The number one thing about me and baseball is that I live for the seventh inning stretch.
It is the highlight of the game for me, every game.
You should see the enthusiasm with which I sing “Take Me Out To The Ball Game.” On second thought, I hope you never see it. Maybe my sister is the only person who should ever be allowed to see that.
Except for the odd time we’re treated to “The Good Ol’ Hockey Game,” at NHL games, the seventh inning stretch is the only time in life where I get to be truly myself. The purest version of who I am is unleashed in those few seconds and sometimes I wonder if I go to baseball games just for the stretch. It might be so.
The best thing about the Dodgers press box is that it’s right beside the organist. It’s a seventh-inning-stretch-lovers dream. It is paradise.
Of course when you’re doing something professional for the first time you don’t want to be giddy with excitement. And for most of the game I was able to keep my cool. I really was. But I couldn’t hide it during the seventh inning stretch. I had to get out my phone and take a video.
— Jolene Latimer (@jojolats) May 24, 2017
Other than that though, I did pretty good with not looking like a giant noob. My outfit — a plain black jumpsuit — was the perfect choice. I got two compliments on it. I fit right in.
We told everyone it was my first Dodgers game instead of my first baseball game in general. This is how you act like you’ve been there before while still expressing genuine excitement about not having been there before — crafty word trick I’d like to claim as my own but was really the idea of the person I was working with.
“Kershaw’s pitching,” she said, “you’re never supposed to say this because it’ll jinx us — but this game will go fast.”
It looked like she was right. But baseball isn’t the most superstitious sport for no reason. At the top of the ninth with the Dodgers leading 1-0 the Cardinals scored a run on a wild Kershaw pitch to tie the game and send us into what would become four extra innings. It gave me extra time to enjoy the experience. A lot of extra time.
It took Logan Forsythe — who had just come off the DL and struck out at every other at-bat that game — to finally get a hit for a walk-off double in the 13th inning to end the game.
The end of the game for me meant my first time in the clubhouse interviewing players. It was pretty surreal to think I was one of those people: a journalist in the clubhouse after a game. Especially because I’m a woman — and it’s definitely within my lifetime that a woman in the clubhouse or locker room was not a normal thing. Mad props to the ladies who came before me and made this so doable.
Speaking of women — there were five of us in the press box the other night. Go us! Nasty.
It was such an exciting and empowering night — and I haven’t felt that way in so long. Now I’m about to go do it all again in just a few hours.
So wish me luck and keep your eyes on my IG story because I promise more organist updates and an upcoming blog about the food you get in the press box or any other behind-the-scenes questions you may have.
Gotta run… I got outfits to pick out.