My First Fan Fest
The day before our Dodgers activities got rolling Matt was doing something ridiculous in the hotel room to make me laugh then he said, “Ten years ago when we started dating did you think we would be staying in a hotel in downtown LA and going to Dodgers FanFest tomorrow?” We both started busting out laughing like what is our life.
I had the opportunity to tag along on the UCLA children’s hospital visit where some of the guys played ball with children who are undergoing heartbreaking treatments and care but for one hour all you saw were big smiles and friendly laughs at who could color in the lines better. One little girl’s mom said she was about to have her third heart surgery, and they felt the guys visit that day was good luck. I handed a mom a simple drink voucher, and she gave me hug saying she loved the coffee downstairs.
Then we went to Cal Lutheran University and had a luncheon with the families of the victims, survivors and first responders of the Borderline Bar shooting. My eyes filled with tears as each victim’s name was called and the family received a bat while a message about the victim was read.
We sat at the table with the owner of the bar where conservation filled with our baseball journey so far and Nashville. You just hope you’re listening and doing enough even when you don’t have the words to express how sorry you are, praying for them as they grieve and try to move forward and they just keep saying thank you for coming out and showing gratitude for just being there.
We ended the luncheon by being taught a line dance by a survivor whose brother didn’t make it out of the bar that night.
I was grateful to be a part of a day where I saw how this journey is so so much bigger than baseball. No one at those gatherings really knew who Matt was, but I hope we showed how much we value relationships if even for just a few minutes and made a lasting impression just like they did for us.
Then there was FanFest where I’ll be honest I was a little nervous and intimidated going in. All the firsts piled into a few hours. Shoutout to Amber Floro who showed me/let me in the wives room to put my luggage down (after wandering around for a hot second laughing at myself about to leave my stuff with the people at the first aid station) and made sure I got to the right place to be told where Matt was starting the day.
The Dodgers personnel were incredible in making sure we got to where we needed to be (and by we I mean me being escorted on a 15 minute walk to where Matt was signing.) The fans were awesome and so prepared bringing all kinds of pictures and cards for Matt to sign including an old Belmont one which was my favorite.
A handful of people came up to me just to say they enjoyed keeping up with my blog which made me melt into a puddle right there. I’m sure I had this cheesy smile on my face all day getting to watch Matt interact with all the people from fans to Dodger legends and everyone in between.
I kept being asked if I wanted to just hang out in the lounge while Matt went and signed. In my head, I was thinking WHY would I miss out on alllll of this. I wasn’t going to miss an opportunity to step out on the field at Dodger Stadium. So I followed Matt around like a puppy just happy to be there.
Believe it or not i got my first Beaty jersey that was made for me — I’ll keep it forever even though it has the number of a linemen HA! Thank you to everyone who made our first fan fest experience one for the books!
Photo Credit Jon SooHoo