Ever since I was a little girl, my dad has gotten my family tickets to go to a Dodger game on or near my birthday. This tradition has been going on as far back as I remember and the last game I went to in 2013 was my birthday game. My dad passed away in November and I was asked to take his place and do the Dodger pool for the distribution of the season tickets our work has. As a thank you, I could have tickets to my birthday game on the house. It was a very generous offer both in honor of my dad and monetarily.The draft itself was a very strange experience. The wife of another regular was taking the place of her husband who had passed away and I was taking the place of my dad so it was already kind of sad and awkward. It happened at 9pm on a night shortly after Christa was born so I was exhausted both physically and emotionally. My first pick was the May 12th game and I said I was choosing that because I knew my dad would want me to keep that tradition alive. The people in the pool were very supportive when I got choked up. If picking a ticket was that hard, how hard was it going to be to actually show up at Chavez Ravine without him?
I had gone to work all day and hadn't stayed up that long without a nap in a long time. I was already so tired on the way to the game and knowing I would be up until midnight wasn't making things any easier. I started feeling kind of sick to my stomach as soon as we parked the car in the parking lot but I powered through. We were in line for hot dogs when the National Anthem was sung and I cried hard. I always tear up but I cried good this time. It was so strange being there without my dad. Thankfully, my brother, mom and husband were all there with me to take the edge off.
My mom and I had a bag of peanuts in Dad's memory. At one point, there was a game where an audience member was competing against player Dee Gordon to name as many men's names that began with the letter "D" as he could in 30 seconds. He named a whole bunch and then paused, kind of stumped so my mom said "Douglas" and I swear not a second later that audience member said "Douglas" too. Whose name is Douglas anymore? It's little things like that happening that makes me feel comforted that he's still with us.
The Dodgers won. My family got along. And as a bonus I got to get my picture taken with Roger Owens, Peanut Man. He's been a walking vendor for fifty years and I've seen him at games my whole life. I asked him outside the women's restroom if he would take a picture with me since it was my birthday and he said as long as I was quick. Ha! Of course I was fumbling with my stupid phone so it's blurry but it's still pretty rad. He said I didn't do anything on his birthday which was Valentine's Day and also the day he got married. Fun little tidbit. Go Dodgers!