Last weekend, I took a trip to Cleveland along with my brother and father to watch our Yankees battle the Indians at Progressive Field.
Prior to our departing, I had joked the Yankees, who had lost 4 games in a row at the time needed a little bit of a wake up call, much like the one’s delivered on surprise by former owner George Steinbrenner during the 90’s when the team wasn’t playing up to expectations. Granted we have been spoiled by this team’s success so far this season as they have far exceeded the expectations that many of us had of this young team. But still, as fans, we want our team to win, so I told people I was going out to the “Boss” a favor, and wake up his Yankees (haha).
It was a great trip! We had beautiful weather the entire time and were blessed with great roads to travel with no delays or mishaps along the way. Cleveland is such a great city and downtown has really come alive in recent years.
We arrived at the ballpark shortly before 5 for the 7 pm game and decided instead of going to a nearby restaurant to grab a quick bite to eat, we would stand online and wait for the gates to open in hopes of catching batting practice. After letting us in thru the left field gates, we were treated with catching at least a half-hours worth of the Yankees taking batting practice! Of course, the main attraction of “BP” is rookie Aaron Judge, who leads the American League with 35 home runs and has hit some towering shots this season, including a 496 foot blast at Yankee Stadium.
Thankfully, we were able to see all of Judge’s BP swings, and the “oohs and ahhs” of the crowd that accompanied played like a soundtrack to his smashes. One swing sent a ball at least 5 rows from the top of the bleachers in left-center field, an unbelievable shot. What was unique about Judge taking BP on this day was a lot of his teammates and Indians players would stop what they were doing just to watch. After he was done, Aaron came to the Yankees dugout, threw a ball at a group of young kids and waved as he ducked his 6’7” frame under the top of the doorway to the clubhouse.
BP also gave me, and other Yankees fans, a chance to walk over by the dugout and take pictures of our favorite players, coaches and manager Joe Girardi. I am pretty sure Joe knew I was there as he kept turning his back to me. I don’t know why. The 10-15 emails I send him a week are just helpful pointers on how to manage the team, but I think he takes them as criticisms. HAHAHA
The game was great! We had seats down the left field line in the lower section and we were probably the only Yankees fans in our immediate area. We had a few jerks sitting behind us and to my left, but certainly they weren’t bad enough to spoil our good time. There is just something about watching a baseball game in a big league park with the green grass, the color and sounds of the stadium coupled with the sounds of a bat hitting a ball that is just so relaxing….and American.
The Yanks won in thrilling fashion 2-1! The game had everything. Great pitching, clutch hitting and some terrific defensive plays. But even if they had lost, it still would have been a wonderful weekend to me. I was able to spend some quality time in the car, at the hotel and at the ballpark with my Dad and brother, a chance that we don’t often get with our different schedules and responsibilities. To me, that is what I will take away most from this trip, time spent with them!
When it comes to memories and a great time, we definitely hit a home run this weekend!
(Lucas Day is the WFLR News and Sports Director and can be heard daily starting at 6 a.m. When he’s not rooting for the Yankees or Lakers, he’s watching the WWE Network. Questions or comments for Lucas can be left below or emailed to: firstname.lastname@example.org)