All-Starred Out

All Star Weekend 7.14.2009 055.jpgIt was one of the most exciting three days I have ever experienced — being there, participating in the focal point of the entire baseball world, sharing with like-minded folks who love the game just as much as I do.  The memories will last forever; yet even I — a man with a unique ability to alienate any intelligent conversation with my critical case of baseballitis — yes, even I could use a break. 

Now back in Chicago, I plan to use my free afternoon to reflect on the staggering, inspirational, communitarian adventures I was privileged to have… and of course, pay tribute to the baseball gods who made it happen.

The National League lost.  Oh well.  I am not crying about it because it really means nothing to me.  Despite the final score, the game was noteworthy for its cleanliness, its quickness, and how aside from a couple fielding errors (and only two walks — one intentional — if I remember correctly) it was one of the most correctly played games I’d ever witnessed live.

But even I am easily star-struck, and for me, perhaps the neatest thing was being able to see so many gifted athletes on one field, at one time, playing together.  I have to say that from our right field bleacher seats, watching Ichiro Suzuki was a true pleasure.  I have never seen one man do so much stretching in such a uniformed and regulated fashion.  Before I knew it, my attention was solely focused on number 51.

Leading up to the game, I couldn’t help but fall in love with my country all over again.  The tribute to the troops, the hometown all-stars, the President’s pitch and that wicked cool SR71 flyover are still giving me goosebumps. 

Now, on with the photos…

The Ticket:

All Star Weekend 7.14.2009 001.jpgReason #164 why Missouri’s relaxed open container laws create jobs in the street-cleaning service industry:

All Star Weekend 7.14.2009 010.jpgAbsolute highlight of the night: having the privilege of being photographed with these fine young soldiers who risk everything on my behalf:

All Star Weekend 7.14.2009 011.jpgThose same soldiers, later bearing the flag:

All Star Weekend 7.14.2009 039.jpgStill feeling patriotic:

All Star Weekend 7.14.2009 022.jpgThe Obama-tron:

All Star Weekend 7.14.2009 038.jpgSleeping Banding with the enemy (if only for one day):

All Star Weekend 7.14.2009 023.jpgMy idea of Heaven:

All Star Weekend 7.14.2009 049.jpgI didn’t take many pictures during the game as I was intent on taking it all in, sans technology.  I turned off the phone, put the camera away, avoided Bud Light and simply became a kid again.

It was something I will never forget.




  1. juliasrants

    There is NOTHING wrong with being a kid again and you know what? I’m glad you did it! And they are fine looking soldiers; I echo your thanks to them. And thank you for taking us all on trip to the ASG with you!



    Those pics look great. I really wish I could have gone. I have always wanted to but just haven’t had the opportunity. Ichiro is such a great player and I actually think he is underrated. He does not receive anywhere near the credit he deserves. After all, he is one of the greatest hitters in the history of the universe.

  3. redstatebluestate

    Dillon — I did indeed. Hope I can go again sometime.
    Jen — Yeah, but you live in sunny California during the terrible Chicago winters!
    Julia — You’re welcome. I and my military friends certainly appreciate your thoughts/sentiments.
    Moneyball — Just wonder if Pete Rose’s record would be broken had he come up through the big leagues.

  4. redstatebluestate

    Yes, Jane, it really was. Thanks for the ‘stache compliment… though I’m still not convinced it’s me. We’ll see…

  5. redstatebluestate

    Jonestein — Yeah, that’s a Cub/Cards thing. They do the same to us. No harm intended. Just good old fashioned rivalry.

  6. Jane Heller

    Looking good in that stache, Jeff. And did you actually hang out with a Cubs fan? You must have had a few beers! I’m really glad you got to experience the All-Star events, even if you didn’t come back with Erin on your arm. Sounds like it was a fabulous time.

  7. Jonestein

    Wow, great pics. Glad you had such a great experience! I enjoyed everything on the tube, but was getting a little impatient with all the pre-game activities…I wanted the actual game to get underway.
    What was up with the booing of Ted Lily? Was that just a Cubs-Cards rivalry thing? Even if, I thought it was pretty rude of the otherwise welcoming St. Louis crowd.

  8. iliveforthis

    Wow Jeff. I’m glad you had such a good time. Baseball and American go together well, it was an honor to watch the game and exude pride for our country. I was sorry not to see any pictures of you and Erin. You’ll get her next time, as long as that damn restraining order doesn’t get in the way.

  9. redstatebluestate

    Emily — Thanks, but I’m not sure a night in jail is in the cards 😉
    Matthew T — Yes it was. Will never forget it.
    Canuck — Not sure, but I bet Jack Buck will be calling the game.
    Cal — No sweat.
    V — Me too. Too bad I had to grow up as soon as I got back.

  10. rockymountainway

    I had a hard moment when I saw the field on tv and realized I had just been there weeks earlier.I wandered through my minds eye and remembered the way it felt and what I saw. It brought up the realization the journey was over so it was bitter sweet but I thought about you being there and was confident you would be soaking it all in yourself and was happy for you. Looked for you on tv and told the folks I had a buddy sitting in the stands. That was good enough for me : )

  11. redstatebluestate

    Pittpeas — It is something special… more so being there IMO.
    Tom — Just holdin’ the torch for ya, man. Reciprocation is a beautiful thing!

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