2009 Florida Spring Training Tour, Day 9 (New York Mets @ Detroit Tigers)

BY: T.C.

My cousin and his wife flew into Orlando on Thursday to take their kids on a Disney vacation.  Before the trip, my cousin and I had planned on taking my godson (Caden), who is 4 years old, over to Tigertown to see a spring training game.  This day really wasn’t about ‘graphing for me…it was more about making sure that Caden had a good time.  We got to the game early and lined up outside the gate.  Our timing must have been perfect, because after standing in line for about 5 minutes, a couple of girls that work for the Tigers came by and asked Caden if he’d like to take the resin bag out to the mound before the game!  This turned out to be a really cool experience for the little guy.  He got to go out on the field with the players during the national anthem, and also got to spend a little bit of time in the dugout before the game.  When it was time, he ran out to the mound to drop off the resin bag.  Somwhere on his way to the mound, though, he forgot the instructions he was given on where to put the bag.  As he got out to the mound, he walked around it, trying to figure out where to put the resin bag he was carefully holding in his hand.  The crowd started cracking up as he walked up on the mound and looked around.  He finally just figured that he’d walk up to the pitching rubber and set it down there.  When he did this, the whole crowd lost it.  They were laughing and clapping for him–which brought a huge smile to his face.  Once he made it back to the dugout, he got some high-fives from the players and coaches.  He even got a baseball handed to him by Rafael Belliard (that he had Jim Leyland sign).

caden-tigers

All in all, this day was a great experience.  It was spring training ball at its laid-back best.  I did manage to get a couple of ‘graphs (Donnie Kelly, Michel Abreu, and Fernando Martinez), but I really didn’t care.  Today was all about making sure that a little guy had a memorable experience…which he most certainly did!

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