Last off-season my wife insisted that we have a movie night. Since baseball was still a few months away I agreed. After all I had not seen Major League, Bull Durham, Field of Dreams, or The Natural for a long time. She immediately vetoed any and all baseball movies including the 2001 World Series highlight video. Clearly this was going to be a long night if I had to endure a non-baseball movie.
I will give her credit; she did not insist on some “chick flick” like The Notebook or Confessions of a Shopaholic. Instead she selected a film that she thought both of us would enjoy. The movie she picked was The Bucket List which included Morgan Freeman and Jack Nicholson. All I could envision was The Shining meets Driving Miss Daisy and while that sounded kind of intriguing I was still a little frustrated that we weren’t watching The Sandlot.
Without giving up too much of the plot; the movie consisted of two guys who were terminally ill that befriend each other. One character decides to make a list of things he wants to do before he dies. He refers to this list as his “Bucket List”.
The movie was very well done and at the end made you stop to think of your own mortality. I began wondering, why wait until you find out you are dying before you try to live your life to the fullest? I immediately began to think of what I would put on my personal “bucket list”.
Over the next few weeks, thoughts of a bucket list continued to pop back into my head and each time I would think of something, I would jot down a note to add to my eventual list. As I began writing them down I suddenly realized that all of the items I had dealt with baseball and in particular with the Arizona Diamondbacks.
- Attend Diamondbacks fantasy camp
- Replace the bases during a game with the Chase Field grounds crew
- Watch a game from the owner’s seats at Chase Field
- Take one swing in the batting cage during batting practice at Chase Field
- Have an article published on Diamondbacks.com
- Visit the press box at Chase Field during a game
- Watch a game at Chase Field at the pool with my daughter
- Take one of my kids to all 30 MLB stadiums to see a game
- Take a “behind the scenes” tour of dbTV and see the technology they use
- Be a Golden Glove for an inning at Chase Field
I looked over this list and realized that the odds of me actually accomplishing any of these items were extremely remote. I tossed the list aside and subsequently forgot about it; that is until this week.
I happened to be exchanging emails with Diamondbacks CEO Derrick Hall when he asked if I could stop by his seats during this home stand. I nearly dropped the keyboard when I received that message. I am not normally exchanging emails with members of the Diamondbacks front office and regular fans don’t just get invited to visit the owner’s seats.
I learned two important lessons from this series of events. First, I am not too old that I can’t still do a cartwheel. Second, it takes exactly one full tube of Super Glue to fix the effects of a grown man doing a cartwheel in the living room.
So last night at Chase Field my wife and I left our seats in Section 112 and made our way to the other side of the field. I was positive that the ushers at Chase Field would stop us and would never believe my story that the president of the team wanted to see me.
Much to my amazement the story worked and we were led down the aisle towards the owner’s seats. With each step we got closer and closer to the field. I love my Row 8 seats and every night I admire the view from being that close to the field.
As we walked down the steps to the owner’s seats I realized that my seat location may as well be in the upper deck compared to the view from these seats. Literally you could hold your hand out and shake hands with the batter on deck.
When we got there we were warmly greeted by Derrick Hall and his wonderful wife Amy. They asked us to sit down causing one of the owners, Dale Jensen to move. I was in shock and awe at the seats. I was no longer watching the game; I was a part of it.
It was the most amazing experience I can remember while watching a game. We sat and talked about the game and about the team. I kept waiting for my alarm to go off and realize this was only a dream.
While the Diamondbacks did not win the game, I don’t think it mattered. I was able to experience something I had only dreamed of. I sat at my desk after the family was all in bed and I pulled out my personal bucket list.
With pen in hand I crossed out number three on my list and let out a tremendous sigh. Number three definitely deserved to be on that list and now my list of ten was down to nine. Sometimes when your wife suggests you watch a movie it can lead to things you’ve only dreamed of.