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“Corner Store? It’s not even on the corner!” – Avery, age 11
Continuing my recent tradition of having very little to say and instead filling space with pictures, I present this (predominantly for my Penn friends). Can you spot the ten-year old amongst the slew of college students? Makes a father proud, it does…
First: his brother, who also makes his father proud, was below and to the right of the frame, teaching himself the drum parts to all the Penn songs (age 8).
Second: the Penn Band Sousaphones rock…
Today’s my birthday, which I mention only as an excuse to share what has become my kids’ favorite YouTube video:
The credits say Adam Sandler, but it sounds more like Weird Al Yankovic at the mic. Maybe Sandler wrote it and someone else sang it? Anyway, let’s hear it for me – another trip around the sun and I haven’t died yet – let’s all eat some cake!
Another terrific night at Yankee Stadium – father and son. Click here for some memories to throw on the pile. And here is the highlight:
We went to watch batting practice before the game, and got a great spot next to the right-field foul pole. Nick Swisher and Joba Chamberlain, two of the nicest guys on the team, were standing in right field shagging fly balls and then throwing them into the stands. When a ball made its way into the corner and Joba came to retrieve it, he caught my eye. I immediately pointed to my son, Brandon, who was staring wide-eyed at Joba with a big smile on his face. Joba handed me the ball.
This being a year where my kids had to choose who got to go to which game, Brandon was nice enough to call home and tell his big brother, Avery, that Avery could have the ball when he brought it home.
The Yankees won the game and the series, meaning there would be no Game 4. As it turns out, though, it looks like Avery might get a chance to see a playoff game this year after all, as I may have secured a pair of tickets to an ALCS game. My kids and I have a rough life, huh?
So it’s October again in the Greenberg house which, for as long as my kids can remember, means one thing: post-season Yankee baseball.
Last year, I was lucky enough to have the opportunity to purchase four tickets to the second game of the American League Division Series (ALDS), which turned out to be one of the greatest baseball games I’ve ever seen live – truly a memory my kids, my wife and I will share forever.
This year, things are a little more complicated. First of all, the Yankees didn’t win their division, which means that the ALDS doesn’t begin in Yankee Stadium as it did last year. Instead, it begins with two games in Minnesota and then returns to Yankee Stadium for games three and four. Since it’s a best of five series, if one team wins three in a row, there won’t be a game four, meaning there would only be one game at Yankee Stadium in the whole series.
The second complicating factor is that I couldn’t get four tickets to a single game this year. Instead, I got two tickets to game three and two tickets to game four (refundable if the game isn’t played). My wife willingly bowed out in deference to the kids, meaning I’m all set to take one kid to the first game and one kid to the second game. If there is a second game. Which is not a guarantee.
Further complicating matters is the concept of a “clinching game.” If the Twins and Yankees split the two games in Minnesota, then there would definitely be two games in Yankee Stadium, but the second one would give someone the opportunity to win the entire series. If it’s the Yankees, that would likely be the more exciting of the two games. If one team wins both games in Minnesota, though, then Game 3 is a potential “clinching game” for one of the teams, but if that team fails to win that game, then Game 4 becomes another potential “clinching game.”
So, when I got home from work today, I presented my 10-year old and my 7-year old with the following challenge: you guys work out between yourselves who goes to which game. If you haven’t decided by Friday afternoon, we’ll flip a coin. Oh, and no fighting.
My wife and I had discussed several scenarios on the phone during the day, but never came close to an arrangement that was as fair and well-reasoned as the one my two kids reached on their own:
Avery (the 10-year old), concluded immediately that they should make the decision tonight, rather than wait until Friday to see how the first two games played out, because if they waited, then they’d both want to go to the same game, and someone would be upset. Brandon (the 7-year old) calmly agreed. Then, they went off on their own, produced the following matrix, and presented it to me with their thinking:
Game 1 Game 2 Game 3 Game 4 Twins Twins Avery Brandon Yankees Yankees Brandon Avery Twins Yankees Brandon Avery Yankees Twins Brandon Avery
The thinking went like this: If they split the two games in Minnesota (rows 3 and 4 of the above matrix), then there are definitely two games, and Avery gets to go to Game 4 (the potential “clinching game”). In return, if the Yankees win both games in Minnesota, then Brandon gets to see the Yankees’ potential clinching game (and possibly the only game played). If the Twins win both games in Minnesota, then Avery gets to see the Twins’ potential clinching game (not as exciting as a Yankee “clinching game”). And, of course, in either of those scenarios, whoever runs the risk of not going at all gets to see the next clinching game (Game 4) if the series goes beyond Game 3.
Then they both signed their names at the bottom of the paper and gave it back to me for safekeeping.
So, to sum up: the next time the United Nations (or perhaps Congress?) needs to settle an argument between opposing interests, they should give my boys a call. But not in October – we’ve got some baseball to watch.
In my (almost) annual post about Beloit College’s Mindset List, I called attention to an item suggesting that today’s college freshmen don’t have an instinct to look at their wrist to tell time in the same way that, er…, those of us “of a certain age” still do. This prompted my blogging buddy, Jason Bennion, and I to start a small discussion about cool wristwatches, in which I mentioned my custom-made Mickey Mouse watch. Jason said the story sounded “intriguing,” and well, as anyone who’s ever read this blog knows, I don’t need too much of an incentive to tell a story.
So, here goes: the story of my watch. First, let us take a moment to pray that the copyright gods are dealing with something much more important (like whether or not Wikipedia can display the FBI’s seal?) OK, let’s go…
One of the things I love about summertime is getting the kids out to a few baseball games, which is why I have a feeling these next few weeks are going to be remembered for quite some time:
- June 30 – Went with my Dad to see the Yankees play the Mariners at Yankee Stadium. The kids couldn’t come along to this one because they had camp the next morning, and also because we got the tickets from a source other than our usual one and there weren’t enough seats for them. That’s OK, though – I’ve been going to Yankee Stadium with my father for more than 30 years, so it’s good to add yet another memory. Even if the Yankees did lose a yawner that night…
- July 3 – Taking the kids to see the Washington Nationals play the New York Mets in Nationals Park in Washington, DC. A new baseball stadium for all of us (just so happens to be a New York team visiting), plus the latest rookie phenom, Stephen Strasburg, is pitching. And we get to spend a fun afternoon with our friends from Virginia. Should be a great day…
- July 11 – “Family Day” at the Staten Island Yankees. Minor league baseball is fun once in a while, especially with the kids. The game is much more accessible – the players are closer, the stadium is smaller, and the minor league teams tend to involve the fans a lot more (most of them let the kids run around the bases after the game is over, for example). We’ve never seen the Staten Island Yankees play, so this should be a treat. Also, a chance to spend some time with another group of (Yankee-fan) friends.
- July 23 – Yankee Stadium, this time, with the kids. We try to go to about one game per month, the Yankees’ schedule and our kids’ ever-growing schedules permitting. Our last game was May 31st, Avery’s 10th Birthday, so we’re a little overdue this time. But the other games (above) should more than make up for it.
The one constant through all the years, Ray, has been baseball. America has rolled by like an army of streamrollers. It’s been erased like a blackboard, rebuilt, and erased again. But baseball has marked the time. This field, this game, is a part of our past, Ray. It reminds us of all that once was good and could be again. Oh, people will come, Ray. People will most definitely come…
Last night, my younger son, Brandon, asked me, “Daddy, can I have a blog?” When I asked why he wanted a blog, he told me he wanted to post pictures of baseball fields and funny houses. Of course, no father could possibly argue with such sound logic, and so, without further adieu, I present to you all: Brandon’s Blog.
It also has a place of honor on the top menubar of this site, in case you lose the URL and need a fix of ballfields and funny houses.
In the spirit of encouraging young bloggers, if you’re reading this and are so inclined, please take a peek over there, rate some pictures (Funny, Cool, or Interesting), and maybe even leave a comment. I’m sure he’d get a kick out of that. Thanks!
We celebrated our son, Avery’s tenth birthday today with a day at Yankee Stadium. We left the house at 9:30AM, got there when the stadium opened, toured the Yankee Museum (including the newly added 2009 World Championship Trophy and a special exhibit on Lou Gehrig, about whom Avery’s brother, Brandon, had recently completed a book report), grabbed some lunch, and enjoyed a picture-perfect afternoon as the Yankees crushed the Cleveland Indians, 11-2. Alex Rodriguez put an exclamation mark on this awesome day with a grand slam home run to blow the game open in the seventh inning.
Our own, personal fireworks came in the middle of the fifth inning when, unbeknownst to Avery, we added his birthday to the list of “Fan Marquee” announcements they make each game:
Click on the picture above for some great shots of a great afternoon at the ballpark…
So what have we learned from this trip? That depsite being “The Most Magical Place on Earth,” Disney does not actually control the weather in Orlando, Florida (or, as my friend Adam posited, they do control the weather, but turned the thermostat down two weeks ago so they could restock all their ice cream fridges without running out). Also, we learned that if Mickey does, indeed, have teeth, they don’t chatter. And finally, the University of Pennsylvania Band can play in the cold, the wind and the rain – even simultaneously!
How cold was it? This cold:
Click on the frosted mouse ears above (or click here) to see 57 of the 400 pictures I took over six days. And be thankful I spared you all the video…
See ya’ real soon!