The latest from the 10th man submitted by Patrick Mullin!
On May 23, 2010, my mother, two friends, and I attended a Phillies game at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, PA.
Before the first pitch was ever thrown by Phillies starter Roy Halladay to Jacoby Ellsbury of the Boston Red Sox, my night turned into one I’d never forget.
Here is my story.
Two weeks prior to May 23, my dad’s sister came to visit our family in New Jersey. I hadn’t seen her in several years and it was quite surprising because I did not even know she was coming. I don’t remember how we got on the topic, but we started to talk about the Phillies and the success they had been having. They wound up finishing the season at 97-65 and clinching the NL East Crown. She then went on to tell us she could get us tickets to any Phillies game we wanted to go to, so I told her to keep in touch.
Fast forward 10 days later, my aunt calls and she tells me she has 4 tickets to the Phillies versus Red Sox game on May 23, 2010. I quickly accept them. She mails them to us and they are in mint condition.I call on two friends to go and my mom who happens to be a diehard Phillies fan. They all agreed to go because the legendary Roy Halladay was scheduled to pitch against the always tough Boston Red Sox, who were actually throwing knuckleballer Tim Wakefield that night. We were so excited to get there. My mom and I hyped it up for days. What a treat it was going to be to see two vastly different, highly respected pitchers toeing the rubber that night.
So, on May 23, 2010, we make the trip to Philadelphia.
We weren’t more than 15 minute into our trip when a car badly cut us off causing my mom to slam on the brakes of our Suburban. It was a close call that I never want to experience again.
Fortunately, the rest of the ride was easygoing and nothing like that panicked moment happened again.
We park the car and start the walk to C.B.P., which is short for Citizens Bank Park. Our excitement starts to build as we see all the tailgaters and hundreds of Boston Red Sox fans. I have always heard about Sox Nation, but I never had seen it for myself. I was absolutely astonished by the masses of Red Sox fans that had traveled to C.B.P. to invade our home ballpark. I saw Pedroia and Ortiz jerseys everywhere leading up to the park, while hants of “Let’s go Red Sox” echoed throughout the parking lots
Sox Nation was just as advertised and they were fun to see to say the least!
We finally get to the turnstiles to have our tickets scanned. My heart sinks when one of my good friend’s tickets will not scan him through. They try over and over again, but to no avail. After the 4th try, I start to wonder what’s going to happen next because we can’t leave someone behind. We may have to buy a ticket from a scalper or worse go home.
We were fortunate enough to be at a gate that had a supervisor there. He takes out a small device and punches the ticket number into it. Still nothing… Our fear starts to mount that we would have to leave. The line behind us gets really long…. People are getting frustrated at this point, so he tells us to come inside, but not for good.
We get inside the gate and his device keeps freezing on him. He is starting to get annoyed himself. After about 5 minutes he basically tells us to get lost in the crowd, so we thank him and go on our way.
The place was packed! Sox Nation was out in full force.
We finally find our seats and within 30 minutes a Phillies representative comes to our seats. We start to think they found something wrong with the tickets. However, this guy looked way too happy to be delivering bad news. Once he starts talking to us, we immediately forget about the whole ticket incident because he came to pass the news along to us that we were selected as the Phillies’ “Citizens 7!”
The Phillies’ “Citizens 7” is equivalent to the fan of the game prize for the other MLB teams. We were jumping for joy and stoked to hear such great news! We were told we would be featured in the 7th inning on live television and on the video board.
The night couldn’t have gotten any better than this! We were absolutely stoked for what we had just been awarded. We immediately took to our phones to tell our friends and family to look out for us on live television just like everyone else does. I hate those people that wave into the camera while on the cell phone with someone watching them live when a player steps into the batter’s box, but this night I was one of them and I can now same I’m guilty of it.
On to the game, it is a good one to say the least! Tim Wakefield and Halladay were both dominating on the mound, until the sixth when things started to unravel for Halladay and the Red Sox took a commanding 7-0 lead. The Boston faithful were alive and they let us Phillies fans know! They were loud and resilient.
I would be the same as a Phillies fan at Fenway Park, so I respected their sportsmanship and excitement for their team.
After the Red Sox got done beating up on the Phillies, it was the 7th inning and that’s when the Phillies camera crew walked up along with the reps from the team with the Citizens Bank gear in hand. They gave us the cue that they were starting the filming as the announcement cam over the loud speaker and the video board showed us receiving our freebies. It was a surreal moment!
The attendance that night was 45,068. Out of 45,068, we were the 7 chosen. We were over the moon about that!
Immediately, I started getting messages from people I hadn’t seen in a while or speak to frequently. They messaged me to tell me they had saw me on TV and asked how they could get into the contest for the future. I told them there is no way to be picked other than going to the game itself and getting really lucky!
We had received some shirts, a drawstring bag, stickers, and some other knick-knacks, but they were nothing in a broader scheme of things The fact that we were selected out of 45,068 people after going through such a tough time to get into the stadium and nearly getting into an accident before we ever reached the highway was mind-boggling and will always be a night I remember.
I have pictures to this day of us and I still think about that night and how lucky we were to even be in that situation.
The Red Sox wound up beating the Phillies that night by a score of 8-3. Wakefield shut the Phillies down all night with that dancing knuckleball. Youkilis hit a dinger and Beltre had a handful of RBI’s. Those things I remember, but not as vividly as seeing my mother and two friends smiling out of pure joy for what just happened.
It’s true that you should value experiences more than things and I learned that this night. We went there to see a great game between the Red Sox and Phillies, but left with a memory that will always come before who won or loss that game.
That’s my best Boston Red Sox story!
If you liked my writing, then head on over to my blog ThePatrickMullin.com and read about how I can help the baseball player in your life through strength training.
Thanks for reading,