All-Star Week Update

Where to begin… First let me say what a thrill it was to return to Yankee Stadium again! I still can’t believe they are going to tear it down. There will never be another one like it. Anyway, as for today’s report, no photos yet as I am far too exhausted to lift the camera to upload them yet…will try to sift through the mess sometime tomorrow I hope. However, here is a recap of what I have done the last 2 days…

How about that Home Run Derby last night? Wow! Josh Hamilton put on a show unlike anything I have ever seen before and, I imagine, will ever see again. 28 home runs in one round, with the longest going 518 feet. From inside the stadium, many of them appeared to leave the park, but after further review (a’la cell phone call home to get the TV call), it was determined that they bounced off the white fencing and did not quite clear the stadium. None the less, it was an eye popping event. The chants of “Ham-il-ton!” echoed throughout the stadium and everyone was on their feet cheering. It was disappointing that he did not win; apparently, by the last round, he had just run out of gas. Pretty understandable after what he did in the first round, but still sad that he could not pull out the win.

As for our boy Chase Utley, he did not make it past the first round, but did hit 5 homers and as always, looked good doing it :) Although he of course defended his man Mick Billmeyer afterwards, I can tell ya, a lot of the pitches he threw to Chase were very low and inside and he was getting jammed. Of course, you don’t have to swing at all of them, buy you can’t just stand there all night either. Poor Mick looked a bit nervous. Actually, Evan Longoria ran into a similar issue as his pitcher kept throwing at his head! Honestly, I did not see Chase winning this thing, but I think he could have gone a bit longer with some better pitching, so that was a shame.

Some other fun at the Derby was the batting practice before the actual contest and just watching the players interact on the field with each other. Manny Ramirez brought his kids and his son kept trying to tackle other players…another Manny in the making. Mariano Rivera’s kids shagged balls in the outfield. David Wright followed Chase Utley around like a lost puppy. Well, to be fair, everyone wanted a piece of Utley! He was very popular and kept getting dragged from one person to the next, but smiled the whole time in very un-Utley like fashion and for once, did not seem to mind the attention.

Earlier that day, I went to the DHL Fan Fest at the Javits Center and took in as much as I could, but there was definitely enough to do that I could have stayed for several days. With limited time though, I chose to do whatever had the shortest lines :o) For instance, there were free autographs from Hall of Famers like Tony Gwynn, Goose Gossage and Paul Molitor; but the line for that was FIVE hours long…NO exaggeration. So, I was totally skipping that. Instead, there were some very nice ladies from the All American Girls Professional Baseball League (remember the movie “A League of Their Own?) also signing in another room…no line in there! Got two autographs and a free picture from Dolly Brumfield White and Shirley Burkovich. The line to have yourself put on an official Topps baseball card was VERY long, but to get your photo on the not-so-official Taco Bell baseball card was empty…guess which one I got? Mmmmm…taco’s! Also got a free photo of myself with a Derek Jeter stand-up for signing a pledge to wear my seatbelt. Picked up lots of other freebies along the way….a DVD of the history of Yankee Stadium, buttons, posters, etc…

There were a lot of interactive displays too…computers, video games, batting cages, pitching cages, trivia centers…too many to mention…I’ll post a photo later of the event board. There was an awesome display of the All-Star Clubhouse as well, with uniforms of many of the players on display. I managed to get a photo of Utley’s locker which I will also post later. I also attended one of the many clinics held at Fan Fest. This one was a Pitch, Hit and Run Clinic hosted by Yankee captain, Derek Jeter. Now I love Mr. Jeter as much as the next girl, but I have to say, I have never seen so many grown women go nuts like that in all my life. Wow. You’d think they had just seen Elvis, back from the dead. So aside from the screaming, the clinic was well done and the kids all had a good time. In all, Fan Fest was well worth he price of admission…I only wish I had more time and shorter lines!

The Red Carpet Parade today was a blast, aside from the scorching heat and having to stand for 4 hours straight :o) Seriously, it was worth it to see all those Hall of Famers in one place…a truly historic event. The highlight for me though was when Chase drove by, doing his generic smile and wave but, when he spotted me in the front row, the only Phillies jersey in a sea of Yankees with my #26 hat on, he lit up, pointed to me and yelled out, “Hey! How are you?” Got a great photo of him saying hi to me. Everyone around asked if he knew me…funny stuff. Actually, whenever I see Chase, he gives me that same greeting and the same big-eyed look…I figure at this point he probably does recognize me as he sees me so often with the camera in his face. I am like his own personal stalker…and I mean that in the nicest possible way :o) I yelled out to Brad Lidge too and got the wave from him as well. He looked very happy to be there.

Ok, I think I am all typed out for now…I need sleep! Soooooo tired! Did not get to bed until 2:30am yesterday and got up again to go to the parade at 7am. So, I apologize if my writing is not as sharp as usual…I am still a bit fuzzy and exhausted :o) Well, going to watch the game now…hoping to see Chase have a good game and maybe see Brad get some action!

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