Baseball vs. Concert

In lieu of my travels, I’ve invited a few of my favorite people to write on my behalf. Enjoy!

Surrounded by Tom Swick (Read more by Tom at

Met my friend Mari at 6:45 pm yesterday at Gate H of Sun Life Stadium.

“Driving here I realized I only had credit cards,” Mari said. “So I asked the parking attendant if I could drive in to an ATM and then come back. She said ‘Happy Birthday’ and let me in for free.”

We walked to the ticket window.

“We’d like to see the game,” Mari told the young man.

“Inside?” he asked. Then he told us that Founders’ Club seats were hard to come by tonight because of a special $7.90 offer if you presented a bumper sticker. He said there was a man in van around the corner who was handing out the stickers.

Like people hoping to score drugs, we went looking for the man in his van. And he was there, parked by a tree. He slipped us two bumper stickers – advertising sports talk radio station 7.90 – which we carried back to the ticket window.

We were given two tickets for bull pen seats. They were in the last row of section 140, behind a young man and his snowbird father from Philadelphia. The father took off his cap to show us the Northeast High School logo on the front.

After the first inning, we went to get something to eat. I told Mari that my favorite item – the Reuben wrap – was discontinued a few years ago. We passed a grill lined with sweating arepas. “I take a bite of an arepa and I think it’s the most delicious thing in the world,” I said. “Then by the third bite I want to throw it away.”

Mari got in line at a sausage and cheesesteak stand, while I went for beers. “Do you have Sam Adams?” I asked.

“No, but there’s IPA down in Section 101.”

I went back to get Mari and, with our sandwiches, we walked to the beer counter, on the way passing more arepas.

“Do you want me to see,” asked Mari, “if I can get you just one bite?”

The beers cost almost as much as our tickets. Hands full, we walked through the tunnel, past the attendant, and into section 101. Row 15 had a cluster of empty seats. Except for the four young men a few rows in front of us – a combination cheerleading squad and synchronized dance troupe – most of the people around us were Phillies fans.

The jumbo tron showed an interview with a Marlins Mermaid. Her pet peeves were liars and people with body odor, and her goal was to get into journalism, an odd career choice for someone who doesn’t like liars and people with BO.

When Omar Infante came to the plate, the man on the other side of Mari yelled something in Spanish. I caught the word for “ball,” followed by “Infante.”

“Hit the ball Infante,” Mari helpfully interpreted.

He didn’t.

But the Phillies, starting in the 7th inning, did. Chants of “Let’s go Phil-lies” rose up around us. I asked Mari if she’d been to a Wallcast of the New World Symphony.

“It’s wonderful,” I said. “You sit outside, under the stars, and people bring picnics. And nobody stands up and chants: ‘Let’s go Cleveland Orchestra! Let’s go Cleveland Orchestra!'”

Tom Swick

Published by Mari

I was born with a widow's peak and a thick accent. I majored in English as a second language. I work ( and travel ( and sometimes do both.

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