Baseball and Travel – Day 1

In today’s society the world continues to become smaller. I’m not talking about physically shrinking although after being baked in 119 degree weather for an extended period will make even the largest of us shrink like when your wife puts your favorite Diamondbacks shirt in the dryer and it comes out looking like something you would dress a Build-a-Bear character in. No, in this case the shrinkage metaphor describes how everyone on the planet is connected and within a few short hours you can go from roasting in the Arizona sun to setting down on the runway in New York City where it is cloudy, raining, and a balmy 73 degrees.

I am not what you would call a world traveller. Growing up in rural Idaho I did not take my first airplane ride until after I was married and even then it was a short flight from Salt Lake City to Denver. Not exactly what I would call transcontinental. Since that time I have seen the world which in this case meant Disney World.

Leaving on the Trip of a LifetimeFlying from Arizona to New York would be perhaps my longest flight of my life which became even truer when I finally boarded the plane to find that I was the lucky recipient of a middle seat separating a 3-year old girl with a cold and upset stomach and her frazzled mother who was trying to corral two other children younger than the one sitting next to me.

Fortunately, the baseball gods smiled upon me and the little girl switched seats with me to be next to her mother and the mother changed seats with the father to act as a buffer zone. The flight itself was much like the Diamondbacks season. It started out smooth sailing and we were free to walk about the cabin then suddenly there was turbulence and the plane’s occupants were strapped into their seats wondering what was going on and praying that the flight would return to its quieter ways.

It’s funny; at the time I had no idea how apropos this would be and how my flight would parallel the Diamondbacks first game against the New York Mets in Citi Field. Like my flight the game started great. Wade Miley was dealing on the mound and it looked as though the team had figured out their pitching woes from June and July would usher in a return to smoother time.

The game would then take an unexpected turn tossing the Diamondbacks fans two and fro as the bullpen struggled allowing the Mets to tie the game and send it into extra innings.

When we arrived in New York we were greeted by throngs of people all compressed into a small area pushing there way through baggage claim to gather their belongings then rush to the parking garage to find their lost cars so that they could get onto the roadway where they would wait for upwards of an hour to go a mere ten miles.

In the Dbacks game, fans eagerly watched each extra frame praying that this would be the inning that the freeway lane would open up and we could squeeze our car into the space and move forward even if it was just a car length. Finally our exit came and we headed to our hotel.

In the 13th inning the Diamondbacks sent Cody Ross to the plate and with one swing he two signaled that the exit was here hitting a blast over the fence at Citi Field giving the Diamondbacks the lead.

Everything seemed to be going perfectly. We would soon be at the hotel and be able to relax and celebrate the end to a very long day. Unfortunately out driver got lost and we ended up going around block after block with things looking dismal at best. Finally we pulled up to the hotel and got out lost and confused.

In the bottom of the 13th inning the Diamondbacks bullpen continued to struggle with Josh Collmenter getting an out then issuing two intentional walks to load the bases. With one swing of the bat the Diamondbacks went from winning to losing.

As we walked into the hotel we got lost trying to find the registration desk then got on the wrong elevator. In the end we walked around the streets of New York and wondered whether our whole trip would be a metaphor. I didn’t pack for a metaphor. I just wanted to go to a ballgame.

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