Saturday, October 28, 2017

2017 World Series, Game Three

So it's been a little while since we've posted to this blog. (Ron Howard narrator voice: It had been a LONG while.)

But I wanted to share our complete World Series experience, and this seemed the best place. So here goes.

When the Astros clinched a return to the World Series, Bethany strongly encouraged me in my dream of taking Ben to a WS game in Houston. Ticket prices were really pretty insane, but in the end, I took the plunge and bought two tickets to Game Three Friday night -- setting up a once-in-a-lifetime, bucket-list, Ben-can-talk-about-it-at-my-funeral experience.

And... it really was pretty amazing. We arrived at the stadium about 4:30 -- almost 3 hours before first pitch -- with Ben wearing the Halloween costume Bethany made, a replica 1965 Astros jersey.

The kids at Family Treat Night at Baylor in their costumes
Arriving early gave us plenty of time to wander around the stadium. We had talked ahead of time about possibly finding Ben a souvenir, but when we arrived and were handed rally towels at the entrance, Ben was excited. "Dad -- we got our souvenir!" Such a sweet boy! We headed inside in time to watch some of the Astros' batting practice from the Crawford Boxes. Ben was really excited to get to see BP, and we sat there taking it in for 20-30 minutes.

Once the Astros were done hitting, we headed out around center field and eventually ended up just above the Astros' bullpen, where we stopped to watch some of the Dodgers' BP another 15-20 minutes. While there, we got a good view of the FOX studio show setup in dead center (see the video below).

By now, we were starting to get hungry, so we grabbed dinner (Ben, Chick-fil-A; me, pizza) and headed up to our seats to eat.

When I say up, I mean UP. Our seats were at the very top of the stadium, in far left field; I really don't think there was any part of the stadium where people were sitting higher than us. A long way from home plate -- but, still in the stadium, right?

(See that red circle? Those are our seats.)

Us in those seats

Here's the view from our seats:

We had a nice group of Astros fans around us -- a guy by himself from out of town who just wanted to see a WS game, an adult brother-sister pair, an adult father-son pair, a father-son about my/Ben's age, and a young married couple. There were a handful of Dodgers fans nearby, but they were mostly shouted down/drowned out by Astros fans whenever they tried to start some kind of "Go Dodgers" cry.

The crowd was amped from the start, but when the Astros knocked out the Dodgers starter in the second inning with a four-run rally, it got even more fun. High fives were flying among our new friends (even including Ben), and chants of "Let's go, Astros! (clap, clap, clap clap clap)" and "Houston! Astros!" rang out over and over again.

We all got a little more nervous as the game went on, the Astros kept leaving men on base, and the Dodgers chipped away to make it close again. But in the end, the Astros came away victorious, and the celebration began.

Here's the last pitch/last out:

I think Ben really enjoyed it, and seemed to appreciate the unique opportunity we had as best as an 8-year-old can. I'll certainly always remember it.

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