I assume everyone else has already discussed their experience with the Cardinals treating the Viva El Runners to Saturday night's On Field Experience. I was either driving to/from Stl/KC or in class, so I missed out on the talk from that night. So, I'm going to bring it back up and regale you with my experience.
My wife and I got to the stadium a bit late due to a mis-communication, so we were the last of the group to get there and get our tickets. I hadn't seen my wife and child in two days, so I was mainly spending the time waiting for the tour to start by hanging out with my family. I had met mysterui and exchanged pleasantries while waiting for my wife to park and he had informed me that spants was coming with fink.
Anyway, everyone started discussing seating arrangements and we found that we were scattered throughout the stadium. Myself, buddha(I'm not typing out that whole screen name multiple times), and secondhalfmatt were together in section 137 and some of the others would be together somewhere on the opposite side of the stadium. Several were seated by themselves, and pattimagee didn't even have tickets because he forgot to respond to the email (they corrected this and found him some tickets).
We were ushered into the stadium shortly after this realization, and because of that I didn't get a chance to say hello to spants. We entered the stadium through the 420 Lobby near gate 2. We went down a set of stairs and through some offices to gain access to the field. I snapped a few pictures with my phone as we went along.
<img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-fTCBge3O5kI/UGm7_Jla7DI/AAAAAAAACaY/jr2K-mMv8Mw/s912/IMAG0095.jpg" width=300/>
Pattimagee was walking with me and told me it was important to snap a picture of this room because it was the conference room that they make all the big decisions in. Little did he know, we would be hanging out in that room shortly thereafter.
<img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-uUTsIg9dlSE/UGm7xfIbIwI/AAAAAAAACaI/YxOcJFfopXY/s912/IMAG0093_BURST002.jpg" width=300/>
We were ushered into the dugout, where we hung out for probably 20 minutes, unsupervised. Pattimagee got some water and I followed his lead. The water tasted like it came out of a hose, but the gatorade (or whatever it was) tasted fine. Here's pattimagee posing with his water. I don't know who the people are behind him, but apparently they were a bigger deal than we were. They had a couple of players come out to see them and sign things for them.
<img src="https://lh4.googleusercontent.com/-b5pwD-IWezg/UGm8SHrmRsI/AAAAAAAACao/nPJ6i-RDrYI/s912/IMAG0097.jpg" width=300/>
And a group photo, complete with awkward fink pose:
<img src="https://lh6.googleusercontent.com/-OwlRoPlZ6kA/UGm8gAJksNI/AAAAAAAACa8/wMBgY7hCW10/s912/IMAG0099.jpg" width=500/>
We were finally ushered onto the field, where we met and shook hands with Joe Kelly. After a few seconds of forced awkward conversation from him, they lined us up to individually shoot photos with him. (Photos to come via email, I'm assuming). During the photos, pattimagee made the comment, "Just a bunch of dudes standing around taking pictures together, nothing weird about that," which drew laughter from all, Kelly included. We also took a group photo with Kelly, which I'm sure will eventually find its way to VEB.
We were then herded to the little pen on the track behind the plate to stand and talk for another eternity. Fink's weak bladder forced us to consider forming a human shield for him to relieve himself, but we didn't have to because we were allowed to go inside shortly after. Pretty sure the lady overheard that discussion, because when we got inside she looked right at fink when explaining where the nearest restrooms were. She also told us that we were welcome to wait in the previously mentioned conference room and to help ourselves to the drinks on the table (soda and water).
While waiting in the conference room, I played John Mozeliak attempting to explain run expectancy to Pattimagee's Mike Matheny, which hazel brilliantly captured:
Pattimagee pointed out the teleconference unit on the table and dared someone to hit redial. Nobody was willing, but he did find the corporate phone book on the unit. He started to search for someone, but chickened out. So, I searched for McGwire and found nothing. Then I search for "John" and found this:
IMAGE REMOVED DUE TO FRITZ BEING CRAZY
Matheny produced this:
IMAGE REMOVED DUE TO FRITZ BEING CRAZY
(some digits are cropped out of above photos) EDIT: APPARENTLY NOT ENOUGH. THIS IS WHY WE CAN'T HAVE NICE THINGS, FRITZ
You would all be proud to know that Azru said that our nerd was really showing when we were hanging out in the conference room! You'll also be proud to know that he stood in the corner and kept an eye on two little kids in the corner opposite him, lest they get too close.
After hanging out for another small eternity, we were ushered back onto the field and finally honored along with all the runners and several other groups. I'm told we were on the big screen, but my daughter would not allow my wife to get a picture of it.
After that, we were ushered back out through Lobby 420 and into the stadium where we sort of went our separate ways. Pattimagee came up and sat with myself, shm, and buddha for a couple innings before having to leave. I had a good time hanging out with my family and wrestling a 10 month old, but had to leave after the 8th to get back to KC. Shm left somewhere in the middle of the game, which left buddha and his wife as the only ones to stick it out for the whole game on our side (assuming they stayed).
Thanks again to all who supported and we look forward to doing it again next year. Special thanks to EvilFrog for putting it together, providing the shirts, and (along with his wife) providing a picture of the team with the trophy.
Oh, BFIB details: some dude stood in front of our section and proposed to his girlfriend, which drew loud cheers and a standing O from several in the section. All this while the game was going on. A groups of "bro's" in our aisle got up during action and went for beers and returned during action at least 3 times. They also paid for six beers from one of the vendors with a couple of fives and about 30 ones. Oh, and the wave started somewhere around the section that fink, mysterui, spants, and azru were in. I'll let you decide which one of them started it.