Spur of the moment, we decided we could not pass up Albert Pujols Gnome night on Tuesday. We had had tickets for a game in April that would have been my one-year-old son's first game, but my wife and kids got sick, so they all had to stay home. Therefore, last night became that proud moment for a die-hard Angels family. Not only was it my son's first game, but probably the first game my daughter (some of you remember her miraculous birth four years ago) would remember.
We live about 3 hours away. I hate missing the first pitch; I pay for 9 innings, I wanna see 9 innings! At least! So we made sure to leave early, and got down there with enough to time to park in the cheap lot and eat at the Carl's Jr. before walking across to the stadium. My wife and I agreed as we strolled through the Grove's lot that it was so much nicer to get down there well before a game and not be rushed.
Once the National Anthem finished and the gate security got through sifting through our jam-packed diaper bag, I reached into my pocket for the tickets and...what? They're not there! Sh**t! I must've dropped them in the Carl's or along the way somehow! I freaked out for a minute, then the lady at the gate asked me if I bought through the Angel's site, to which I said yes (thankfully! I usually use Stubhub or Vivid). She said to go around front to the main ticket window to see if they can help. This seemed more likely to succeed than retracing my steps and hoping to come across my lost tickets, so I raced around to the main ticket window, realizing my dream of seeing the first pitch was dissipating, as it seems to do every time.
I picked what looked like the quickest line for tickets, and when I got up to the window, a kind-looking woman with a name tag that read 'Patricia' asked how she could help. I immediately asked, "Are you Pattimelt?" She answered in the affirmative, and I blurted, "I'm Rally Manatee!" We expressed our joy in meeting face to face. Then I relayed my dilemma. "Let me see," she said in an instant, and disappeared from sight. We waited eagerly, hearing the roar of the crowd rise and fall from beyond the walls. But just as quickly, she reappeared and declared, "Pattimelt saves the day!" She clicked a few buttons. Poof! Three tickets spat out, and she handed them over.
Hooray for Pattimelt! Because of her efforts, little Charlie Manatee and Melo Manatee got to experience the awe of walking into the stadium under the blazing lights, joining in with the cheers of the tens of thousands of Angels faithful, doing silly dances to try to get on the Jumbotron in between innings, and enjoying all the little things that have made the Big A my home away from home since I was a baby. Oh, AND we got those coveted Albert Pujols Gnomes.