Monday, August 17, 2009

The All American Pastime


Yep, who doesn't love a great baseball game? Well, truth be told, I am not CRAZY about them, but I do enjoy the occasional run around the diamond. Up until now, the little ladybugs had expressed no interest in being taken out to the ballgame. But, as we all know, they grow, they learn, they hear...they wanted to live out the words to the tune..."buy me some peanuts and crackerjacks, I don't care if I ever get back."

You get the picture.

So, in a very impromptu decision, we headed off the city of brotherly love to catch an evening of good ol' American fun. Or so we thought.

We walked through the parking lot holding hands and singing (yes, really we did) but alas the story turns ugly quickly. We crossed the threshold to the ticketing center, everyone is all smiles. We are dressed accordingly in our cherry and white. The children appeared downright eager and a bit shiny, happy, if I do say so myself.

Rob steps up, he swings, and it's SOLD OUT!

We had not once taken into consideration the team we were about to try to see were world champions. Can you hear the crickets chirping? Dead silence, as Rob turned and looked at me. We felt like Chevy Chase in a bad scene from Vacation, and the happy, shiny children were not yet aware that we were being turned away.

And then, as she processed what the ticket man had said, Emily looks up at her daddy, makes contact with the reality, and busts into yes, THE UGLY CRY!

Oh no.

This was NOT the evening we had envisioned. Something inside of me wanted to assure her that peanuts and crackerjacks were really bad for her teeth, and the team might lose anyway, but I kept my silent vigil and slowly began to inch toward a concrete pillar, so I could just hear her sobs. Hannah, following my lead, stepped quickly to stand on my feet, as her sister was beginning to scare her. What is up with the little red-headed girl? I knew what was up with the little red-headed girl, she wanted to see her first baseball game, so I prayed. I did not pray we would get in, I prayed Em's heart would be soothed, and that His will would be done that night; and I prayed He would forgive me for my sports ignorance and poor planning.

Gleeful people passed us as they went to the will-call booth and other ticket windows only to be turned away and assured there were no tickets. After what seemed like an eternity, Rob stepped back, placed his arms around Emily and began working his way toward Hannah and I, when he stopped him.

The ticket man in window 6.

He said the little red-haired girl was "breaking his heart".

Rob stepped forward. The man was whispering, then he was up and moving, then he was discussing, first with one person, then with two, then he had an assortment of persons discussing at box 6. Then, as quickly as we had been denied, he waved us forward, issuing "standing room only" tickets.

A manager came to escort us in, he showed us to the customer service area to get "MY FIRST GAME" certificates for the girls. We promptly bought some very-bad-for-you cotton candy and a token stuffed bear that plays "All-Star". We settled in right behind the third baseline, where the little red-haired girl, in all her glory, watched the entire game and cheered that team, regardless of the score. Even telling those award winning Phils, "It is okay." when they lost miserably.

There are many morals to this story and some may begin with tips on perfect parenting and planning, however we all know no perfect parent exists, and that lesson in and of itself is incredibly valuable. Yet, I must offer, I am far more intrigued with the kind man in ticket booth six. His willingness to allow his heart to choose his path was rather moving. It was obvious that he chose to speak to his superiors not because we insisted or stomped our feet, but because he saw in that child, his own child. He knew he may get refused, but he tried anyway. And he blessed a family he did not know.

Consequently, I wrote the baseball organization with a personal thank you detailing the events of that night. And I got a personal response from the ticket man in window six. I will just say the only strike-outs that happened that evening were on the field, our family and the man in window six were blessed beyond measure.

"Each of us must please our neighbor for the good purpose of building up our neighbor." Romans 15:2


TanyaLea said...

HEATHER!! Don't ask me why, but that totally choked me up! I guess the softness of that mans heart, the way you all were treated and the favor your received (divine, perhaps?) was all in all a really great story with a truly happy ending for everyone involved...including Ticket Man 6 !!! LOVE IT!
Blessings and Hugs,

Sharon@JoyInTheTruth said...

Such an "Em" story...moving people to emotion and action through her beautiful, sincere, deep, nostalgic-esque heart!

An evening you will all remember (including the man at window 6) enjoying America's favorite past-time.

Batter up!

Jodee Leader said...

Wow! I love happy endings! What an amazing night after all!

Hope you have a great weekend!

Anna Grace`s Jie Jie said...

So neat your daughters are precious!

Jboo said...

What a great story - such an amazing man in ticket booth #6!

I would have never guessed a baseball game would be sold out either!

Hope you and your sweet family have a great weekend!

Sheri said...

Love this!! I'm so glad it turned out so great for all of you. As usual, I love your ability to tell a story so eloquently. You should really write a book! :)

day by day said...

Oh, Heather...I loved that story!!!! You shared it so beautifully!

Isn't it always refreshing when we see someone reach out from the heart just like Ticket Man 6?!

Thanks so much for sharing this with us!

Have a wonderful week-end!!!


The Byrd's Nest said...

Em has always touched my heart in a special way so it not surprising that this man saw what we see in her.

What a beautiful testimony...I love it!

Jennifer said...

This brought a little tear to my eye. What a great story!

Go Phillies!!!


3 Peanuts said...

What an uplifting story...Em looks GORGEOUS and so grown up. I miss the PHillies!

Anonymous said...

I recently came across your blog and have been reading along. I thought I would leave my first comment. I don't know what to say except that I have enjoyed reading. Nice blog. I will keep visiting this blog very often.


Jewels of My Heart said...

What a sweet, sweet story......
Good for the man in Window #6.
Good for Mommy praying for her baby....
Just so sweet.

Michelle said...

Ok, Heather, I have tears in my eyes. What a sweet, sweet story written in only a way that you could write. I could picture everything happening just as you wrote about it. I am so glad the man in booth number six was just as touched by your family as we all are. I just love you, friend!!


mommy24treasures said...

your beautiful writing is always so refreshing to me Heather. Loved this...

Much Ado said...

This is such a beautiful story, it brought tears to my eyes. And it just makes the first game all the more special!!!! What a great memory and story to tell. :)

And I love the perfect picture you put at the end of the post. :)

I was also reading your prayer requests (what a lovely idea) and then saw our names there! THANK YOU so much! God is good.

Anonymous said...

I loved that. talk about an old fashioned baseball game. the man in the window made me feel I was reading a movie script! Emily is BEAUTIFUL!

日月神教-任我行 said...



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