In what has become a ritual of summer, I find myself attending at least one Phillies game a season with the dynamic duo of Steve Fischer and Rod Powell. We didn’t even wait for summer this time as yesterday’s spring temps mimicked a Philly summer night without the baggage of humidity and mosquitos.

Steve is a native New Yorker and a Mets fan. Rod is a walking encyclopedia of Phillies baseball and an avid Phillies fan. I’m just a guy who loves baseball and acts like a kid when I’m in a big league stadium.

I hate driving at all costs and Rod isn’t allowed to drive because he is 100% legally blind. Being the executive he is, Steve made the executive decision to drive. Without going into any detail, the vehicle he choose to drive made me feel like I was a member of the Blues Brothers during our 20 minute romp up I-95.

Bringing a blind guy to the ball park has its privileges. First, we got Super VIP parking. We could almost touch first base when we stepped out the car. We got to ride the VIP elevator. And when we found our section, Super Executive Steve Fischer went right into negotiation mode with the usher. Instead of having to help Rod navigate the stairs, we managed to have the entire handicapped section to ourselves sitting in comfy folding chairs with enough leg room to set up a king size bed.

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Relief pitchers Rod Powell and Steve Fischer stay game-ready by inhaling crab fries from Chickies and Petes

Obviously, Rod can’t see the game but that trusty transistor radio is all he needs to keep up with the action, even though he did get frustrated at times when we were reacting to another Mets home run before the delayed broadcast came across the radio seconds later.

Because he’s listening to the radio, he hears things that we can’t see on the field like who’s in the bull pen, the pinch batter on deck, or what the manager ate for breakfast that morning.

With Rod feeding us the radio babble and us trying to describe to him what a Lucas Duda 448 foot monster home run shot to dead center field looks like when it goes over the fence, then over those 2 huge walls with ivy, then plucking someone on the head when it comes back to earth onto the concourse – there’s never a dull moment between the three of us.

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Rod doesn’t miss a thing while listening to the play-by-play on the radio but I’d love for there to be a way to describe to him the beauty of the full moon peeking thru the right field corner

As far as baseball goes, a 14-4 romp wouldn’t be considered a good game unless you’re rooting for your favorite Mets player to hit his 4th home run of the game, or you’re among the group of rowdy blue shirt fans remaining in the stadium after all the silent red shirt fans are surely home tucked in their beds due to their early exit.

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In true ‘diehard fan’ fashion, Rod stands during the 7th inning stretch and sing every word to ‘Take Me Out To The Ballgame’

As a baseball fan, I can’t help but to notice new things and act like I’m a coach. As a result…

  • I had never seen a guy tag from first base after a pop up foul ball behind the plate. Way to go you sleeping Phillies.
  • I told the Phillies to intentionally walk Yoenis Cespedes right before he launched his 3rd home run of the night. How stupid was that?
  • I told the Phillies runner who wasn’t being held at first base to trot over to second base since they were literally inviting him to it. If he did, that base hit to center would have scored him and the Phillies would have lost by a respectable 14-5.

We, and about 17 others, stayed till the last out. We took the VIP elevator down. We made the short walk to the VIP parking lot. We got back to Chester in record time.

The final lesson I learned from the blind man named Rod, is that he recognizes when he’s back in Chester when the car hits the ‘Chester Bump’ coming off the Widener exit.

Take me out to the ballgame with those two guys anytime. It’s always a blast.