Since I love to add new MLB ballparks to my list whenever I travel places it has allowed me to form a nice little Bucket List of sorts. For example: Before going on a cruise a few years ago I was able to add Seattle's Safeco Field. When my grandparents moved to California in 2000and I was there to help I got in a game at Pac Bell Park (or whatever it is called these days). When given a single day to explore New York City I made sure to go to a Yaknees game at the old Yankee Stadium before it was torn down, and the same is true with Boston and Fenway Park.
On the big screen
And, of course, when we travel to Miami to see my wife's family we get to pay homage to FISHGOD at Marlins Park (where spelling the name of the player you're paying $300 million+ to is optional). We had already earmarked tonight's Mets-Marlins game as part of our trip weeks ago, but when Kevin Plawecki, the former Purdue catcher on the magical 2012 team got the call to the Show last week it made it an even more special visit. I had seen Josh Lindblom pitch for the Dodgers in Washington once, but this was the rare chance to see a Boilermaker position player play in a Major League game, something that had not happened since Jermaine Allensworth in 1999.
We arrived early during batting practice and hoped to give him a nice "BOILER UP" as he took some swings, but he did not take BP while we were there. Once the game started there were plenty of empty seats to see the action. What followed was a pitcher's duel. Plawecki went 0 for 4 on the night with a strikeout and three groundouts, but he helped Dillon Gee take a scoreless game into the eighth by calling a flawless game behind the dish.
Waiting for BP
The Marlins scratched out a run on three singles in the eighth, but the Mets got a three-run homer in the ninth for the win. As with many Marlins crowds, it was mostly a home game for the visitors with all the New York transplants down here. I talked to a few Mets fans and they have been impressed with Plawecki since his call up. Sure, he is struggling a little at the plate now at 4 for 21 on the year but he had his first MLB home run this weekend in Yankee Stadium and he has been very effective as a rookie catcher for the team with the best record in baseball.
First at bat
So yes, it was a joy to see him tonight. Hopefully players like Nick Wittgren, Cameron Perkins, and Dan Black can join him soon. Maybe next time I am here my son can have fresh juice: