Monday, May 19, 2014

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Eighty degrees with some mild to gusty winds from the south made it a perfect day to catch nine innings at the home of our local minor league, the Mavericks. A twenty minute drive north on Highway 395 had us arriving at the Stater Brothers Heritage Field parking lot in the small town of Adelanto.

We were excited!

John could not wait to clamber onto the pitcher's mound and throw a fast ball at the opposing batter from the Inland Empire 66ers but then again J has a vivid imagination. It was true that J was going to throw out the first ball at the Sunday game but there would be no batter ready to drill it back toward the pitcher's mound. Only J and a brave Maverick's player who would have the honor or terror of receiving a pitch from a guy who has only pitched bad lines when talking lately. His name has been purposely left out of the text to safeguard him from ridicule (but we did include his photo).

The man who stopped J's pitch with ease.
Our good friend, Terry Kurtz had invited us to the ball field Sunday the 18th of May so J could have a book signing for his latest novel, Soft Target, and to actually throw out the first ball of the game. The smile across J's face was priceless - just like a child in a gun store or would that be a candy store? You can see what brought smiles to a younger J during childhood.

We had the privilege of utilizing the Greiner Pontiac Skybox 1 for the signing and comfortable it was on that warm afternoon with a canvas awning to keep the sun off our heads, cushioned chairs and plenty of space to set out novels to be signed.

Our videographer, Paul Bakas, came along to film the event and got some amazing shots and film of J throwing the ball out, stills of players, J signing books, and more film showing the Sante Fe Drifters (cowboy/gunslinger re-enacters) as they entertained the baseball crowd with western antics during the 3rd and 6th inning. Watching good guys and bad guys shooting at each other is good old fashioned fun like watching a baseball game on a nice Sunday afternoon. It really is.

Bully and J having a good time hanging out.
Speaking of throwing the ball out. J had been nervous all morning hoping, praying, offering gifts to the gods that he wouldn't throw the pitch and have it roll up to the catcher like a pill bug. Nervous he should not have been as the pitch from the mound, all 60 feet and 6 inches reached home plate with no arch but a tad bit to the right which would have been called a ball. He knew, if given the chance, the next three would have been strikes.

"That was just my warm-up throw," J said while shaking hands with the catcher and smiling at the crowd.

Author busy signing away

Then it was onto game time and book signing. A well spent afternoon talking with new friends, explaining the writing process, and just doing a lot of hand shaking and laughing.

We didn't smile when the Maverick's lost 5 to 7 to the 66ers but that is how the game goes. Sometimes you win and sometimes you don't but it's how you play the game that counts and the local boys did a pretty good job at that.

A special thanks to the following who were more than gracious hosts, really fun to be around and they all work for the Maverick's team. Matt Melchoir, Megan Patterson and Zach Osadche. You folks are awesome. And of course a great big thank you to the Maverick's team, owners and franchise, the Seattle Mariner's.

Play ball!!!!!

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