My left knee (IT Band) has been bothering me since the 2006 Boston Marathon. Uber PT Mike Roberts got me through it, but I've never been able to put in any significant running miles in since, and this spring even middle distance bike rides start to hurt. This past January, Mike referred me to Dr. Lyle Micheli at Children's Hospital in Boston and the appointment was set for May 21 (yesterday), 5:30 pm.
The day before the appointment I thought that perhaps CJ would like to come with me as he loves the (any) city. So much to see in such a compact area I guess, he's excited by all the people, cyclists, cars, buses, buildings, and businesses. He's just a country mouse afterall. Then I realized that the Red Sox were playing the lowly KC Royals, and perhaps we'd walk over to Fenway if it wasn't too far, maybe even try and pick up some SRO tickets.
Out of the appointment at 6:25, we headed up Brookline Ave towards Fenway, with CJ completely unaware of where we were going. He's not really into the Red Sox or baseball, he'd rather watch cars on the Mass Pike than the game if he had a seat on top of the Green Monster, but I figured if the price was right (read CHEAP) we'd give it a shot.
We lapped the park and CJ liked the light towers and Citgo sign, but wasn't especially thrilled when asked if he wanted to go inside. I wanted him to see it anyway, so I asked about game day tix. "They start at 50 bucks" the ticket man said through the malfunctioning intercom thing. No thanks, the kid isn't that interested. Just then I heard the national anthem echoing across Lansdowne St.
Charlie was asking for food so we started lap two of the stadium, this time with two objectives: find a couple of hot dogs and a scalper willing to negotiate off the list price now that the game was underway. Right in front of Ace Ticket I spotted a well dressed man working a Blackberry in one hand and holding 4 tickets fanned out in the other about 15 feet away. Another man in jeans and a baseball hat with a little girl at his side was talking to him and I heard him say "are you sure?"
"Yes - I work for the Red Sox and don't need them"
"Well I only need two" as he glanced at his daughter.
My pace quickened. From the opposite direction, a heavy set man in head to toe Red Sox apparrel approached. Sports fans can pick up the scent of free tickets faster and further away than sharks can detect the scent of blood in the water.
"Than just take two" said Mr. Blackberry. I never looked up at this man's face. It could have been Theo Epstein himself. My eyes were locked on those tickets, which were now being fanned out into two separate groupings of two tickets each.
The guy with the little girl grasped a pair.
"Ok, cool, thanks" he said.
Just then, from out of absolutely nowhere, a second hand was on the other pair of tickets: "I'll take the other pair." And just that fast, all four tickets were gone and Mr. Blackberry was across the street and moving quickly away from the park.
It all happened so fast. I was 20 feet up the side walk walking stride for stride with the guy and his daughter before it sank in that it had been my hand on that second pair of tickets. I was the one who had laid claim to them. I hadn't even broke stride as I scooped them up.
Upon closer inspection the tickets were infield grandstand seats, section 22, row 8, directly behind home plate but off to the third base side a bit. I casually looked at Charlie and said "I think the hot dogs inside the park are better... let's try one of those."