We walked through the gates of the Seattle King Dome. The Seattle Mariners were hosting the California Angels. With baseball gloves in hand, my son and I headed for our seats in right field. Reaching our destination, we settled into our seats in the first deck. Mine was an end row seat right next to an exit ramp. To a ten-year-old boy, the only thing more exciting than frosty malts, peanuts and hot dogs, is the remote chance of catching a home run ball. It wasn’t long after the first pitch went out that a batter ripped a ball into the left field bleachers. We watched the crowd scramble for the ball as it skittered amongst the seats. My son tugged at my shirtsleeve. “Dad, we should be sitting over there!” he declared.
Several batters later, another ball screamed down the third base line into the stands. I felt a familiar tug at my shirtsleeve.
“See, I told you we should be sitting over there.” While the game progressed, stray balls continued to drop, always eliciting the same response: “Shucks…we should be sitting over there.” Late in the sixth inning, power-hitter Jay Buhner stepped up to the plate. The pitcher wound up and uncorked a fastball. A resounding CRACK rang out. “Here it comes!” I shouted, as everyone in our section sprang to their feet. I watched that little white sphere get larger and larger. Grabbing the rail in one hand, I stretched out my glove with the other, catching the ball before it ricocheted down the exit ramp. The section cheered as I handed the ball to my son. His mouth hung open in silence as he scrutinized his prize. Clutching the ball tightly in one hand, he tugged at my shirtsleeve. “Dad, trade seats with me.”