“Do you remember what today is?” My wife asked over breakfast.
Being married as long as I have you would think I would be able to recognize a trap when I see one. But being an average American male I am completely oblivious to the nuances of the female species. I did briefly glance over my wife’s shoulder at the calendar just to make sure I knew the date. Confident, I replied, “Sure! Today is the day that Aaron Hill hit for the first of two cycles in the 2012 season.”
I followed that with a look of confidence like I just aced the ACT and would be getting phone calls from all of the Ivy League schools begging me to enroll in their institutions. From the looks of my wife’s face, she did not share the confidence of my answer. How could she possibly doubt my baseball knowledge? I’m like the Rain Man of Diamondbacks trivial information. All that was lacking was a countdown to how many minutes until Judge Wapner and an explanation that I buy all my underwear at K-Mart (because the Diamondbacks do not carry Dbacks underwear at the team shop).
Still, I could tell that perhaps my answer was incomplete. My mind raced to remember what other non-baseball trivia could be attributed to today. Then it hit me like an Ian Kennedy fastball to Zack Greinke’s shoulder. Today was the anniversary of perhaps the greatest save in the history of the Arizona Diamondbacks.
A year ago at about this same time of day on this exact same date I got the exact same question from the exact same lady and was met with the exact same evil eye. At that time though I felt confident that it was just another day which would end with a fun-filled evening at the Arizona Diamondbacks game where the home team would take on the Seattle Mariners in an Interleague game.
What had slipped my mind was the fact that it was also my wedding anniversary; my 31st wedding anniversary to be exact. My wife in her devious own way was not about to remind me of that fact except for this one question during breakfast. I went on the rest of the day looking forward to first pitch and seeing Wade Miley continue his domination hopefully winning his eighth game of the season.
It was not until just before game time that it dawned on me that it was our anniversary. By this time it was too late for me to recover, or so I thought. I was going to be sleeping on the couch for a very long time for this one I could tell.
So what did I do? I did the same thing I do whenever I have a problem in my life. I called the Arizona Diamondbacks. I didn’t just call anyone; I called my Season Ticket Representative Jamie Gostyla. Jamie is like a member of the family. She not only knows my seat location but she knows all about my wife and kids. She’s like an extremely underpaid therapist who has somehow ticked off the management of the Diamondbacks and as a punishment was given my account to manage.
Jamie in her usual manner was calm and collected on the phone while I was freaking out that my life was soon to be over and I would be sleeping on the couch again. I wasn’t that stressed about the couch, I’m used to that. My bigger fear was that at some point I was going to irritate my wife enough that she would finally leave me and take my season tickets with her.
After explaining my dilemma to Jamie she calmly reassured me that my life was not over. (Who knew that Season Ticket Representatives were also masters of the suicide hotline?) Jamie told me to come see her at the season ticket booth behind Section 111 and she would do the rest.
So we made our way down to Chase Field and as we walked around the concourse before the game I slipped away and met with Jamie. There she gave me a pass to the Sedona Club and suggested I make my way down behind the Diamondbacks dugout.
For those who have never been to the Sedona Club, you don’t know what you are missing. It is an intimate little eatery under the stands and behind the Diamondbacks dugout. It’s difficult to get into as you normally have to have special seats to gain access.
I casually led Trina down to the Sedona Club doing my best James Bond imitation like I completely knew what I was doing. An extremely courteous usher who asked if we were Jeff and Trina met us at the door. I am not sure who was more shocked by that question, my wife or me?
He led us to a table that had been reserved with our names on it. He congratulated us on being married so long and made sure we had the best time at Chase Field. After an amazing dinner (you have to try the hamburger with the caramelized onions; they are to die for) we had dessert and arrived back at our seats just before first pitch.
During the game we were featured on Kiss Cam, the first time in 15 seasons that has happened. By the seventh inning I had my best girl holding my hand and whispering to me this was the greatest anniversary present I had ever given her. I know, the Dbacks were up 7-1 and Hill was going for the cycle!
So while the game may have ended with a Diamondbacks blow-out it will go down in my books as the greatest save in the history of the franchise and my marriage and it was all because of the amazing team the Diamondbacks have put together that has nothing to do with the product on the field.
The only problem is that I will never be able to top it again. But I am off to a great start. Today is starting off just about like a year ago. Excuse me; I have to make a phone call. I REALLY hope Jamie is working today. I seem to have gotten myself into another pickle.