A Day to Remember
By: Michael F. Buono
When my dad told me that I had been picked to be a reporter for the Nats "Kids Run the Show" day, I was psyched. I couldn't wait. I made questions for every player on the active roster, so I would be prepared to interview anybody. The night before, I couldn't sleep because I was so excited. I just stared at the ceiling.
When I woke up on July 9, 2006, I was about to experience one of the best days of my life. We were escorted into the stadium through the stands, and I got to go on the field two hours before game time. It was awesome. The dugout itself was breathtaking with the shiny wooden bench. It was great to see the bats with the numbers of the players on them and the helmets with batting gloves inside.
Soon it was my turn to interview rookie pitcher Billy Bray. There were many cameras and a big puffy microphone. I knew that Billy had received his first major league win by throwing only one pitch, and then Brian Schneider threw out a base-stealer. I asked him about that, and he chuckled. Another of my questions was, "If you were stranded on an island and you had to choose three people to be with you, who would they be?" He answered, "My fiancé, my dog, and Chad Cordero." I thought that was an interesting group! Billy was very nice and gracious throughout the interview, and afterwards he signed my ball and took a picture with me.
After the interview, my fellow reporter (and terrific baseball fan), Shawn Largent, and I were given a tour of the field, including the camera angles, bullpens, and box seats. It was unbelievable. The field looks so much bigger when you are actually on it than when you are in the stands. Later we road on the press elevator and were able to explore the press box. We met the official scorer and then went down to the TV truck. We were able to switch camera views on the real TV and make replays in slow motion. It was so cool.
After that, we went back on the field, and they announced the names of all the kids participating in "Kids Run the Show" day. It was amazing to hear my name over the loudspeaker. Then, as we were about to go back up to the press box for the first inning, Alfonso Soriano, my favorite player ever, came up out of the locker room and into the dugout. I asked a staff member if Shawn and I could ask him for an autograph. I was thrilled when Alfonso signed my ball in the Nats dugout. I will keep that ball forever.
After that, we went up to the press box to watch the first inning. I was instructed not to cheer. That was hard, especially when Jose Vidro ended the top of the first inning with an amazing catch, and when Nick Johnson hit a three run homer in the bottom half of the inning. For the rest of the game, I sat in the stands with my dad and my brother Vincent. It was so exciting to see part of my interview with Billy Bray play on the giant screen when Billy came in to pitch! Luckily, my dad was able to videotape that. Even though the Nationals lost the game, 10 to 9, I still can say that this was one of the best days of my life, and I am really grateful that I was given such a wonderful opportunity. Go Nats!