To be honest, it happened accidentally. But don’t all great moments.
A few years ago, during the winter of 2011, my father and I went to an auction to benefit the local school district. One of the items up for bid were four Yankees tickets donated by a season ticket holder. The seats were in the upper deck, and the date for the game would be chosen by the possessor of the tickets. On a lark, my dad and I put in a bid and, surprisingly, nobody else wanted the seats (a tragedy!) Besides, the money went towards an important cause.
Sometime that spring, we received the tickets in the mail. On the “golden” stubs read ‘May 13, 2012.’ Mother’s day. My family, comprised of my mother, father, younger brother, and myself, were ecstatic; we always wanted to see the pink bats in person.
On the week leading up to the game, it was announced that Andy Pettitte, in an attempt to return from retirement, was scheduled to start on… Mother’s day! That second Sunday in May started off well. The sun was shining and everybody was excited– we left extra time to ensure a punctual entrance. Unfortunately, so was everybody else, as it took a two and a half hour car ride to reach the stadium. Parking, too, was frustrating, as I could see the stadium conveniently beyond our reach.
Pant, pant, finally we reached the turnstiles. We went up the stairs, reached our seats, and saw a legend. Andy Pettitte just reached the mound, and earned an unreal standing (more like dancing) ovation from the crowd. He seemed really moved to be back in the Bronx and on the mound in front of 50,000 fans. Everybody was happy.
The rest of the game was forgettable; the Yanks lost 6-2 to the Mariners team led by Kevin Millwood. My brother and I loved watching the game, as it was both our firsts, and seeing Pettitte return from his hiatus. However, being able to spend my Mother’s Day with my mom meant more to me than if Babe Ruth was pitching.
Looking back on the experience, the word that pops into my mind is serendipitous. My dad and I began the journey by helping fifth graders and teachers, and ended it with a special moment on a special day. My first game was started by a future Hall of Famer? Now that was lucky.