My entire existence revolves around my Arizona Diamondbacks Season Ticket booklet. Nothing happens in our household without checking the season tickets first. When my wife and family begin talking about potential family vacations we first must check the season ticket book to see if there are games that could possibly cause a conflict. Likewise when making plans for celebrating a family member’s birthday or our wedding anniversary we again check with the season ticket book to see if the special event will be celebrated at Chase Field or some less-optimum location.
There are times when having the season ticket book be the focus of our social calendar causes some internal struggles among family members; like the time I made us wait until after a game to go to Trina’s grandmother’s funeral. I think most of the family (except for Trina’s mom) has forgiven me for that one. Still, there’s something to be said about having order in your life; the kind of order that comes from knowing where you will be 81 nights a year.
Today as I pulled out the tickets for the game against the Los Angeles Dodgers I noted that it was Game #42. My first thoughts were how appropriate it was that we would be playing the Dodgers during game 42. Thinking this was the perfect educational opportunity I brought up that factoid and asked my kids what that meant. “Dad, that was Jackie Robinson’s number and he played for the Dodgers; duh!” I could not have been more proud.
Looking down at the tickets I couldn’t help but feel a little melancholy. Home game number 42; that meant that the number of games at Chase Field were half over. I thought back to that fateful day in March when the postman knocked on my door and I nearly kissed him when he delivered the package containing my season tickets. That day I remember thinking that all of my hopes and dreams were contained in that envelope neatly packaged in 83 little containers I called tickets.
Now I stood here thinking that half the fun is over. At first that was depressing but the more I thought about it the happier I became. I wasn’t happy that less than half a season remained; that part still depresses me. But the memories of 41 days at the ballpark sharing my love of baseball filled my heart.
I remember Opening Day with all of the fanfare and seeing Ian Kennedy beat Adam Wainwright and the St. Louis Cardinals. From the ceremonial first pitch from Diamondbacks great Brandon Webb to the final out it was special. There was the return of Justin Upton and standing and cheering wishing him the best and thanking him for his years as a Diamondback.
There was the double header where I could spend all day and night at Chase Field without out worrying that security would toss me out. Sharing two games with my youngest daughter and reminiscing about last year’s double header then cheering Tyler Skaggs as he notched his first major league win in the first game and Brad Ziegler gets the win in the nightcap.
Recently there have been the memories from this past week when the Diamondbacks paid tribute to the armed forces and to the firefighters who lost their lives while trying to protect us. It was an emotional rollercoaster as we heard stories of these brave men recounted so that we would never forget.
So many memories and yet the season is only half done. I stared down at the ticket book and wondered what new memories we would be seeing. Is there a no-hitter in the book or perhaps someone will hit for the cycle? Maybe there is ticket that represents the Diamondbacks clinching a play-off spot and a return to the postseason?
While it is sad to think that we’ve already seen half the games this year, I would not trade the memories of any of those games. This is what it means to be a baseball fan and I plan on cherishing each and every moment I can at the ballpark no matter how many tickets are left in the book.