Last night was a night of preparation for me. I had to get my outfit prepared, change handbags, and shave my legs! I wanted to look my best for my Marlins and for any readers we happened to bump into. The festivities didn’t begin until 10:00am the next morning, but I was ready to go at 11:00pm that evening! So, with the feeling of butterflies in my tummy, I set my alarm to 6:45am and attempted to get some sleep.
The next morning, we awoke to tragedy when we saw that Mario’s car had been stolen from our drive way. Why anyone would choose to steal a 2001 Pontiac Grandam over a 2004 Nissan Altima is beyond me, but it happened. After filing our report, contacting the appropriate parties, and dropping off our little monkey at grandma and grandpa’s, we were on our way.
I couldn’t stop thinking about the car incident, but when we pulled into the stadium parking lot, all of my worries faded away. I was just looking forward to meeting a couple of players that I admired and maybe getting a few great photos.
The Fan Fest began at 10:00am, and we rolled up at 8:00am. Everything was still being set up. The bounce houses were flat on the ground, the batting cages being tested, the tables were all bare, and the two World Series trophies hadn’t even been brought out yet. Despite all the volunteers, it looked like a ghost town compared to what it would look like in a couple of hours. I am a HUGE chicken, so I was concerned someone would tell us we weren’t allowed to be on the premises; but I toughened up and did my thing, I mean if anyone tried to give me a problem, all I’d have to do is go all Cuban on them, right?
We wandered around a bit when out of nowhere we saw our destination. The booth that handed out the autograph session tickets. A few people came after us and stood in line for about 5 minutes and then made the decision that they would come back later, but Mario and I stayed. We were very dedicated to our purpose: to meet Andrew Miller. We waited in that line for a good hour and a half before the actual volunteers showed up.
I then heard two sneezes that I knew didn’t come from Mario, because his are usually very loud and awkward. I turned and blessed him and within seconds, the sneezer and I had a friendly conversation about players we were looking forward to meeting. We asked if he new which session Miller would be in, but after checking in his books, he had no idea. He felt bad for us, knowing we had been waiting in line for a good amount of time and told us that if we see Miller at a specific signing, he would try his hardest to get us passes. We decided to try the first signing because I was beyond excited, and at 9:30am we made our way to the autograph tables and braced ourselves for another wait. A half hour passed and I was beginning to get concerned. The signing was to begin at 10:00, no players were in sight, and we had a 10:30 tour to attend. Finally some guy came out and I heard “oohs and ahhs”. I caught a glimpse of him and I had no idea who the heck he was. As a matter of a fact, I still have no clue who he is. Sorry, guy.
A couple of minutes later, I smelled a strong scent of cologne and as I turned to see who it was, TWO huge men walked passed me. I recognized one man, Mike Jacobs, and his friend was someone I did not know, Taylor Tankersley. The signing had begun and I felt very disappointed. We got two autographs, and Jacobs was really nice to me, but as I left I heard the boy that was behind me in line say, “Man, that guy is a jerk! He wouldn’t answer my questions!”. So aside from one of the guys apparently being a jerk, there was no Miller.
We then rushed over to our tour that included exclusive access to the Marlins dugout and press row. As the tour began and we were being led into areas we had never seen before, Mario gasped and yelled, “THAT’S LUIS GONZALEZ!!”. Like secret agents, we slipped away from the group and made our way to the area were Luis Gonzalez and Dallas McPherson were. Luis Gonzalez was deep into an interview when we arrived, but McPherson was sitting on the side and looked like he just wanted to go have fun. He was a super cool guy that I was very happy to meet.
After saying a few words to Mr. Gonzalez and snapping a few great shots, we headed off to find our group. After being denied access into the “special” building a few times, we were finally able to rejoin our group and continue the tour. We made it just in time for the dugout, which includes full access to a toilet! But no sink? Gross. The tour was very informative and it even included it’s own 35min infomercial!
Once the tour was finally over, Mario ran off with out me to the ground floor of the stadium to see who was now signing and I played a “Marlins Wheel Of Fortune” game and won a kick ass Hanley Ramirez figurine! As I finally reached the ground floor I heard, “BABY! ANDREW MILLER IS SIGNING!” My heart sank. I saw the line at Andrew’s table and then I saw the line at the autograph ticket table and I knew my chances of saying ‘Welcome’ to Andrew were over. We tried to get closer to snap a few photos and the Miami Dade police came on their little Segways and an angry Haitian security guard coped an attitude with me, no, the Cuban was not unleashed….
I had very little hope, but I remembered our friend at the ticket table and wondered if he could help. I explained to him how the session we attended had people I had never seen before and how now, Andrew Miller was signing. I told him I didn’t even want an autograph. I just wanted a photo and to say hi. He looked at me and with sadness he said, “I don’t have anymore passes for that session.” I was really let down, but it wasn’t his fault and I knew that it was very unlikely that he would have any passes left. He turned to me again and said, “Come on, follow me, let’s see what I can do.” And like my knight in shining armor he led me to where the angry Haitian lady was and asked me to wait for him. He disappeared into the huge masses of people and spoke with whomever he could to help us. After a couple of minutes, he emerged with two passes. I would have kissed him if I wasn’t married! I couldn’t get over how wonderful and kind this guy was. He truly loves his job. I offered to buy him lunch, but he chuckled and told me to enjoy my day. In case you are reading this, my nameless hero, thanks again, you really made my day!
We were now in line and I couldn’t wait to meet Andrew. He looked so adorable! You could see that he was very sincere and the one thing I truly loved is that he had this innocence about him. He seemed so genuine and like he was really happy to be there. He was the only player smiling through out the entire session. Andrew, you really made me a bigger fan today, than I was before. I wish you loads of luck this season and for the rest of your career. I will be at as many games as I can afford in order to cheer you on. I hope you don’t forget me!
After getting an auto and a photo with Andrew, I could have left right then and there and been absolutely content, but I wanted to see Mario do his thang at the batting cages, and even though it has been a couple of years and some would say he is a bit rusty, he didn’t miss one ball. I am very proud of my very own baseball player. 🙂
All in all, the fan fest was a huge success for Mario and myself. There was never a dull moment and the entire day was filled with nothing but laughs and smiles. I will most definitely be attending next years. I’ll see you there!
Flashing my baseball cards
Boh excited and nervous while waiting for the auto session to begin.
Who are you, Mystery Marlin?
They look like the Marlin IRS.
The President of the Marlins being interviewed by 790THETICKET
LUIS GONZALEZ… slightly dazed and confused!
Me and Mr.McPherson… he makes me feel short.
Me and Ricky Nolasco in the dug out.
Me and Mark Henrickson… feeling short her, too.
I miss my DTrain. 😥
WHEEL OF FORTUNE!
My prize. 🙂
My Hero. ❤
All smiles, Andrew Miller.
He was seriously the sweetest guy ever!
Me and Billy the Marlin… he totally tried to make out with me!
March 28th. Marlins vs. Yankees. My chance to meet Derek Jeter!
Finally home, after a long day, snuggling up with my Hanley prize.