The Tulsa Drillers came to San Antonio at the end of May. After attending the first two games of the series, we went to the last game since I got free tickets as part of some military night promotion.
After the game one of the photographers, Stephanie, was asking if we were going to Corpus Christi to see Roger Clemens return. A random strangers walked up and said something to us about it but we said we didnâ€™t think we would be able to. (Hey guy tickets were sold out to this event minutes after it was announced)
About ten minutes or so later he came back up to us and said that â€śif youâ€™re serious about going to Corpus give me a call. Iâ€™ll get you tickets.â€ť After exchanging numbers and names,Â Â Kaiser caught the team bus and was gone.
We were a little surprised about the whole thing. The next day at work I checked to see who were the scheduled pitchers for the game. For the Hooks it was Josh MueckeÂ and of course for the Tulsa Drillers Mark Kaiser.
After finding out that Kaiser was starting we started getting the urge to go to the game. Corpus Christi is jut a couple hours south of San Antonio, and a trip to the bench would be welcomed. We packed a few clothes and stopped off for a quick bite to eat at Burger King. I had the Tendercrisp Chicken and Carrie and the Chicken fries.
I know some starting pitchers have rituals they go though to get ready for the game. We called the number he had given us and sure enough he answered. I told him I just realized that he was pitching tonight and that we were interested in coming to the game. He again got my name and said that he would leave us tickets at the gate.
We arrived in Corpus a few hours later. About 20 or so minutes before the game started we were finally able to get in.
Kaiser pithced 6 innings allowing three runs and the Drillers were victorious.
After the game was over we found the area in which the visiting team players exited and waited for our â€śbuddyâ€ť Marc to come out.Â After watching just about the whole team come out Marc arrived.
We talked for a few minutes and offered us tickets to the following days game. Seeing that we had already packed our bathing suites there was no way we were going to say no. The beach awaited. We slept in a Wal-Mart parking lot that night.
The following day we went to the beach and visited some sites. After all this was our first trip to Corpus anyway.
That evening we went to the game and again talked to Kaiser afterwards. Again he offered tickets, perhaps being a bit greedy we again accepted. Another night sleeping in the parking lot of a Wal-Mart followed.
Before the final game of the series started we asked if he would pose with us for a photo. Another lady was nice enough to take a photo of the three of us. Carried asked if he could get her a ball or a bat or something. We watched the game, the Drillers won and completed a sweep.
After the game Ubaldo Jimenez, Manuel Corpas and Alvin Colina had been dancing. Being a goof I went over and joked about a sweep and then did a bit of a dance as if I was pushing a broom. Confused they looked at me and Colina asked â€śwhat was that?â€ť. Iâ€™d guess the dance wasnâ€™t too cool to them.
Kaiser came out and handed me a bat. We got him to sign it. Juding from the fact that he handed it to us, his number 30 was inscribed on the knob and that he signed it It is safe to assume that it was his. We gave him a goodie bag that we had pieced together featuring candy, a beanie baby andÂ a card. He asked us about our plans and we told him that we had to go back to work. I think itâ€™s alright though. The Drillers were set to go back to Tulsa anyway.
A second sighting
On our way back from our wedding we stopped in Springfield to watch a game between the Cardinals and the Wichita Wranglers. Following that game we were off to Arkansas to see the Travelers and the Drillers play. A few hours before the game started I gave Marc a call to let him know we were in town. He didnâ€™t answer.
After the game when the players came out we again spoke to Kaiser. He asked us what was new and we told him that we got married a few days ago. He talked to us for a good 10 minutes and then left for the bus.
Drillers come back to San Antonio
It wasnâ€™t until August that the Drillers came back to San Antonio. In between innings Marc came up and talked to us. He remembered us, and some of the things we told him. We invited him over for lunch after the game but he said he had to go to the gym and to call him the following day. We did but received no answer.
A bit let down we attended the last game of the series between the Missions and the Drillers. After the game Kaiser informed us that he had lost his phone down by the Riverwalk. I suppose when they drained the thing this year they will find it. That or it got eaten by the mudmonster. Kaiser then headed for the bus but forgot something. After running back to the clubhouse the bus left without him. It was a little amusing to watch him chase after the bus. Ha!
The bat remains in our posession. After all it would be rude to sell something that was given to you. If Kaiser stays in the Colorado Rockies organization and in the minor leagues there a good chance we will visit Round Rock when Colorado Springs comes through.