Saturday, June 7, 2014

Of Bucs and Ducks Part Two, with Some Stars

Thursday night I was fortunate enough to be able to watch The Night Before Our Stars, the TFiOS premiere thingy. For the unaware, TFiOS is The Fault in Our Stars by the great JayScribble, a man who I was fortunate enough to meet while he was writing the book that became the bestseller and now amazing movie. Going in, I wasn't exactly sure what to think: it was a movie done by a not-crazily-star-studded cast about a book that was pretty deep. The amazing team at 20th Century Fox brought it to life though, and it was probably the most faithful and best executed book-to-movie translation I've seen. That being said, I still haven't seen many movies.

Friday afternoon we received a call from our aunt (yes, the one who introduced me to JayScribble, KDKA, The Spring Standards, and the list goes on) who tells us she has four tickets for that night's baseball game against the Brewers. Section 20. So I googled a map of the ballpark and realized these were behind the dugout seats. That established, donning a giant rubber duck shirt, and using my knowledge of bus schedules, we [being my brother and I] added Tyler Smith of Carlynton Tech to the mix and began the adventure.

Public transportation is always an adventure: they are usually late, and always a bit hectic. Friday was no different. I had told Matt and Tyler to bring exact change because it makes life easier. Tyler brought exact change: $2.50 in quarters. He's never been on a Port Authority Bus before.

We make our way to Gateway Center in the midst of the Three Rivers Arts Festival. I want to go back and see what's there, perhaps that can be an adventure next week? Irrelevant, T time.

We made our way onto the T and to the North Shore Station right outside of PNC Park. After a bit of trial and error with the ticket booth, and security* we made our way into our beautiful ballpark. It was a free shirt Friday (where, in case you couldn't tell by the name, they gave us free shirts) sponsored by of all places, Point Park University. C'est un signe.

I have been to PNC park a few times for various reasons, and every time I am struck with just how beautiful that place is, and how clean it is for being a sportsball arena. After meandering about trying to figure out where section 20 was, we made our way to our seats. We were escorted down, down, and down some more. I was half expecting to be kicked out or something, but no. Three rows back from the dugout.

The View from my Seat... Gotta Love Pittsburgh

The game was fantastic, the city amazing as usual, and who sat in front of us but Frank Coonelly, the freaking PRESIDENT of the PITTSBURGH PIRATES. My brother convinced him to take a picture with us:

That's me, the big dork on the left, and FRANK COONELLY on the right.

Apparently Seth Meyers was at the game because he is a Pittsburgh Pirates fan. Seeing as anything was possible, I sent him this tweet:
and its followup:
I received a bunch of texts during this game because, apparently I was on ROOT sports' coverage of the game with my duck shirt twice. Later on, I was tagged in this by my aunt:

Seth Meyers didn't come, but it was still a fantastic night. There were fireworks, loud noises, ballpark fries, pierogi races, and to top it all off we had fantastic seats. The Bucs won, which I chalk up to wearing my Duck Shirt to the game and some spot-on pitching by Brandon Cumpton.

Thanks to our aunt as always, to the his All-Yellowness the Giant Rubber Duck of Pittsburgh, wherever he may roam.

*Every time I go through security which was a lot in NYC, I am paranoid because I always have some metal on me. It's usually a belt buckle or something strange like that, but I never seem to be able to make it through a metal detector on the first try without forgetting like a quarter or something strange like that. The people at these places are really understanding and kind, but I always feel bad that I'm slowing the process and making their lives harder by wearing a belt or something stupid like that.

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