My All-Star Game Experience
I have literally started this entry four different times, only to read back what I wrote and then delete with the fury of a woman possessed. I am delirious from exhaustion. I am giddy. I am me. A girl from Brooklyn who is living a life so beyond my expectations that even I can?t help but marvel at how truly blessed I am to be given the opportunities bestowed upon me. I am speaking of my whole life of course, but I will focus this entry on the game I love and my ability to share it with my family and friends.
My mother, father, brother, his girlfriend (Rachael), my best friend, Alaa, my friends Kelly and Jamie and I (yes, that?s eight of us) made All-Star memories in San Francisco — memories that won?t soon be forgotten. I know I don?t have to tell you how magical baseball is, nor do I have to break down exactly what it feels like to see the greatest athletes in the sport today sharing the same field. Goosebumps. Butterflies in my tummy. I had all of it.
National League Lineup:
1. Ozzie Smith
2. Rob Schneider
3. Gary Carter
4. Dave Winfield
5. Leeann Tweeden
6. Kevin Mitchell
7. Matt Williams
8. Jimmy Kimmel
9. Robby Thompson
10. Robb Nen
11. Gavin Newsome
12. J.T. Snow
13. Jeff Garlin
American League Lineup:
1. Rickey Henderson
2. Rachel Smith
3. Jerry Rice
4. Andre Dawson
5. Fred Lynn
6. Dane Cook
7. Wade Boggs
8. Kenny Mayne
9. Bobby Flay
10. James Denton
11. Goose Gossage
12. David Bryson
13. Rollie Fingers
14. Marcus Giamatti
15. Jon Kelley
16. Sal Iacono
It was so enjoyable. No one took themselves too seriously and everyone had a great time. The quote of the day came from Jeff Garlin, who not only asked in the players meeting if we could implement a ?no running rule? but also asked if there would be chocolate in the dugout. My exchange with him went like this:
I just figured out who you remind me of, Alyssa.
Really Jeff? Who do I remind you of?
A young Jonathan Broxton.
Right after the game I hurried back to the hotel to get ready for the MLB.com party, which I hosted with Jose Reyes. The party was huge. I had no idea so many people would show up. The dancers and waitresses all wore items from TOUCH. I was very proud. At about midnight the players started to show up. Johan Santana (who is dreamy), Roy Oswalt (who needs to be a Dodger and I told him so), Carlos Beltran, Justin Morneau and? and?(drum roll please)?Russell Martin all made an appearance.
Okay, yeah, so I finally met Russell Martin. No big deal. And yeah, I was cool. Yup. And I didn?t have sweaty palms. Nope. I didn?t get star struck. Nope. I wasn?t even weak in the knees. Nope. My upper lip did NOT start sweating nor did I get blotchy and break out in hives. Phew. Thank God not one of those embarrassing things happened. I was cool as a cucumber. No big deal. Cory was cool too. The Milano siblings were calm and collected. See how cool we both were when meeting our favorite All-Star?
Russell was gracious and kind (just like I knew he would be) and told me he reads my blog — a terrifying thought that I am choosing to repress for all the obvious reasons.
On Monday, I made an appearance at the DHL All-Star FanFest
where I signed autographs for the fans. After the appearance it was time to go to AT&T Park for batting practice. I was able to bring my father onto the field for BP. How blessed am I? In between doing interviews, I stood next to my daddy right behind the cage. He was in awe. I was in awe watching him in awe. He didn?t move. His eyes were glued to the action. I looked around and had a reflective moment and got a little teary-eyed with the crack of the bat as my soundtrack. I got to meet Dmitri Young. He isn?t built for power. He isn?t built for speed. He is built for comfort and has the loveliest way about him. You can tell he has overcome a lot and was truly ecstatic to be there.
Monday night I went to the Playboy party where I sat huddled in the corner with Rachael, Cory, Alaa, Jeff Garlin and Kenny Mayne (who should act). Jeff, a huge Cubs fan, introduced me to David Wright (who is quite the presence I must say). After watching a playmate dance her way to numerous ****** slips, it was time to go home and get some much-needed sleep.
Tuesday, I had another appearance at FanFest and then once again it was time to do interviews on the field during BP. I brought my brother on the field this time. I must have done 30 interviews in two hours. I stood next to my brother for a bit and got a little salute from Derek Jeter and then it was time to go to our seats for the game festivities.
My seats were right behind the National League dugout. The tribute to Willie Mays was really cool. My mother was crying. I almost caught one of the balls he threw out to the crowd from his pink Cadillac.
Alaa (right) was sitting in another section. He wore his Dodgers cap. After the game, he said he felt like he was sitting in the Gaza Strip (he is Palestinian). The Giants fans were relentless with him. I ask you, how can you give this harmless guy a hard time?
Now correct me if I?m wrong, but…shouldn?t this be the one game of the year we can all get along? The Giants fans booed Penny, Saito and Martin. It was at that moment, I decided the Giants should get Rickey Henderson to round up their team. ****, they may as well go after Julio Franco, too, and bulk up their fiber choices on their pre-game menu. Can?t we just all get along? It?s amazing to me that sporting events are the only social gatherings where it?s politically correct to be vocal about hating someone because of color (uni color, of course). The All-Star Game was the only time I have ever cheered for Barry Bonds. I couldn?t boo him. For that night, he was on my team and I was okay with that.
? What was up with A-Rod?s white sneakers and matching wristbands? Every time A-Rod was at bat, my brother would start chanting, ?white (clap, clap) sneakers (clap, clap, clap).?
? Why didn?t Tony La Russa put in Albert Pujols to pinch-hit in the bottom of the ninth? What, did he hit the showers already?
Although Ichiro?s inside-the-park home run
was beautiful to watch, for me the highlight of the whole game was Dmitri Young?s five-pitch at-bat in the bottom of the ninth. It?s these fleeting moments that make me a baseball fanatic. (?Fan? just doesn?t suffice. I prefer the whole word.) With two outs and a long journey to redefine his career, he singled, paving the way for Alfonso Soriano?s two-run homer. When Dmitri got back to the dugout, he looked up in the stands, we made eye contact and he pumped both fists in the air. He then started dancing to the music.
And I danced, too.
Thank you, MLB Properties (Steve, Howard and Greg). Thank you, MLB.com (Noah, Melissa and Mark). Thank you, Bobby Evans. Thank you, Russ Stanley. Thank you, for making a little girl from Brooklyn, along with her family and friends…very happy.