Friday, August 19, 2011

{ Date #18: Kevin Shiflett }

I kept wondering if one of my dates would take me to a Diamondbacks game. It seemed a logical choice, given that the heat restricts what we can do outside, I like sports, and in the end, it truly is the all-American pastime! I’m not one to watch baseball on TV or check the D-backs stats every day, but I do like to be up on their general performance. This season has been much better for them than the past few years so I felt confident that they had the potential to win.

Kevin is a fan of many sports and someone who has followed the D-backs for so long that he still calls Chase Field the Bank One Ballpark (the BOB), and seems to prefer their old team colors. He’s been with these guys through a lot. It’s always impressive to me when fans have been committed to a team for a long time, over the ups as well as the downs. Kevin’s commitment to the D-backs is a sign of his deep commitment to anything that he believes in – the Gospel of Jesus Christ, serving people, dating. His belief in dating and treating a woman like a lady was very evident from the start of our date. He not only wanted to open my car door when we got in the car, he offered to do so when we got out of the car. He had carefully planned out our date and the purchase of tickets for us. I couldn’t help but feel very special because of his efforts.

In order to get down to Chase Field, Kevin chose to have us ride the light rail. This began operating in Phoenix/Tempe/Mesa, just before the end of 2008. Because of its relatively new nature, I had not yet taken the light rail. I really enjoy taking mass transit at times, as it allows you do some people watching, and be reminded that there are a lot more people in the world than just you in your own little car on the road.

On the ride, Kevin told me about his home away from home in Cancun, Mexico, where he served his mission. He loves the people there so much that he goes back once a year. It was easy to see that he took his mission seriously and I’m sure he served with all his might. We also discussed how learning Spanish on his mission has tremendously blessed him in his career as a police officer.

Once we arrived at the field, we met up with a videographer from Fox News who was going to be doing a spot on The Mormon Bachelorette and a live interview with us, the next night. Fox wanted to get some footage of the date to use in the story. Kevin was very patient as we followed the videographer’s instructions and helped him get what he needed. The film crew does all that they can to be the least intrusive on my dates so that I can focus on the real purpose – getting to know my dates. And they do a great job with it, but sometimes it can’t be avoided. I’m always impressed with each date as they happily go along with it, rather than begrudging the interruption on their timeline.

We were now ready to sit and enjoy the game from our seats. Did I mention that the seats were on the front row, a little out past third base?!? They were incredible seats. Kevin had pulled out all the stops and I really appreciated it. He even tried to get the attention of any player that came near us to see if he could get us a baseball. Always going the extra mile.

As we reached the 7th Inning stretch we stood and joined in for the classic “Take Me Out to the Ballgame”. Throughout the song the cameras were roving the crowd and putting fans up on the big screen. I always enjoy the faces of shock and surprise, and hilarious antics that can often ensue once someone is on camera. I was surprised when I suddenly saw what looked like Kevin and I. It really was odd how it took a moment to register, but there we were, on the big screen! And mind you, the D-backs screen was the largest in the MLB when it was installed in 2008, and I believe it is now dwarfed only by Yankee Stadium’s screen. Talk about a memorable experience!

At the end of the 8th inning, it seemed the D-backs had the win secured, with a 4-2 lead. But the surety was stripped in the top of the 9th when the Indians scored 2 runs. The D-backs had 2 outs when they brought Wily Mo Pena to bat. He looked formidable and it seemed he might have a shot at getting him and the other player on base back home. As he connected with the ball, it was sent soaring into the left outfield stands, getting him a walk-off 2-run home run! The D-backs had won 6-4!! It was an ending fitting for a movie!

The ride home was more docile than the end of the game, but it was nice to keep chatting with Kevin. The conclusion I came to is that Kevin is exactly the kind of guy you want to be on the streets protecting your community. He cares so much, wants to serve, and upholds moral standards. I’m confident that he’s a great cop and I feel better knowing he is watching over the valley that I call home.


korth fam said...

uh oh, no more walk outs, TMB ;)Where'd ya go

Kim Messick said...

I love me some baseball! Nice date!!! Nice guy!!!