As I shuffled into the office this morning, sluggish from an Independence Day weekend perfectly overflowing with sun, play, swimming, boating, food, beer, music, family, friends and major league baseball, I couldn’t help but think what a dang lucky bugger I am.
The Tribe Social Deck Experience
After wrapping up the patio roof project on Saturday afternoon, we executed the rapid-fire shower, shave and escape plan and headed up to Cleveland on a perfect summer day to enjoy a visit to Progressive Field, recently ranked #1 in an SI poll, and to participate in the Tribe Social Deck.
We arrived early and enjoyed a visit to A.J. Rocco’s, the downtown bistro at 816 Huron Road owned by the Cleveland Coffee Company. They’ve got a friendly staff, a dedication to making a difference in the community, a great selection of bottled beer, and the best homemade hummus I’ve had with the exception of the stuff my Greek friend makes.
Off to the Ballpark
After making a dent in our post patio-roofing hunger and thirst, we headed over to the ballpark. The tickets for the Tribe Social Deck were there waiting for us at the Will Call window at Gate B as Rob Campbell had promised, and we quickly and easily found our way to the Social Deck where Rob was waiting to greet us personally. Introductions ensued, and then Rob provided some printed information regarding the Indians team (Did you know that Travis Haffner is 10th on the Indians all-time HR list?), an overview of the technology options of the Deck and the schedule for the evening.
Our host had to leave for awhile and make his professional rounds up at the press box. In his absence, the five couples on the Deck enjoyed the game and socialized. (We were able to get away with this and remain engaged in home game action due to the TV in the corner broadcasting the game on a seven-second delay. Sweet.) The networking that ensued was as entertaining as heck.
Our Groovy Tribe Social Deck Group
Robert, previous risk management specialist, now Twitter marketer for hire, and his girlfriend Carol had come up from Columbus, where they both reside. Since my daughter attends college there at CCAD and we have family in that area, we yammered about everything from social media to the Columbus art scene and the number of tattoos we have. While yammering, Robert asked where I was from and I mentioned that I graduated high school in Richmond Heights (1982). To that, Carrie Wing, a graphic designer with Boondock Walker, whipped around from the seat in front of me and exclaimed that she had also graduated from Richmond Heights (1996, young whipper snapper)! Small world, she said, and that got us talking about the neighborhood and all kinds of old memory lane stuff (Go Spartans!). I also got to chat with Jason Burchaski who’s busy Blogging about his Cleveland experience.
Ketchup, Mustard and Onion
In between, we enjoyed a great game including the traditional mid-game race between Ketchup, Mustard and Onion in which Ketchup won handily (but I was rooting for Mustard). Following a lengthy 4-4 tie through most of the second half, the Indians earned an exciting 5-4 win in the 10th inning followed by a great fireworks display that Tribe Social Deck guests got to watch from the Visitors Dugout on the opposite side of the park. All in all, a great night.
My Small Wish List
I do have a small wish list of improvements for the Deck. First, the Deck is small. Although the seats have been installed in rows leaving good visibility and comfortable leg room, even for my guest who’s 6’2″, the seats have been installed in two rows of just five seats each – an odd number. That made it very uncomfortable for the last couple to arrive who had to be separated in order to be seated. No one likes that. It makes everyone feel bad.
Second, the flat screen TV in the right-hand corner of the Deck broadcasting the game was very small. I was wishing for something a tad bigger than what’s in my living room now, and that’s not saying much.
Lastly, I was wishing for at least one beverage coupon for each of us. A 12-ounce beer at the ballpark is $7.75. Eek gads. I know I sound like the thrifty, small business-owning post-depression era 40-something by saying this, but I can buy a six for that at home.
Thank You, Tribe!
But look, I’m grateful. Our host, Rob Campbell, could not have been more charming, and the Deck experience did what it’s supposed to do. It got us social media Tribe fan types to the ballpark to participate in something that is a marketing innovation with a side dish of networking and general summer brew-ha-ha. Sincere thanks go out to Rob and the Indians PR & Marketing team for giving us the opportunity, and I will look forward to next time. Like I said, I’m a dang lucky bugger.