Except I didn’t.
But let me step back a minute.
Junior calls all kinds of stuff. He called a walk-off last night when we were down 5-0. He’ll call anything, knowing that eventually he’ll be right in some kind of way. Tonight, he called “three straight strike outs–because we’re horrible.” I figured it would be something more crazy–like a line-drive double play to get Spears off second.
But you know, walk-offs are among my favorite things to see at the park. A no-hitter? A perfect game? Never saw them. Not yet. A cycle? I remember Michael Taylor’s night like it was yesterday. And walk-offs? Love ’em. Hanzawa had one earlier this year. Castro’s had a few over the past two years. Franco had one before, on a single to right. The home run variety are the best. I’ve seen them from Blanco and Castro over the past couple years.
I thought about calling for the HR with Galvis at the plate. It would tie the game and energize the crowd. It would probably knock the closer out of the game. But I just didn’t feel it…
However, with one run in (Galvis singled to right, scoring Spears) and Franco strolling to the plate, I felt it. I turned to Junior and said, “I’m calling it. Walk-off home run.”
He replied, “Baahh.”
But Franco was having a good at-bat by now. He stayed away from some garbage pitches and crushed a foul pull-side. The four adults in front of me were still enjoying their 32-oz beers and chatting about who-knows-what. One of the women in the group answered her cell phone–which she had stored in her cleavage.
I’m not kidding.
I wondered if they knew what was coming. A nice crowd was still on hand for an early-evening Sunday game. The Kiddos got duffel bags. A buddy had the IronPigs Suite. (BTW, they should do more 5:35 games in the summer. And, the IronPigs Suite has been re-done: nice hardwood floors and brick wall facing. Classy. But I digress.)
The long drive off Maikel Franco’s bat wasn’t a surprise to me. I knew it was coming. Heck, I called it. But, I did worry that it might hang up too long and get caught at the warning track in Left Field–where all manner of bad things have happened this season (injuries, phantom balls, etc.).
But it didn’t. It went into the bull-pens, and the place erupted. As it should. Congratulations and high-fives all around. Junior screaming, “YOU CALLED IT!” I looked up, and Franco was only at second! Powder-blue jerseys flooded the field. How many players do we have? 25? Seemed like 50 of them on the field waiting for Franco. And I called it.
A whole inning earlier I received the following text from Cheryl Pursell:
“I left.. There will be a walk off now. Let’s hope.”
Cheryl called it.
See you at the park,