I came to town Friday and Saturday for the Fantasy Camp reunion weekend, and what a weekend it was. We played a couple of charity games at Boyce Park in Upper St. Clair, with the park folks turning over all of our contributions for field upkeep to Sean Casey
's Field of Dreams project across the street. Teke, Blass, Grant Jackson and some other folks from the organization helped out and stayed most of the day. Great fun, and a chance to wear our black jerseys.
Saturday was game day at PNC Park. We squared off and played four four inning games with a remarkable 80 out of the 97 January camp participants reuniting. We arrived at 7:00 AM and changed in an auxiliary locker facility two doors down from the Pirates
' clubhouse. We then came through the tunnel and climbed a set of stairs, emerging on the left field side of the Pirate dugout. My team was hone team, so we wore the home whites and used the Bucco dugout. I could go on and on about what it felt like to hit a solid single up the middle and run to first, to get a guy on a force out at second on a ball hit to short and nearly get the double play on the throw to first, or to play center and watch another camper hit a ball that one-hopped the left field wall (thought our left fielder was going to swallow his tongue watching the ball fly over his head). I didn't want those four innings to end. We hung around for quite some time in the dugout watching the next teams play. Nobody wanted to leave.
We came back at 5:30 and gathered by the Maz statue, and Teke led us onto the warning track at 6:30 for the Fantasy Camp feature on the scoreboard and then individual introductions. We then went to the left field deck where we had food and beverages, watched the win and fireworks and just had a blast altogether. Combined with the experience of watching the Mummy Imhotep match Hamels pitch for pitch from a couple of rows atop the Pirate dugout Friday, I'd say it was a bitchin' weekend.
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