On Tuesday night, Mordecai and I attended the White Sox game. The promotion was a "Hawkisms" t-shirt to honor White Sox announcer Ken "Hawk" Harrelson. If you've never heard Hawk call a game, I suggest you tune in. His overt bias towards the White Sox is amusing, if not entirely endearing. This anti-Hawk site is actually really informative; it even has audio clips of the Hawkisms that are on the back of my new t-shirt. The Sox were also scheduled to play the Tigers, so Mordecai and I got tickets kind of spontaneously. Little did I know, not only would I get my awesome t-shirt, but I'd experience one of the greatest moments of my life. Read on!
I was anxious to get to U.S. Cellular Field early to secure our Hawkisms t-shirt (only 10,000 of them!). It had been raining all day, too, so I was afraid that the game would be postponed as well as the t-shirt giveaway. We were like, 20 boxes of Hawkism t-shirts away from not getting one. I saw Tigers fans using it to wipe their wet seats. Anyway, we got to the park around 5:30PM for a 7:10PM game. We were wandering around the 500 sections, upper deck, looking for food, when we remembered hearing about a new Wow Bao concession stand. Mordecai decided to ask Guest Relations since our memory kicked in right in front of their booth. They knew about Wow Bao and recommended Burger Barn as well, and they gave us an elevator pass to the field-level area.
When we got down there, I noticed that no one was checking tickets for people who wanted to linger near the White Sox or Tigers dugouts. I remember Mordecai asking me if I wanted to go, and I said, "...nah, it's OK." But there weren't a lot of people, so I was like why not, and we trotted down to the front row seats. There were about ten other young boys dressed in navy and orange, waiting for Tigers players with baseballs, autograph books, and Sharpies in hand. No one was out in the field except for crew members pulling the tarp off of the field. But then I noticed a Jose Valverde-like person at the opposite end of the dugout, listening to music on earphones, all "in the zone."
Then I saw catcher Alex Avila look out on the field briefly before going back into the dungeon.
Before I could start thinking about how long I'd have to stand around until someone from the Tigers hitting well below .200 or with an embarrassing ERA equivalent to my perceived or actual age would come around, my peripheral vision sensed movement from the White Sox dugout. It was none other than MIGUEL CABRERA. My most favorite baseball player was walking towards me (or his dugout) and he was smiling (or laughing at Valverde).
Once he saw us asking for autographs, he stopped smiling. But he diligently signed baseballs, autograph books, and my card. When I was in Japan recently, I carried his and Felix Hernandez's card with me in my purse every day for two weeks. I almost brought my 2010 Finest red refractor of Miggy to the game, which I recently got in the mail, but I made a last minute switch and brought one of my favorites, Miggy's 2008 Stadium Club base card. I have many Miggy relic cards (jersey swatches and morsels of bats), but I don't have any autographed cards. This is my first one!
Mordecai kept egging me on to say something. What does a mere commoner like myself say to THE LORD MIGGY? Especially an idiot commoner decked out in White Sox gear? (I had briefly contemplated stacking my White Sox and Tigers hats to the game. For Mordecai's sake, I decided against it.) I had nothing to say except that I was totally starstruck, shaking, and fearful. When you're in the presence of someone you admire so much that you don't even think to soil their presence with your own pathetic existence, you tremble. Tremble I did, but mixed with a kind of rare, pure elation.
I believe it was Ryan Raburn who had also emerged from somewhere by the time Miggy signed my card, and then they started walking to their dugout. Mordecai said Miggy didn't sign very much after my card. On the way down the stairs, they stopped and started pointing at Valverde, laughing and making jokes (above). Then they disappeared. We went to Burger Barn, decided against Wow Bao, and returned the elevator pass to Guest Relations.
I AM SO BLESSED.