Hey look, it’s Cal Ripken!
Funny story. So my boss gave me a ticket and wristband for the Party Pavilion at the GreenJackets yesterday. I had no idea what was going on; I just heard “ticket to the GreenJackets”, and I’ve been wanting to go see them play, so I jumped on it.
Little did I know ol’ Cal, who owns the GreenJackets if you didn’t know, was there to throw the first pitch of the second game of our double-header against Asheville.
That’s as close as my digital zoom + actual zoom lens would get me, alas. I was set up at the furthest end of the Pavilion, in a raised area near a canopy, seated at a bar table up against the wall. It was a great position for viewing the field, though terrible for seeing the scoreboard, which was over my right shoulder.
I sat there through the end of the first game, the first pitch, the National Anthem, etc.
Here’s Mr. Ripken during the Anthem.
I was taking photos of the team warming up and getting the game started when all of a sudden a white-shirted Ripken security guy came up to me. “Ma’am, could you move down from there?”
“Oh, sure!” I said. There hadn’t been a sign saying not to sit there, but I’m not the type of person to be obnoxious. I grabbed up my stuff as quickly as I could to get out of the way. The crowd was kind of roiling before me, so I skirted around them, belatedly noticing the security guard holding everyone back to my right. I jogged around him quickly when I saw him…and then I realized that Cal Ripken was right there, coming up towards the platform from my left.
I stopped at a picnic table a respectful distance away and realized that the crowd had formed into a line, leading straight back to where I had been sitting. Cal Ripken took my seat!
Okay, so that’s not the exact chair I was sitting in…but still.
I snapped a few photos while Ripken posed with people in the line for other photographers and signed baseballs and bats and things, then I moved away to try to find a spot to actually watch the game. (Imagine that!)
I ended up sitting near a family–two sisters, I think, one with an adolescent daughter and the other with an almost-two-year-old. They were fun, albeit annoyed that people were lining up for Ripken when he was apparently supposed to go from table to table.
He did that a little later, at one point hanging around talking to Augusta mayor Deke Copenhaver, who I refer to as “Dekey” in my head. (And online where everyone can see, apparently.) At one point they shook hands, which would have totally been a money shot, but I missed it. Here’s Deke’s back though!
He’s the one in the yellow stripey shirt. You really can’t tell, can you?
A huge thunderstorm started rolling in at that point. It took awhile for it to start raining, and in the meantime the clouds were beautiful.
When the rain finally started, the Pavilion emptied pretty quick. (It may be extra speshul and whatnot, but it doesn’t have any cover.) I stood in the rain just enjoying how it felt–it had been a hot day so the cool rain was refreshing without being shiver-inducing.
Finally I heard some thunder, so I decided to get out of there. I hurried back to my car, willing the lightning not to strike me. It worked and I got home fine :)
Apparently the game was delayed 45 minutes due to the rain, but the Jackets won, so it’s all good. I just wish I could have seen more of the game!