The plans were made. I was finally going to see Fenway. My then-girlfriend (soon to be wife) and I were going to take a road trip from Pennsylvania to Boston to see the Sox play the Royals during Papi’s final season. David is Kate’s second favorite player EVER (behind JD Drew. No I’m not kidding, not even a tiny bit.) and of course I was all teeth when she proposed we get SRO tickets and then squat once things settled in. I was going to have a Fenway frank. I was going to see Papi. 8 hours in the car with just my girlfriend and some tunes. Life is good.
Then, as you may have guessed by my language, things changed. "My brother is jealous and wants to go now so my parents got tickets for everyone."
I tend to try my best to be a positive person, especially in situations like this one. I could certainly have worse in laws, they’re fine people and Red Sox fans themselves. But we’re all friends here-I don’t need to tell you how much that news sucked.
Nonetheless I was still finally going to Fenway, still with my girlfriend, still my Fenway frank and so on. Just the drive was going to suck and HEY-Papi is worth 8 hours of headache each way.
We walked around Yawkey way, saw some shops, chatted a bit until the gates open and then...wow. It’s really very difficult to put into words what my first steps into Fenway were like. It was awesome. I’m getting goosebumps just thinking about it.
Kate and I split off from the family to walk around and I spotted Papi on the field, talking to Omar Infante. We stayed about 15-20 rows up, standing all alone just the two of us, far out of the crowd screaming for Papi to do this and that, that’s just not my speed. I was just enjoying watching Papi in person. That was enough for me. Then David looked up our way and my fiancé waved to him, surprisingly casually for her. When he waved back at her she started screaming and celebrating-Papi had waved at her. She could die now-life was complete. As she talked to her mom on the phone in tears because Papi had waved to her he pointed up and her and tossed her the baseball he’d been holding. To her. Directly. And she caught it. One handed. At that moment I knew 2 things were true about the world:
1. David Ortiz is a good guy. I liked him already of course, but we aren’t anyone, we were just minding our own business and he seemed to appreciate that.
2. David Ortiz had just passed JD Drew on Kate’s list.
She spent the next 20 minutes in a daze somewhere between euphoria and passing out. The Sox ended up winning, I had my Fenway frank, and we squatted 4 rows from the field starting in the 4th inning. The drive home is a blur, as is the drive there and most everything else besides stepping into the park, and the interaction with our favorite player. Given the opportunity I’d like to thank David, what is such a small gesture on his part is now the crowning moment for my fiancé’s Red Sox fandom, and made my first trip to Fenway even more unforgettable.