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Out to the Ballgame

Out to the Ballgame

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Published by Tom S

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Published by: Tom S on Jun 03, 2010
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3 of 3 DOCUMENTSSarasota Herald-Tribune (Florida)March 4, 2000, Saturday, ALL EDITIONS
Out to the ballgame;Thousands of spectators enjoy watching the Reds . . .and some guy named Griffey
BYLINE:
Tom Spalding STAFF WRITER
SECTION:
A SECTION, Pg. 1A
LENGTH:
593 wordsThe score after two innings on Friday for 8-year-old Scott Folz: threerapidly devoured hot dogs, one missed day of school and zero yells fromspectators to sit down."One to nothing!" the Bradenton boy yelled from his grandfather's knees asthe Cincinnati Reds scored the first run of their spring training season."Yeaaaaaaa!"It's true that the crowd of 3,439 came to Ed Smith Stadium to watch theReds-Twins game and Ken Griffey Jr.'s debut with the Reds, but Opening Day'sstories were in the stands:* Salesman Chris Lee, 35, of Sarasota, who caught a white Reds T-shirt - yes,a shirt - that had been catapulted into the stands as part of a promotion. Butjust as quickly, he flipped the clothing into the lap of an appreciative man ina wheelchair."In one motion, a double play combination," said his friend, Steve Ligon, 34,also of Sarasota.* Ryan Santoro, 7, and his brother, Philip, 10, vacationing from Cincinnati,whose Sean Casey outfits and peppy outlook got them plucked from the crowd to behonorary ballboys this week. Days of fetching equipment and receiving advicefrom Reds' players Dante Bichette, Barry Larkin and Eddie Taubensee left animpact."They'd rather come watch the Reds than go on the beach," said proud motherChris Santoro.* Harold and Phyllis Perlman of Youngstown, Ohio, who searched for gifts for13 grandchildren up North.The couple helped deplete concessionaire Frank Pilarowksi's supply of keyrings, but he had plenty of other souvenirs to offer - $ 5 luggage tags, $ 6Griffey balls, $ 15 stuffed dolls, $ 20 Griffey shirts and $ 20 baby shoes -Page 1
 
yes, baby shoes.It didn't really matter to children as long as "it has 'Reds' on it," PhyllisPerlman said.Dan Woodring's souvenir was free but memorable. A Minnesota Twins playersmacked a foul ball that bounced off the press box behind home plate and intothe 26-year-old Cincinnatian's arms.Of course, some people didn't need to take home paid merchandise. Most peoplewere content with a 24-ounce, $ 4.50 beer and a $ 2.75 bratwurst, hurrying fromtheir baby-blue seats to snap a picture of Griffey taking his turn at bat.Ushers were quite accommodating.Said Pat Calhoon, the city's sports facilities manager, "Everybody is herefor the fans."The Santoros were especially pleased. The family of four was watching anintrasquad game on Wednesday when a member of the Reds organization - seeing theboys wearing replicas of Reds uniforms - invited them to be batboys, gettingequipment and helping out on the field."I've never been in the dugout before. I think it's very fun because you cantalk with the players," Ryan said."The umpire will give us signs with his fingers as to how many balls heneeds," said Philip.Scott Folz, who was joined by his brother A.J., 15, father Gary andgrandfather Walter, took part in a long family tradition. Gary Folz said thefamily has had front-row seats in section 107 since Ed Smith Stadium opened. TheFolzes have kept those seats even after their beloved Chicago White Sox departedin 1997. They've become loyal Reds fans, mostly because of the Reds'accessibility.Gary Folz admitted that he let Scott play hooky from school in ManateeCounty.A.J., who had a legitimate day off from school, says he enjoys watching theReds play because he's frequently chatted and shook hands with Reds firstbaseman Sean Casey."That's what is supposed to happen," A.J. said.Staff writer Tom Spalding can be contacted at 957-5195 ortom.spalding@herald-trib.com.
LOAD-DATE:
March 5, 2000
LANGUAGE:
ENGLISH
GRAPHIC:
PHOTO 3(2C;Cincinnati Reds outfielder Ken Griffey Jr. hits a foul ball in the firstinning of the season opener at Ed Smith Stadium in Sarasota on Friday. BaseballPage 2Out to the ballgame; Thousands of spectators enjoy watching the Reds . . . andsome guy named Griffey Sarasota Herald-Tribune (Florida) March 4, 2000,Saturday,

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