© Kerri Stewart
I was introduced to baseball at a fairly young age and immediately was hooked. I remember watching the Blue Jays with my Auntie Margaret at Grand Beach on her old black and white TV with rabbit ears. We spent many a raining afternoon/evening in front of that old TV. Then it happened…my dad (who is no longer with us) took me to my first game and the old Winnipeg Stadium and I’ve never looked back. Since then the Goldeyes changed my life. The energy that radiated from the crowd with something I could never find the words to describe. From the cheers and chants to the smells of hot dogs and popcorn to the action packed plays on the field, it was official, I was in love.
Fast forward a few years to 1999 when the new ballpark was built at its current location for the Pam-Am Games. The atmosphere at the new location was out of this world and I knew I had found my home away from home away from home. Due to my work schedule I was not able to be a season ticket holder but still tried to attend as many games as possible. It wasn’t until 2006 that things changed and I was able to attend more and more games. By the end of the 2007 season I had attended 47 home games and travelled to Fargo twice to see them play our arch rivals The RedHawks *spits*. It was then that I made the decision to buy season tickets. Section S was to become my home on the advice of Dennis (who worked in the box office) and what advice that was.
The 2008 season started off with a Season Ticket holder meet and greet BBQ with the players. Partway through the season I started meeting fellow season ticket holders around the park that I recognized from the party. A “stupid” question launched me into a friendship with Jim and Angela that to this day I treasure. As the season continued I found myself moving further outside my comfort zone and talking to more and more people and (air) high fiving fellow fans that were a few rows behind us. That struck up another cherished friendship with Carole and her mom Joanne. I now had a baseball family. Small but exactly what I needed.
Fast Forward again to 2012. I had the pleasure of enjoying a game from the SkySuites and noticed someone was sitting in my regular seat. Being silly I made a comment that I can not repeat in this blog as it may have contained a bad word. Lol. The next day I was back in my regular seat when this guy turned to me and asked if that was where I always sat at games and I responded with “yes, I’m a season ticket holder”. Conversation continued for a while and eventually he revealed he was the guy who was in my seat the night before. I told him what I had said in the Suite and he laughed and we have been the best of friends since. This guys name is Ryan and is now one of my best friends. In 2012, as everyone knows, the Goldeyes won the Championship and everyone I had met came together to celebrate. It was one of the best moments of my life and was repeated again in 2016!
Over the years my baseball family has grown (and shrunk and grown again). I met Marlene, Janine, Mickey, Brenda, Tara and of course Chuck, all staples around the park. I have a special bond with Alex W (one of the amazing fan service staff) and I have become friends with a lot of the players and been lucky enough to stay friends and keep in touch with most of them.
The Goldeyes have been a major part of my life for the last decade and I can not wait to continue on this journey with you all.