Tales from a Rain Delay Stakeout

Early Bird.jpg

From what I can tell, the majority of you try to get to your baseball games as early as humanly possible. That was the story for me on Saturday as my mother and I drove to Jupiter hoping to scalp tickets to a sold out game. We got there around 10:45. 

Ticket Scalper.jpg
My mom doesn’t know what scalping tickets means (not my picture btw), and I hadn’t scalped at this stadium before, let alone by myself. A nice Red Sox fan directed us across the street where scalpers were legally allowed to sell tickets. There was a blood drive going on, and if you donated, you could get one free ticket. If only I was 16 already! I would have donated blood!
You know that nice little section right in between home plate and the batters box on the third base side? Four rows back. 50 bucks a ticket. Not terrible for my first time scalping, I mean, they were pretty good seats– until we moved to right behind the Red Sox dugout for the start of the game. 
My mother isn’t the biggest baseball fan in the world, but she was quite the trooper that day. She went back to the car to read until the start of the game while I waited in line with my new friend (they guy that had directed us across the street). I talk to anyone at baseball games, but this guy was uniquely interesting. He is quite the sports memorabilia collector. He has a 2004 World Series ball autographed by the entire Red Sox team (it cost him a pretty penny), and he has Julio Lugo’s entire uniform, signed, from the 2007 World Series. 
They didn’t let us in until 11:30. Why do they change this at every single park? At City of Palms, it’s two and a half hours early, Fort Lauderdale Stadium (Orioles), two hours early, and here, it is an hour and a half? We need to regulate this, but Selig has other priorities to fix. 
Roger Dean Complex.jpg
If any of you have been to the Roger Dean complex, it is absolutely beautiful. It has multiple fields, a shopping center, a parking garage… I could live there! I had plenty of time to go and look around, but I was too busy talking to my new friend. 
We were talking about the Cardinals, because they play there too, and we started talking about the NL Central, and I start talking about the Cubs and the Reds (Mark, I swear you are SO right) and my new friend turns to me and goes: 
‘Holy crap, you know your stuff! I’m impressed… not many girls follow baseball.” If I can get people to take me seriously at 15, I think I can get people to take me seriously over at MLB Network. 
View from dugout.JPG
Once we get inside the stadium, I go straight to the dugout. I stand right behind it, so I’m looking right over the steps to go down. I’m next to a guy with a Pirates hat, so of course I start talking to him, and I have a really big urge to crawl over the roof, and… hang out in the dugout. 
In a little while, my new friend has caught up to me and is standing next to me as well as a really nice father and son duo. Chip Ambres comes up the stairs and hovers at the top. I quickly look up his number (13) to verify that it is Chip, and once I do, I call his name. 
He hesitates for a moment, then turns around. ‘Will you sign for me please?’ A small smile comes across his face and he holds out his hands. I throw him my ball and my pen and watch him sign. 
Paul McAnulty.JPG
A little while later, Paul McAnulty is walking back to the dugout (though not in the normal uniform– probably just came for the game) so I call his name: ‘PAUL!’
‘Yes ma’am,’ he replies. Well, that’s a first. ‘Will you sign this for me please?’ He goes to put his stuff down, then comes back out and signs for a lot of people! A little more time passes, and then some of the Red Sox begin to come back to the dugout. 
‘Jason! Nick! Gil!’ I call out quickly. Most of them look up quickly and then go to put their stuff away. 
‘Hey, this chick knows everyone!’ someone yells behind me ‘Let’s go stand by her!’. After I yell at everyone else coming back in (at this point, I am standing next to a mother and her son) and the mother goes, ‘Oh good, we’re next to someone with a loud voice!’. I guess I’m pretty useful. 
Then it starts raining. This does not phase me. I stand there patiently as it starts drizzling. Patiently, I wait as they put the tarp on. I figure it is hopeless, so I start heading toward the “bullpen” (a series of benches in front of a hill). I want to see if I can wait there, in the rain. ‘What am I doing??’ I ask myself. No one is going to be out there! I start shivering, and my teeth start chattering. I am soaked, and so is all my stuff. I concede, and go downstairs, but right by the staircase so I can get back up quickly. 
I wait about a half an hour before going back upstairs, it is still drizzling a bit. Back to the dugout I go, where I am standing next to a friendly looking couple– the parents of the batboy. I sit in the seat right behind the dugout, next to two men. One has an identification tag that says ‘Media Relations’. 
‘So you work in media relations?’ I ask. ‘Yes, I do’ he replies. ‘I am looking into going into that field,’ I say. ‘Well, how old are you?’ ‘I’m a sophomore in high school’ ‘Can you write?’ he asks. ‘Yeah… I keep a pretty steady blog.’ ‘Good.’ he says. He doesn’t think it looks to hopeful (the weather) so he gets up and goes somewhere leaving his friend alone. 
 Eventually, the parents of the bat boy get their son to go get Jason Bay so the mother can take a picture. This is my prime opportunity.
Jason Bay autograph.JPG
‘Hey Jason?’ I ask. He looks up. ‘Will you sign for me please?’ ‘Sure,’ he replies. He signs mine, and then retreats (virtually no one else is around us). 
‘Nice,’ the guy who was with the media relations guy said to me. As more people returned for autographs, I continued to talk to them. The general baseball conversation: 
‘Where are you from? What do you do? Who is your favorite? Whose autographs have you gotten?’ etc. 
Chris Carter dugout.JPG
Eventually, I see my old buddy Chris Carter. ‘Chris Carter!’ I yell. He smiles as he looks back at me, and runs over. ‘Will you sign this for me please?’ He nods, and I throw my ball to him. Second time with his autograph :). 
Then came Nick Green. ‘Nick!’ I yelled. He smiled, and I threw my ball to him. It starts raining again. My mother and I get our hands stamped and go back to the car. I do not want to leave. If we leave and there is a game, we can’t get refunded or a rain check. We go back, and the game is scheduled to start at 3:40.
Back to my spot, a new nice Red Sox couple. We start talking of course. Then, I do a brief interview with a Yankee fan. I ask him his opinion of A-Rod– in general. 
‘Too much money. No one should be making that much.” He is absolutely right. I continue waiting for autographs when my project Jeff Bailey comes. At first, he said he has to go get ready, yet I was not discouraged. When he comes back I ask him if he would sign for me now, and he does! 
I’ll tell you about the game tomorrow, I’ve got to get back to the WBC now! 


  1. Jane Heller

    I love your storytelling ability, Elizabeth. I think you’ve got a book in your future! Your mom does sound like a good sport. And that stadium in Jupiter is gorgeous. I used to live nearby and remember when they were building it. Best of all, you got to yell at ballplayers and interview fans (and vice versa). Even with the rain it sounds like a great time.


  2. iliveforthis

    Elizabeth- It sounds like you had a great time. At 15, it sounds like you have a bright future ahead of you already knowing your stuff. I love reading everything you write, you’re so passionate. I hope we all find something that we feel so strongly for in life.

  3. Kaybee

    Oh my goodness, that is soo great! I love the way you’re so up front and not afraid to yell at the players. I need to get out to the ballpark soo bad to interect with baseball fans. Sounds like it was well worth the trip, even with the reain delay!

  4. Elizabeth D.

    Emily: Aw, thanks! I think that you could have a very bright future with the Rockies as well!
    Sue: Rain or shine, I’ll always be there! lol. I loved that picture too!
    Aaron: Well, I hope that isn’t too far down the road.
    Kaybee: You really do need to! It’d be perfect for ya!
    Melissa: Y’all should go! Ive gotten pretty good, but Happy gave me some great tips.
    Happy: I wouldn’t have these autographs if it wasn’t for you!

  5. metmainman

    lol, when I saw that picture of that guy with the sign, before I read that it wasn’t your picture, I thought “Uh oh, I know where this is going. He is only selling 1 ticket and there are 2 of you.” But seriously, 50 bucks for a spring training game? I didn’t realize so many people went to them that you have to go scalping for tickets. And why can’t people under 16 (I thought it was 18. Or can you do it at 16 with parental permission?) donate blood? Don’t little kids need blood transplants too? Do they assume that all people under 16 have AIDS or something so they can’t donate blood? I know if I was dying I would rather take some little smelly kids blood then die.

  6. Elizabeth D.

    Paige: Aw, Thanks! I’m glad that you enjoy them, and I am glad that I am lucky enough to bring them to you!
    Metsmainman: Last I heard it was 16. Blood can be used for anyone as long as the types matchup. I will donate as soon as I turn 16.
    Bob: Hopefully in the summer. But I think you know everyone too.

  7. Erin Kathleen

    It’s so cool that you get to go to these games and meet the guys and get them to sign stuff for you! And everyone else nearby seemed to appreciate it, too 🙂 I really enjoy reading your stories, Elizabeth. You’re going to make a great sportswriter someday.-Erinhttp://plunking-gomez.mlblogs.com

  8. junojen

    I heard from a friend that it rained. I love Roger Dean Stadium, too. I used to live in Juno Beach – just down the road from the stadium. It sounds like Jane and I might have been neighbors at one time. I remember when it was built, also.

    Yes – you definitely have a future in writing!


  9. jacobylvr

    You are a born story teller. I don’t remember you mentioning your mother before. Maybe my memory is fading! How much of the game did you get to see or what is even played? Did Lowell play? I know he’s hit a couple of homers since he’s been back. How’s our pitching in the spring, any standouts? Did we option Tazawa (sp?)?

  10. jimmy27nyy

    Hi, Elizabeth …

    Great descriptions and story telling about your day at the ballpark !!! … Also, your mother has to be given a lot of credit for staying with you at the park all day, even throughout the rain delay !!! … It seems like you had a lot of fun, Elizabeth, making some new friends; getting some autographs and pictures; and, returing home with some nice stories for your blog !!! … But, I think, you really would have liked to be in the dugout during that rain delay, doing interviews with the ballplayers, coaches, and manager !!! … Well, one day in the future, Elizabeth, you will be the baseball reporter doing the interviews on the “30 Teams, In 30 Days” show on the MLB Network !!! … Very nice work on your “Day At The Ballpark” !!!
    How about that final WBC game? Wasn’t Team Japan’s 5-3 extra inning victory over Team Korea “very exciting” !!! … And, Dice-K the WBC “MVP” !!! … Next WBC series in 2013 !!!
    Take care, Elizabeth; and, have a great day !!!
    — Jimmy [27NYY], “BY&L”

  11. Elizabeth D.

    Erin: I’m so glad that people on this site are willing to give me tips to help me out getting autographs. And thank you 🙂
    Mark: I hope that he is around for a really long time, I love having him on the team. And when I saw that picture, I knew that I had to put it in this post.
    Jen: Thanks! And that’s so cool that you used to live around there. It’s a beautiful part of Florida.
    Jacobyluvr: Thank you, and this is the first time that I have mentioned my mother I think. She was a real trooper. I’ll get you my notes about Tazawa asap.
    Jimmy: 2013?? WAY TOO LONG! I really wanted to be in the dugout…

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