We just finished up a three game set in South Bend, IN. Although the series didn't end the way we wanted (we lost two of three), I wanted to share some of the trip.
We arrived in South Bend around noon for a 7 ET game. I wasn't sure what to expect of the stadium and was pleasantly surprised to see turf covering everything except the mound and the bases. Playing a number of games at the Metrodome in my career I felt right at home. A large jumbotron covered the scoreboard in right-center field and the stands stretched around the complex.
I was in the lineup as the left fielder, which led to my first heckling experience as an outfielder. I watched a week ago as JD Williams was yelled at an entire game by a group of guys celebrating a bachelor party in Clinton, Iowa. I was lucky enough to have four guys calling me names throughout the night. I enjoyed the heckling, but was slightly disappointed the crew didn't come better prepared. During a break in the game one guy blurted out, "Hey number one, you'll never make it to the big leagues..." I waited for his reasoning, "...Cuz you suck!" Man, was I bummed, I suck? I was hoping he had more to throw at me.
We got down big early in the game, made a big comeback to take the lead, but ended up losing 12-10.
My roommate (Adam Bryant) and I woke up around 10 and the search for breakfast began. Just as time management was important in college, food management is vital in professional baseball. Getting healthy food at the right time helps one perform at their peak on the field. Our search took us to a small cafe, where we found Tim Shibuya. He recommended a sausage breakfast sandwich, so I went for it.
Later in the day we had to figure out what we would be eating for lunch and dinner. We had a difficult time eating the night before (almost all the restaurants in town were closed), so we decided on Subway. Adam and I both ordered two subs, one for now and one for later. Food management success.
It was a big win for us on this night. Behind four hits and three doubles by Miguel Sano, we took game two. He is off to quite a start.
Saturday morning Tommy Watkins offered to take Adam and I to breakfast. We checked out LePeep, a small cafe in downtown South Bend. The food was fantastic, but Tommy's stories were better. His recollection of playing third base while Johan Santana struck out 17 batters was awesome. Being a Twins fan my whole life made it hit home for me. It must have been amazing to be a part of that experience.
The amazing pitching performance topic continued as we were preparing to take the field for our game. We were able to watch the finishing moments of Phil Humber's perfect game. I always wonder how it must feel for someone to go through such an experience. What a moment it must have been for him and his family. Moments like this are why I love baseball. A man can go from being on the fringe to being in the history books in a few short hours. Wow.
The game didn't go our way again tonight and we lost the series, but the experiences I had remain. All we can do is look forward and do our best to win our next one.
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