Fly Out

Have you ever had one of those days where nothing seems to go right? You know, you wake up in the morning thinking how great the day is going to be and then you climb out of bed and step on a thumbtack and spend the rest of the day cleaning blood out of the carpet as you hope around making up new words that you never want your kids to repeat. Well, today was kind of like that for me.

I’m in San Francisco for a business trip that I really didn’t want to make. I have meeting scheduled which could very easily be done via phone but for some reason a face-to-face conversation was deemed necessary. It wasn’t so much that the meetings were a bad idea, it is just that we could have done these meetings any time in the past 2 weeks and it would not have affected baseball. But the Diamondbacks are in town tonight after being gone since June 29 and here I am. So I’m trying to make the best of the situation and seeing if I can get through this meeting in downtown San Francisco and to the airport to catch a plane. There are two direct flights out of San Francisco’s airport that will get me back to Phoenix. My first preference is the 3:39 PM flight which arrives at 5:25 PM. This would give me 65 minutes to go from Sky Harbor airport to Chase Field and still catch first pitch. The problem is that my meeting is in the financial district and ends at 3:00 PM. As soon as the meeting is over, I gather my stuff and attempt to call a cab. This is almost an art form and one I haven’t seemed to master. As much of an emergency as I expressed to the driver, there was no way he was going to make it. I arrived at the airport at 3:45 missing the flight by 6 minutes. I am therefore stuck on the 6:10 flight which would arrive at 8:05. I would miss the first 4 innings but still be at the game, or so I thought. The plane was delayed by 20 minutes due to weather. Once it arrived, there was an electrical problem causing further delay. Then it was a full flight was everyone having at least 3 carry-on items even though the airline clearly stated that the limit was 1 carry-on and a personal item. It never ceases to amaze me what people perceive as a carry-on. I have come to the conclusion that if they thought it possible, they would actually carry on an ox. So after having to wait while half the plane population had to check their luggage at the gate, we begin our flight to Phoenix.

It’s funny, when you sit in a meeting it seems as though time stands still. But when you get on a plane and hope that you will soon arrive at your destination, time seems to fly by. In my head I was calculating how many pitches Miguel Batista throws per inning, his time to the plate, how much time the national anthem would take and I was still coming up with the same answer, I may miss this ballgame. When the plane finally arrived in Phoenix, I leapt from my seat, retrieved my ONE personal item (a backpack) and rushed to the front of the plane. I got off and did my best Olympic hurdler impression. If there had been a member of the Arizona Cardinals scouting staff they may have signed my on the spot to play on special teams. I even outran the moving walkway. I finally reached the doors to the airport where my wonderful wife met me with seat cushions, tickets, and a pair of shorts (it was 110 degrees at 8:45 PM). We rushed down to Chase Field and to the gates. The ushers looked perplexed as the game was just beginning the ninth inning. I explained how important it was to not miss a game so then ran us through the turnstile. We hurried to our seats as we watched the Brandon Medders strike out Corey Hart. The Diamondbacks were losing 2-3 but it didn’t matter, I was at the game. When Luis Gonzalez came up and hit a double to right field, it felt right that I was there. And when Johnny Estrada hit a home run to right and won the game with a walk-off HR, it was finally the end to a day I won’t soon forget.

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