Wednesday, October 16, 2013

The Klingsick Pastime- Exit Sandman

September 2013
Houston Astros v. New York Yankees 

Ever since I was 3 years old (and can remember) the Klingsick family has been crazy about not only sports but BASEBALL in particular. My dad had a dream and goal of visiting all the Major League Baseball stadiums during his lifetime and sharing this experience with his wife and children. During my 31 years of life I have been to 22 out of 30 MLB stadiums. My parents have seen them ALL and my sister, Allison, is only lacking 2 (I think). My adult goal is now to see the remaining 8 before I die and to share this same type of experiences with MY two children. 

All of that is to give you a history of the Klingsicks and what we call our "PASTIME". In addition to traveling around the United States to tour MLB stadiums and watch baseball games, my sister and I share a love for the New York Yankees because our one and only grandpa also loved this baseball team. I remember growing up and visiting him and my grandma Pat in Derby, KS and we would turn on their tiny 13" television set in the kitchen and watch the game while Grandma Pat cooked dinner. He taught me show much about the game of baseball as well as the history of the Yankees. He had books and pictures all over his house about the Yankees and their franchise. It was at a very young age that Allison and I developed a love for The Yankees but that is only because of the DEEPER love for Grandpa! We love and miss you, Grandpa! 

In 2012 when the Houston Astros announced that they would be changing over to an American League team in 2013, Allison and I knew that meant that the Yankees would be coming to Houston and we HAD TO BE AT THOSE GAMES! We both signed up for the Astros "Fan" emails so we could get information about when the Yankees would be coming to town. In early February we both got the same email and called each other bursting with excitement about being able to see the Yankees in Houston. I immediately ordered tickets for the entire home series in late September. 

The YANKEES weekend finally arrived and we could hardly wait. We decided that we would take Natalie to the game on Saturday so we had a "Girls Day" on Saturday and then went to the Yankees v. Astros game that night. Natalie has been to numerous games with Chris and I and especially Gigi Shirley and Poppy as now the tradition continues with their grandchildren  Natalie was so intuitive and asked so many questions and especially liked seeing the "Train" go by when the Astro's scored a run! 

The Tradition CONTINUES! 

One of Natalie's favorite part of an Astros game... The baseballs OUTSIDE of the stadium!

We like this tradition too, Natalie! 

Having fun with "ORBIT" before the game! 

Auntie Allie and Natalie Grace at Natalie's first Yankees game... The Tradition Continues!

Allison and I didn't realize it back in February when we purchased these tickets that this would be Andy Pettitte's last game due to his retirement (Again)! So yet again this game and weekend became even more memorable as Allison, Natalie and I got to witness Andy Pettitte pitch his last game! ANDY PETTITTE... A players name and pitcher that even my grandfather talked about back in the day! In fact, Andy Pettitte was one of grandpa's favorite pitchers and at that time he didn't even play for the Yankees! We stayed after the game on Saturday evening to watch the ceremony and witness Pettitte raise and wave his hat to the crown at Minute Maid Park! It was... (wait for it) LEGENDARY! 

And we were there!

On Sunday, we had Gigi Jackie and Grandpa (DAN) take the kids to church so Chris could come with Allison and I to the last game of the 2013 MLB season where the Astros would take on the Yankees for the 3rd and final game of the series. This was special because it was that last HOME game for the Astros and once again another MAJOR event for the Yankees. While we were walking into the park about 90 minutes before the first pitch we saw Derek Jeter get dropped off and then carted up to the front of the stadium! I so wish I would have had my camera ready! 

Eating at another Klingsick favorite... IHOP before the game!

In addition to that, Mariano Rivera, arguably the BEST closer in the history of MLB, had pitched his final game in New York days prior but without Houston media or fans knowing came out for a PRE-GAME ceremony to apologize to the Houston Fans for not pitching during this final game. WHAT A CLASS ACT! It was so cool to get to witness, Roger Clemens, Joe Tori and other major MLB stars give tribute and thanks to Mariano Rivera for a career and job WELL DONE! Once again, Grandpa would have loved being here to see this! 

A 3-D picture that was given to Mariano Rivera on behalf of the Houston Astros! AMAZING!

I am so grateful to have been able to see this once in a lifetime ceremony! 

Overall it was an incredible weekend of baseball and one that I will never forget! Thank you so much Allison for sharing this weekend with me and we will see you and The Yankees in APRIL for OPENING day! 

This one was for you, Grandpa!

God is good... All the Time! 

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