Beginnings: It started even before we could afford a car. Daddy took Jackie and me on the bus to Phillies twilight double-headers. Stadium food was beyond our budget so Mommy packed sandwiches in brown paper bags. Daddy's love of the game was contagious. I caught the bug; it was a lifelong bond between us.
Grand-Slam Home Run: I flew in from Chicago, and Dad and I went to a Saturday afternoon game while Mom worked. It was a beautiful fall afternoon, but the Phillies were losing badly. In the bottom of the ninth, they came up for their last at bat, many runs behind. Even my optimist father got up from his seat, ready for a quick exit. But wait! In a breath-taking turn of fortune, the bases were loaded, with two outs. The last batter hadn't been having a very good day, or season for that matter. Defying our expectations, the baseball gods looked with favor on him, and he hit a home run. We won! My father, in his sixties, picked up his thirty-something daughter and jumped up and down with joy. I love baseball!
VIP Parking: I took the train in from New York, bringing with me a VIP parking pass and four prime tickets to the Phillies game, gifts from a printing company I did business with. Dad, Jack and Juancarlos joined me for a special outing. We began the night with an outstanding Italian dinner at Ralph's, in South Philadelphia. My father's delight at flashing the VIP parking pass and getting a spot close to the stadium was well worth the slight smudge on my shining ethical principles from accepting the gift. It was photo night, and Juancarlos and I ran around the field with our camera as the Phillies players mingled with the fans.