Keeping Up With Jones - The Missourian: Columns

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Keeping Up With Jones

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Posted: Wednesday, June 12, 2013 6:32 pm | Updated: 8:51 pm, Sat Jun 22, 2013.

I had my 15 minutes of fame last week. . . or maybe just 15 seconds.

Last Thursday Jami and I were fortunate enough to see the St. Louis Cardinals play the Arizona Diamondbacks up close.

We were seven rows from the home team dugout, which are the best closest seats I have ever sat in to take in a game.

In the fourth inning, Jon Jay singled in Daniel Descalso and the Cardinals took the lead.

I was, of course, on my feet cheering as Descalso rounded third and headed for home and it’s a good thing I didn’t break any prior engagements to go the game.

The Fox Sports Midwest camera caught me, and within seconds I had messages from people watching the game from home.

It reminded me of the scene in “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off” when Ferris snagged a foul ball and was on television.

The only difference was he was at a Chicago Cubs game, and I saw a team that actually won the World Series (11 times) in the past 100 years.

We had a chance of being on television a second time, but there were hot dogs calling our name. As we were in line, we watched our empty seats make another TV appearance.

I have to admit that I was a bit star-struck during the game.

I was 20 feet from my favorite baseball players. I was close enough to run up to the front row and try to catch a ball that Yadier Molina would throw into the stands.

Although those balls are mostly thrown to children, I am sure there would be an exception if I were to knock the little ones over and pick the baseball out of the air.

At one point Jose Oquendo was perched at the edge of the dugout clutching a ball for one lucky fan. He scanned the crowd searching for a deserving recipient.

He wore his hat low on his head, and then he pointed.

I could see out of the corner of my eye that someone in a row behind me held a finger to his chest as if to say, “You mean me.”

Then, almost involuntarily, I did the same thing. I remember thinking, “He must know I am a huge Cardinals fan. I’m at the stadium wearing a Cardinals shirt.”

Then nearly everyone in the section where we sat pointed at themselves as if Oquendo singled them out.

A man, with toddler in tow, stood up and the former Cardinal player and current third base coach threw him the ball. He gave it to his young daughter who happened to be wearing a Cardinals onesie.

Apparently, a Cardinals onesie is more indicative of a being a great fan than a man in his 30s wearing a T-shirt.

So I learned a lesson that day: If I want professional baseball players, or coaches, to pay attention to me, I need to start hanging out with babies.

/opinion/columns