Category Archives: Kids Starting Lineup

Kids Starting Lineup – Behind the Scenes

A behind the scenes look at Alan’s MLB debut:

The day was made possible by Robbie and Jill winning an auction that allowed Alan to be in the Kids Starting Lineup.  We found out the great news on April 17th.  Alan was thrilled when I told him over the phone that day.  I can still hear the happy sound in his voice while saying “Whaat!?” when I told him the Indians need him on the field before the game.

On April 19th Alan created artwork which depicts his family driving to Progressive Field to see him on the field.  In the drawing, there’s a Hyundai (Daddy), Honda (Robbie and Jill), and Mercedes (Grandma Debbie and Papa) clearly marked on Alan’s highway.

On April 22nd Alan wrote a thank you note to Robbie and Jill and a separate letter to the Indians (pictured above), which we mailed to Progressive Field that day.  Also on the 22nd, we bought his very first Indians jersey for the occasion — which he wanted to model with Tyler!

On April 24th Alan and I practiced finding all 9 positions on a baseball field diagram.  We also reviewed throughout the week.

On April 30th Alan’s big day went off without a hitch.  It was warm and sunny at game time, despite a forecast calling for isolated thunderstorms.  It had also rained for most of the previous two days.  Alan’s cheering section saved the day, since I was not positioned as close to Alan as I thought I would be.

On May 1st I received the following email reply from Chris Antonetti, after having sent him a scan of Alan’s letter & artwork and a recent photo:

“Thanks for the note, the letter from Alan, and the picture.  It’s cool to see Alan sporting his Tribe gear and be so engaged with the team.  I hope Alan enjoyed the Kids Starting Lineup experience yesterday.  All the best, Chris”

On May 2nd Mrs. Feldman shared the photo of Alan running the bases with Alan’s kindergarten class!  When I asked Alan how he felt about that, he smiled and commented “the whole class was looking at me!”  I asked if that made him proud and he said “yes.”  We also joked together that Alan must’ve left a cloud of dust behind him because it looks like he’s running so fast (Alan loves when we say that).

Other notes:

-Alan received two complimentary tickets for the game, which he and I used to enter.

-Alan found out he was assigned to 3B and Jose Ramirez upon arriving at the Terrace Club (the designated meeting area).  Alan was very excited to be assigned to 3B because it was a position he had played during spring baseball.  He told me that 3B was the position he was hoping he’d get.

-Alan and I entered the field from the third base line seats next to the Indians dugout.  I exited the field from the door directly behind home plate.  The kids left the same way they came onto the field.

-Parents had to leave the field a little early (before the kids) so Tomlin could start his warm-up pitches on the mound. The Indians’ field team thought we were at risk of being hit by an errant throw.  However, just before the National Anthem, Robinson Cano and Kyle Seager played catch right next to us.

-After Alan’s photo reached the Indians website on Sunday evening, it was also posted to Indians Facebook and Twitter the next day.

-When I asked Alan to share how he felt about the Kids Starting Lineup experience overall, he said he was both nervous and excited.  And, oh yeah, he’d like to do it again sometime.  🙂

Tribe Game No. 1 of 2017 – Kids Starting Lineup

On April 30th, 2017 Alan made his major league debut at Progressive Field, playing third base and batting 4th in the Kids Starting Lineup!  Here’s the timeline and recap of Alan’s eventful day:

11:09 –11:39 – Alan and his traveling party ride to the ballpark aboard the RTA Green Line. When Alan arrives at Tower City, he eats his pregame meal: A soft pretzel (his favorite baseball food).

12:10 – Alan enters the ballpark and meets up with the other 7 kids in the starting lineup at the Terrace Club elevators.  A few minutes later, the kids (and parents) head down to the field level and set up on the track behind home plate.

12:20 – Mickey Calloway rolls baseballs to the kids from the Indians dugout.

12:30 – Alan’s cheering section finds him behind home plate; many photos are taken.

12:53 – The kids line up in order and head down the left field line for the National Anthem.  Alan’s cheering section shifts with him.

12:57 – The Hot Dogs and Slider greet the kids while they wait to take the field.

1:03 – The Kids Starting Lineup is announced by Sara Shookman of Channel 3 News and Alan runs out to third base!  Video of the action was captured from the third base seats and from behind home plate (Jumbotron in view).

1:08 – The Indians take the field, and Alan meets Jose Ramirez!  Alan gets an autographed ball from Ramirez before heading off the field.

1:10 – Josh Tomlin throws the first pitch and the Indians game is underway.  The temperature at first pitch is 76 degrees, though it feels much warmer in the sun.

1:20 – Alan and I are reunited under the stadium, and we return to the main concourse to meet up with the family.

1:35 – Now on the family deck, Alan picks up his 2017 Tribe Town MVP souvenirs and enters the Kids Clubhouse.

2:00 – The Indians begin an 8-run rally in the bottom of the 3rd inning – their highest scoring inning since May 2015.

2:10 – Jose Ramirez, likely inspired by Alan, tags and scores on a shallow pop-fly to RF with an incredible tag-avoiding slide.

2:15 – Alan orders the largest box of popcorn either of us has ever seen.

2:20 – Brantley caps the Indians’ 8-run outburst with a 2-run HR to right field.

2:40 – Alan returns to the family deck activities after eating lunch.  He climbs the Lofton wall and hits at Little League Park.

3:10 – Alan beats [simulated] Slider in a footrace and tests his pitching accuracy.

3:40 – This picture is taken:  🙂

4:00– Alan enters the “Kids Run the Bases” line and moves towards the front with his Tribe Town MVP badge.

4:08 – Indians record the final out and beat the Mariners 12-4.

4:15 – Alan circles the bases in record time!  He also coaxes me out of retirement, and I struggle to keep up.  Later a photo of Alan appears on the Indians website in their game recap photo gallery. 🙂

4:20 – Alan stops for some finals photos. He also plays photographer and takes a few photos of his traveling party – plus some selfies – to wrap up the day at the ballpark.

5:04 – 5:32 – We return home on RTA.  Afterwards, Alan wants to watch the train until it leaves the station, which we do because it’s his day.