A birthday to remember
Iím sure Iím not the only one, but I seem to like my own
birthday less and less the older I get.
But for several reasons, this past anniversary of my birth will always
It started in early April when I checked with my
brother-in-law, who shares a Twins season plan, if he had the tickets for my
birthday, Sunday, May 15. When he
said he did, and that heíd let me and the family have his 4 seats, the plan was
set in motion.
We make a lot of day trips with the family, but we are
always running late, or just on time.
Well, with this being the kids 1st trip to Target Field, I
wanted to get there early. With a
1 p.m. game time start, leaving early Sunday morning was going to be difficult.
Luckily, I had a free hotel night coming to me, so my lovely
wife and I decided to make a weekend of it. Go down Saturday, have some fun, go to the hotel, get up
nice and early and head to the stadium well before game time.
Soon after getting the tickets while watching the Twins on
T.V., I saw the promo for getting circled by Bert Blyleven. So I went to FoxSportsNorth.com and
went to the Circle Me tab. I
entered the date of our tickets, and the seat location. I also entered why we should be
circled. I wrote it would be my
birthday and Justin Morneauís (I know how Bert loves his birthday). I also had an autographed baseball from
Bert from the 1985 All-Star game, which was played at the Metrodome. I was going to photocopy the ball and
put it on our sign, which I did.
Well, when the week of the game came around, my kids and I
got to making the sign. By
Thursday night, it was ready. On
Friday, I received an interesting e-mail.
It was from Fox Sports North.
It read: Someone from
Section 130 (which is where our seats were) will be circled by Bert at the May
Could it be us?
Why not? I told the kids,
who got incredibly excited. I was
playing it cool, but got pretty pumped too. What were the odds?
It HAD to be us.
Well, we made our trip, which included a great stop at the
Minnesota Historical Society on a rainy Saturday afternoon, followed by a trip
to Chuck E. Cheeseís.
We woke up Sunday to a beautiful morning in the Twin
Cities. All was right with the
world. I was now 41 years old.
We got to the park and walked around beautiful Target
Field. We watched some batting
practice, and saw Jose Bautista (who would smack 3 homers, including an upper
deck shot, during the game) tater shots all around us in the Home Run Porch.
About 20 minutes before game time, I got a tap on my shoulder. It was a Twins intern. We were selected to go to the Fox
Sports North Booth to meet Dick Bremer and Bert Blyleven!
I knew some selected fans were chosen for this honor, so,
when I got that tap, I have to admit knowing exactly what he was going to
say. When he left, I told Kathy
and the kids. WOW. What a moment! We were all buzzing. Kathy and I whipped out our phones, and
started texting and posting on facebook.
We were told we would be circled prior to the 5th
inning. The intern also told us
that he would return around the 4th inning to bring us to the booth.
How were we going to wait that long! Itís all we could think about!
The game moved along quickly, and the Blue Jays took
the lead. The kids diligently
stood up between every inning, holding up our sign, not sure when, or from what
camera, we would be circled.
Then, the 4th inning came, and there was the
intern. Soon, we were on our way
to the booth.
We walked in and Dick and Bert were just about to go on the
air, but said a quick hello.
During the next half inning break, we got to chat a little. Dick, a graduate of Staples-Motley High
School, asked what I did for a living.
When I told him Iím a sports journalist, he immediately asked me about
Lynn Peterson, the successful, long-time S-M coach who recently resigned from
the school. They also talked about
Dead Lake, and wondered how such a nice lake can be called that. Bert wanted to know if it really was a
dead lakeÖDoes it have any fish in it? He asked.
After another half-inning, they snuggled us into camera
view, and let us watch Dick and Bert do their job up close, and for a brief
moment, the T.V. cameraís showed us in the booth.
The inning ended, Bert signed some baseballs for the kids,
and our sign, we took a picture, and left.
By the time we returned to our seats, the sun had moved into
position to shine right in our faces, but we were already all glowing. The textís and facebook messages
started popping up. You couldnít
have whipped the smiles off the kids faces the rest of the day.
The Twins lost, but thatís not what we will remember. The kids had a historic weekend, and
the memories from it will last a lifetime.