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Somebody call security, and take us out to the ball game

By Victoria Advocate
April 4, 2012 at 11:03 p.m.
Updated April 3, 2012 at 11:04 p.m.


I felt a hand on my shoulder as I sat in the Cotton Bowl press box.

"Sir, would you please come with me," a voice said.

I caught a glimpse of a jacket sleeve and noticed the Dallas Police Department patch.

Startled, I turned around and saw the grin on my brother David's face.

David got me and he knew it. We had a good laugh as the concerned looks of those around us disappeared.

There are advantages to having a brother on the police force as I or I should say my son, Ethan, discovered last summer.

Going to a Rangers game has become a tradition of sorts for us. I grew up in Dallas and made my share of trips to the ballyard.

I saw Ferguson Jenkins pitch, I missed Kenny Rogers' perfect game by a day, and even though I didn't see a much-too-young Brian Bohanon make his ballyhooed pitching debut, I could probably say I did and on one would know the difference.

I remember sitting in the bleachers at Arlington Stadium and getting a clear whiff of an illegal substance from a good distance away because there weren't that many of us out there.

I figured the organization needed the concession revenue so badly nothing was going to be done.

I even made the trek up for the stadium's final game in 1993, which also happened to be George Brett's final game.

I was back in the press box the next year when the new ballpark opened and was fortunate enough to hear Bob Uecker tell a few stories.

My wife, Denise, and I brought Ethan to the ballpark for the first time in 1996.

He enjoyed the surroundings, but wasn't too concerned about what was happening on the field.

He figured every vendor, including the beer vendor, was there for him.

Denise watched Ivan Rodriguez and Juan Gonzalez hit home runs while Ethan and I were experiencing the stadium's escalators.

Over the years he has become more interested in the game and the players.

He has been fortunate enough to get a foul ball from a ball boy and an autograph from Mark Teixeira before the Rangers traded him.

The good fortune usually stopped at the result. I'm sure the Rangers were happy to take our ticket money, but our presence did nothing for their position in the standings.

We thought maybe our luck had changed a couple of seasons ago.

Being the genius I am, I purchased tickets on the first-base line about four rows up, in the day, in July.

The image that sticks with me is watching Chicago White Sox manager Ozzie Guillen stand in the dugout with a wet towel draped over his head.

We consumed mass quantities of Dr Pepper and water, but it was worth it when the Rangers won, even though it sure seemed like C.J. Wilson was trying to give the game away in the ninth inning.

We went back to the stadium last summer during my trip to Fort Worth for coaching school.

I had gotten tickets on StubHub and we were sitting about 20 rows up just to the right of home plate to watch Colby Lewis pitch against the Minnesota Twins.

Bert Blyleven was being honored by the Rangers for his induction into the Hall of Fame and even better it was $1 hot dog night.

The game was another matter. Let's just say Joe Mauer hit three home runs all of last season, and we saw one of them.

Ethan was disappointed, but had discovered that David knew the head of security at the ballpark and figured he could wrangle us a couple of tickets.

Two days later, we were back at the ballpark four hours before game time getting our tickets.

Even after eating lunch within site of Cowboys Stadium and spending time in the air-conditioned gift shop, the temperature was still in triple digits when we made our way to our seats.

But Matt Harrison and the Rangers made the wait worthwhile by beating the Twins.

The pain of October notwithstanding, Ethan is already making plans to go back to the ballpark.

We won't be there opening day, but I'm sure a Yu Darvish sighting is in our future.

It's almost time to have my brother call security.

Mike Forman is a sports writer for the Victoria Advocate. Contact him at 361-580-6588 or mforman@vicad.com, or comment on this column at www.VictoriaAdvocate.com.

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