasant evening. The Patriots were looking pretty good, but the Eagles unfortunately were not.

On Sunday, we made our way to Reading for Kids Club Game #4 at the Reading Phillies. Upon entering the stadium the kids received the special giveaway that day, the Crazy Hot Dog Vendor laundry hamper.

The special activity for Kids Club members was a pregame question-and-answer session with several of the R-Phils players.

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From left to right are catcher Kevin Nelson, pitchers Chance Chapman and Scott Mathieson, and outfielder Kevin Mahar. Instead of typical baseball-related questions you’d expect from adults, kids are apparently interested in all kinds of other information. Questions ranged from “What’s your favorite football/basketball/hockey team?” to “How much money do you make?” (answer: “Not enough!”) to “Where do you live during the off-season?” (Chapman sheepishly revealed he still lives with his parents).

So what burning questions did my offspring have? From my 11-year-old son came “What’s your favorite video game?” (NHL ’09 for Mahar, Rock Band for Chapman, and Mario Kart for Nelson. Mathieson didn’t seem to have a favorite.) and “What’s your favorite TV show?” (Mathieson: “The Office”; Chapman: “Lost”).

Nelson and Mahar had to leave for batting practice about halfway through.

My 8-year-old daughter needed to know “Do you have any pets?” (a cat and dog for Chapman, and a dog for Mathieson) and “Are you married?” (a resounding “No!” from Chapman, yes for Mathieson).

After the Q and A session, we had time to mosey around until the game started. Several R-Phils players stopped on their way between the field and the clubhouse to sign autographs, including top pitching prospect Kyle Drabek.

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As Reading’s stadium has been around since 1951, it’s not the most modern. The players have to cross the public concourse to get between the field and the clubhouses.

Mike Stutes was on the mound for Reading:

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and Eric Niesen took to the hill for the visiting Binghamton Mets.

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Both starters pitched well, and the teams traded zeroes on the scoreboard throughout the afternoon.

Did I mention it was really hot? I would not have wanted to be dressed in these suits:

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Yes, they are racing vegetables. In addition to the broccoli and cauliflower represented here, there were also lettuce and bagged veggies participating. My daughter was rooting for the broccoli, since it is the only vegetable she will actually eat, and indeed the broccoli emerged victorious.

An inning or two later, we were treated to the kid-sized food race:

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The sundae (who was running barefoot) was the clear winner over the pizza slice and the popcorn.

Back to the game. It seemed neither team wanted to win, and the prospect of extra innings loomed as we went to the bottom of the ninth with the score 0-0. Highly touted prospect Domonic Brown
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led off the inning. With only the fourth hit of the game for the R-Phils, Brown got things started when he smoked a double to left-center.

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The next batter, who shall remain nameless after striking out in his first three at-bats, attempted a sacrifice bunt but popped out to the pitcher, forcing Brown to hold at second. The next batter was intentionally walked, bringing up Kevin Mahar, from our pregame Q and A. Mahar hit a hard grounder to the second baseman, who made a diving stop but then launched it over the head of the first baseman, allowing Brown to easily score the winning run. R-Phils win, 1-0!

The kids are now eagerly looking forward to the final Kids Club game of the season, on August 30, which will feature a pregame photo session with the players, and postgame fireworks.

In Part 2 of What I’ve Been Up To, hopefully forthcoming sooner rather than later, I’ll cover my day this past Wednesday at the Phillies Baseball 101 for Women event, featuring a photo op with the World Series trophy, on-field sessions with the Phillies coaches, Q and A sessions with J.A. Happ, Charlie Manuel, umpire Laz Diaz, and radio personalities Scott Franzke and Larry Andersen, and of course a ticket to that night’s game against the Arizona Diamondbacks.

(all photos by me)

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