Monday, September 29, 2008

Playin some ball with a Hall of Famer

Not too long ago I entered a contest here at work: Write an essay about a time you "hit one out of the park" (i.e. did something great for a customer) and win a trip to play baseball with Nolan Ryan.

Well I did not win, but my friend Kevin did. (For the 2nd time), and invited me to come along as his guest.

So needless to say, the weekend was PHENOMENAL. Much better than I ever could have expected. 10 employees and their guests flew into Albany, NY along with 10 customers and their guests. It was fun to meet folks from around the country with same interests as you. Here were some highlights from the weekend:

-Filet Minon dinner on the first night

-Playing softball on a recreational soccer field because Doubleday field was flooded. It was awesome to see Nolan helping move benches and setting down bases to help set up the field. He was really into the game and his wife was the backup catcher. It had such a pickup-game feel and was a very intimate setting that many of us think it was better than playing on Doubleday Field. Nolan was quoted saying that he'll keep doing this weekend every year as long as Southwest wants him to. BTW, as a guest I did not play, which I was really ok with.

Nolan helping move benches, as his wife looks on.

First Batter of the Game

-Dinner in the Hall of Fame, surrounded by plaques of inductees, with Nolan having a beer at the neighboring table, just hanging out, one of the guys. I can't explain how cool the experience was.

Dinner in the Hall. Yup, Nolan is in there somewhere.

Q&A Session after dinner

-Watching the carved out 1,000 lb pumkins, manned by rowers, raced on the lake.

Some Pumpkins Floated well.

Some did not

-3 hours at the Hall of Fame.

Make sure you read that story. Click on the picture to enlarge

Every Championship Ring

This was definitely a once in a lifetime experience. I have every intention of winning it next year.

Here are some other worthy pictures:

Me bringing one back into Doubleday Field

I think this quote from a former Mets manager is pretty accurate in the present.

Go here for the remainder of the pictures from the weekend.


Diana said...
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jch said...

Very, very cool. Hey, did you happen to count how many of those rings belonged to the Yankees? Isn't it something like 26? :)

Anonymous said...

Very cool Jeremy. Maybe I'll enter next year as a customer, and I'll take you as a guest again. Then I'd get to show Nolan my curve ball I've kept secret since little league.
I love the baseball story, and the photos of course.

Tamara said...

I'm so glad you were able to go, though my life is a little empty now that I don't have my Cooperstown Countdown anymore. :D And what's this? The filet mignon is mentioned in your blog but not the turkey & cranberry? Injustice.

It looks like it was just amazing. You will have to go through the Picasa album with me and recap the photos. I had a few questions looking through it...for instance, what is this madness:

The Juice said...

Once again a Yankee fan plays the "rings" card after another failed season. ;)

Tami, as for the picture...I mean, cmon, if you were there how could you pass that one up?? haha!

The Future said...

Good question about that picture, Tami. It needed to be asked.

Jeremy- that is so cool that you got to go!!!

But I was disappointed that the Kevin that you went with wasn't Kevin Hackett. It seems like, if that situation with Nolan Ryan were set up for anyone, it would be him. Wouldn't you agree?

Shea said...

what a great trip. my brother and I met Nolan Ryan when we were younger, and he was such a sweet man. I still have his autographed baseball in my room at my parents house. it was the only one i ever wanted to have....well other than babe ruth or mickey mantel ... but those are more so for aquiring Big monies :-)

Erin said...

I read your blog to Jon. He says he is totally jealous! The pictures are great!

laura jo said...

did you see katie and sarah coldwell during all these shenanigans? i just caught up on her blog and it was exactly the same!