Have you ever driven up to a stadium without a clue of where to go or what to do? Where should I park? Where do the guys come out? Is there a family room? Is my ticket at will call or somewhere else? I’m sure most of us have felt this on road trips, especially to new stadiums that we haven’t been to yet. However, a few weeks ago, I experienced just this as I arrived at Alliance Bank Park in Syracuse, NY, our new “home”.
Somehow in my 6 seasons of being a “baseball wife” (well girlfriend, but at this point, I almost feel as if I’m married to the game haha!) I have never experienced being brought up or sent down and all the
Michael had been with the Harrisburg Senators (Double A for the Washington Nationals) since the start of the season and I had become pretty comfortable in Harrisburg and the other cities in the Eastern League. A week before I headed to Harrisburg for the next home stand, I get a phone call saying, “I just got moved up to Triple A. We’re going to Syracuse”.
Being a textbook Taurus with a strong need to be in control … of everything, at all times, my first question was, “Where are we staying? When am I meeting you there? What is going on?” followed by an “oh yes and congratulations! YAY!”
I ended up driving Syracuse on the following Friday afternoon, hoping to time my arrival closely to when they would be returning from their 2-day road trip in Rochester, NY (only 1.5 hours or so away). So imagine my surprise when I pull up to our new “house” (the Comfort Inn) at 11:30 pm and I still hadn’t heard from Michael that they left Rochester and were on their way back to Syracuse. Whatever, he’d call me when they got to the stadium. It was only when I turned on the TV and just so happened to stumble onto the Syracuse-Rochester game that was still being broadcast because THE GAME WAS IN THE 12th INNING that I began to dry heave- even the thought of extra innings/rain delays get me a lil wheezy. Thankfully, we only went 13 innings and by 2:00 am, they were back in Syracuse.
I managed to make my way to the stadium that night to pick him purely by the grace of God and the handy hand drawn map that the girl at the front desk had made for me. That was a breeze, it was actually going to the field the next day for the game that was making me nervous. Once again, being a textbook Taurus, I thought I would reach out to one of the girls I knew that was in Syracuse and see if she would be around and could offer me any guidance on where to park/where to get my ticket/family room maybe yes? But of course, 2 days after we got moved up to Triple A, her husband got called up to the Big Leagues. However, she did tell me exactly where to park and where to go for the tickets, so that quelled my anxiety … temporarily anyway.
As I pulled up to Syracuse the first time, I was ready to pull into the player parking lot that I had seen earlier when I dropped Michael off at the field- except now there was a small army of Chiefs employees standing between me and the promised land … so down the window goes, smile on my face as I say “Hiii! My boyfriend plays for the Chiefs …?” almost unsure if this would be enough to gain the access I needed … thankfully it was and I found my way to a parking spot.
Ok, challenge #1 down, who knows how many more to go. My friend had told me to go into the handicapped entrance to get my ticket … except I saw no such entrance. So instead, I just made my way to will call, gave them my name and Michael’s and in return, did not get a ticket, but a look of disbelief followed by “We don’t have your tickets here. Don’t you know where you’re supposed to go?” Um, well no, because if I did, I would surely be there instead of here, but I’m here and you say my tickets there and now I’m even confusing myself. After some fussing, one of the girls went down to the office and brought my ticket to me. Great! So now I walk into the stadium and begin looking for Section 100.
Most stadiums I’ve been to have signs on the concourse that tell you what section you’re standing in-apparently Syracuse missed this memo. So instead of standing there and staring and looking lost, I opted to walk around and look lost. After a solid 7 minutes of this, I finally found where I was supposed to sit and happily sat. There were 2 girls sitting behind me, chatting away and right after I sat down, a thirdjoined them. It was after I cheered for Michael’s first at bat, did one of them ask me if I was with a player. I told her yes and we began talking. Their husbands all played as well and right away I liked them.
I asked them about the whole ticket thing and told them about having to explain who I was just to park the car and right away they said, “Oh! After the game, we’ll take you down to the family room (though the “room” was more of an area with 2 couches haha!), and show you where to get your tickets and make sure you get a parking pass so they’ll just let you through.” Given that this was the first time we joined a new team in the middle of the season, meeting such great girls my first night there not only helped me find my way (even Carmen the Garmin GPS couldn’t help me with this one), but also helped with my anxiety about being “the new girl”. I had heard horror stories from other girlfriends/fiancés/ wives about joining a new team and finding the other girls there to be catty and rude. The girls in Syracuse are nothing short of amazing and for the next 6 days of the homestand, I got to know each of them.
Now when I go back in less than a week, not only will I be more comfortable at our new “home”, but I also have a great group of girls to see, which is an added bonus. In this game of ups and downs and uncertainty, it’s nice to be around girls that you can relate to and essentially bond with, because who else understands the live of a baseball wife than another baseball wife herself! So thanks to my girls in Syracuse for helping this “new girl” find her way and a great group of friends! :]
An added sidenote- Michael plays winter ball in the Dominican and this will be my first season over there with him … I am already promising a follow up to this story, except this one will be titled, “La Nueva Chica- The Domincan Version” … I can’t even begin to imagine the stories I’ll have to share!