I was ready to call the cops. I thought my car had been stolen. Or at the very least, towed.
It was 12:30 in the morning, and Silas and I were fortunate to be 2 of 40,000 people walking out of the stadium following the Royals’ game one win in the World Series. We had scored last minute, nosebleed seats from a work friend.
More on the game later, but I couldn’t find my car.
I knew it was right there. I know those lots like the back of my hand. Maybe they towed me because I had to park up on the grass? Maybe I left the keys in it and someone jacked it? How in the world will I explain this one to Brooke? How in the world am I getting this cold five year old boy home?
“Sir, are you sure you parked in Lot H not G?” The parking lot attendant couldn’t have been more helpful. He was incredible.
But he finally said, “Hey man, no one stole your car. And we didn’t tow anyone tonight, we had to park cars in the grass and all over the place. Do me a favor and walk to Lot G. Come back here if your car is gone.”
I’ll likely never see him again. My car was in Lot G.
I was a hot mess by that point. My brain was clearly fried. And my arms and back were killing me because I had been holding or carrying Silas for much of the last couple hours including the entire way from the upper deck to our car in Lot H. Or Lot G. Whatever.
Every time the Royals got two outs or when they were up to bat, the whole crowd stood. Which was incredible, except Silas couldn’t see over anyone. So I held him.
Like he did during Game 5 of the ALDS, he hung on every single pitch. Clapping to the beat of the game producer’s cues, waving his rally towel, and cheering like crazy each hit.
14 innings. Five and half-ish hours. And we only left our seats twice. Once for nachos. And once for the bathroom.
The rest of the time we were up and down. Standing for the big moments then sitting down to catch a small break. Rinse and repeat.
Perhaps my favorite one-liner from him came when we first rolled into our row. Seats 5 & 6 were ours in Row HH, way up by the top of the world.
I sat in 6 and gave him 5, closer to the aisle. He looked at me quizzically and said, “Nope Dad, #6 is my seat. Let’s switch.” #6 is Cain, his favorite player. Dude loves him so much he couldn’t sit in #5. If he only knew about George, but that’s another post.
I thought we gave the game away in the 8th. A costly error gave up the go-ahead run. Then in our half of the inning, we stranded Zobrist after a leadoff double. That was it I thought.
“Hey bro, let’s get out of here. They played a great game, but I have work tomorrow and you have a big day at school. They can win four of the next six and still be the champions. Let’s go.”
“No way dad, the Royals are going to win. We’re not leaving.”
Ok then bro.
About that time, as the top of the 9th was about to begin, the cameraman panned to a shot of a fan holding up a handmade, low key sign that read, “Never say die.”
Am I ever glad he didn’t listen to my instructions to leave?
Gordon’s bomb to dead center. Our bullpen pitching lights out. And then Esky finishing it where he started in the first. At home plate.
At 1:14 am, we rolled into our garage. Nearly eight hours after we left it, not having any idea we’d be in for such a treat. A long, 14 inning, unforgettable treat.
It won’t clarify for him until he’s much older I’m sure, but he witnessed a group of guys playing for something way bigger than themselves tonight. Or last night now I guess.
Backs up against the wall, chips stacked against them, odds not in their favor. And they never said die.
I had a snarky social media comment after I shared a picture of us at the game. The commenter said, “he won’t even remember this, you should have brought an adult.”
I replied, “maybe he won’t, but I’ll never forget it.”