Father's Day during my childhood was always a memorable event. From the time I was about 6 until I went to college, my father would always request that we go the Phil lies game as a family. He said it was to spend time together, but I knew, as did my brother and sister it was to get the free ball cap every year. Now mind you, Father's Day is always on a Sunday in June and the game would always be at 1:05 or 1:35- right in the middle of the day.
If you aren't familiar with the Philadelphia area, up until a few years ago, the Phillies and Eagles shared a stadium. Veteran's Stadium or the Vet as it was affectionately known had a ridiculously large number of seats, the Phillies would rarely have sell-outs, but yet, every year at Father's Day it would sell out. My family of five would always have seats in the 600 level or higher and be directly in the path of the sun. We would have no shade. Balking at the expense of water ice or frozen lemonade, my parents would lug in a bag of water, soda, and WAWA hoagies, as we miserably would eat our lunch, in the sun. My sister, mom and I would take frequent breaks to the bathroom where we would grab the scratchy brown paper towels and soak them in cold water from the sink. We'd then wrap the towels around our necks, wrists, and ankles. The bottom of the eighth inning could never come quick enough on those afternoons as we would escape out to the parking lot before the end of the game to miss the game ending traffic and head back to our suburban home.
All that for a hat! Happy Father's Day Dad!
Needless to say, Father's Day became my own personal hell every year, and when Bry and I started dating I relayed these horrific family outings to him on numerous occasions.
This weekend I became guilty of the same sins as my parents, but I blame them for it.
My mom and dad gave Bry and I tickets to photo day and the Phillies game this past Saturday. When they gave us the tickets in May, the time said "to be determined" and so I hoped against hope for a late game. Night games are best 7:05 or even better yet, 7:35. But nope, it was a 4:05 game and better yet, Photo Day.
If you aren't familiar with Photo Day, at approximately 2:00 on that day, various players and coaches walk around the field while fans are granted access to take photos with them. In the past my parents have gotten some great pictures of their favorite players and coaches up close and personal with my dad and mom.
Like I said, my parents are GUNG-HO fans.
Anyway, we arrived at the park at 1:40...for a 4:05 game.
We met my parents, my brother and his fiance, my sister, my friend Ash, her hubby, and son all on the field. Within 10 minutes, Bry left and found refuge at overhang where I later found out he enjoyed a cold beer and fresh cool breeze, while I sweated it out with all the nut bags in the afternoon sun.
My father was up against the ropes and seriously turns into a rabid fan as soon as he sees anyone on the field in the Red and white logo. He pulled Mo out of my arms and used her as the best prop ever. As player or coach walked by, my father would yell "Please take a picture with me and my adorable granddaughter".
How could they refuse?
My friend Ashley's husband Chris had his son, A in grasp too. Occasionally, my brother would grab A to get the players to stop.
What can I say, my kid is cute as is A, so they stopped?
Ashley took a bunch of great pics.
Pitcher, Jaime Moyer and the Family
Ace Closer Brad Lidge and the Family
Grandpops and his two favorite kids
Manager Charlie Manual, Grandpops & Mo
Ryan Howard and the Family
It was hot as anything on the field. My sister ending up missing most of the photo opportunities as the Hippocratic Oath came into play and she helped out a girl who passed out nearby. I stayed back and watched as my 60something father basically turned into a little kid right before me eyes. I think he may have even thrown an elbow or two when some teen boy tried to muscle his way next to my dad and the rope.
After it was all over, we all gathered under the overhang, when I checked my watch. It was only 3:00. The game wasn't scheduled to start for another hour. Mo refused to drink on the field, but managed to finish off close to 12 oz of cold Lemonade which Bryan had nicely bought for us when we came up.
After cooling off a bit and talking with the family, I made the decision our day at the park was over. We never saw an inning of the game, as I was hot, Bry was hot, and Mo was hot and exhausted. We drove home with the air conditioning blasting. As we pulled away from the stadium, as everyone else in Philly was heading to the game, Bry said, "Hey you remember that story you would tell me about Father's Day games with your father? You were just as guilty as him today!"
I already told my parents count us out for next year, unless photo day starts at night.