My first World Series game

Tuesday, November 2, 2021

-Clint Manry

Last Friday I paid a monumental price for what many non-sports fans would call only “entertainment”. I spent thousands of dollars to sit inside a packed stadium of drunken strangers. I was cold, wet, and my view of the playing field was average at best. But I was as happy as I could be. I was at the World Series.

There’s been a lot of complaining about the ticket prices for this year’s World Series between the Braves and Astros, especially the prices of Games 3, 4 and 5, which were all in Atlanta. I agree, they were insane — as high as $1,000 apiece for just a standing-room-only ticket. It’s ridiculous… and it should be illegal. But I don’t regret it a bit.

And let me tell ya, I relished the opportunity. I bought a few $15 beers and ate a $30 cheeseburger combo. Hell, I already had over two-grand invested in the experience – what’s another couple hundred more, right? Honestly, I spent stupid money for what essentially amounted to a night’s worth of “entertainment”, right?. I’ll never get that money back. But I just don’t care.

For those of you kicking yourself for not going to any of the games this past weekend: don’t feel bad. I almost didn’t go either. My original plan was to just drive down to The Battery, get a nice spot at one of the restaurants, and watch the game on TV. But I just couldn’t help myself. I had to be in there. And I’m sooo glad I was.

For one, the atmosphere inside Truist during such a significant game is like nothing I’ve ever experienced. I’ve never been to a postseason game… of any kind. I’ve been to an Iron Bowl, but other than that, my in-person experience has been limited to a handful of regular season Braves games per year, plus maybe a few minor league contests. I’ve never been a part of such an electric environment like that. It’s as if the entire stadium was feeding off one another. All 41,000 plus.

The weather was shit. It was cold, and it spit rain off and on literally the entire game. It was NOT a beautiful night for baseball. But it wouldn’t have mattered if it was 20 degrees and spitting snow, there was no possible way I could’ve had a bad time that night.

As I’m sure you know: the Braves won that Game 3 2-0, thanks to five (effectively wild) no-hit innings by starter Ian Anderson and utter dominance by the bullpen. An RBI double by Austin Riley early and a solo-homer from Travis d’Arnaud late was all Atlanta needed on offense. The national media complained about the action-less contest – even claiming it was a perfect example of what was wrong with baseball. But as usual, the national media was wrong. The game, and the win, was amazing. Houston – the best offense in the majors during the regular season — managed all of two hits.

I left the stadium late that night feeling as if I had just witnessed something sacred, and even though the trek back to the car took way longer than it should have, I didn’t mind. The satisfaction of seeing The Battery still very much alive was almost as enjoyable as the game itself. Obnoxiously drunk kids roaming the streets wasn’t even all that bad. Everybody was simply too happy to really care.

The conclusion of my World Series experience wasn’t as fascinating, though. Because of the high-priced tickets, there wasn’t any money in the budget for a hotel room, which meant it was time for a long drive home or a long nap in the car. To my surprise, the latter wasn’t that bad. I still managed to stay at a Holiday Inn that night, even though I never enjoyed the pleasures of its indoor facilities. You only live once, right?

The Braves have a chance to end this tonight in Houston. Unfortunately, I won’t be there (I’m not that crazy), and if a Game 7 is necessary… I won’t be there for that either. But I can now at least say I’ve done it. I’ve been to a friggin World Series game. And if you’re even considering it, I suggest you one day attend one as well.

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