(Editor’s note: TBPC would like to welcome aboard another new member to the writing team, Jeremy Davis. Jeremy will primarily be conveying his own hands-on, personal perspectives in relation to the Tulsa Drillers, as well as occasional reflections involving the other minor league affiliates. Be sure to check back often, as Jeremy hopes to frequently publish many more insightful articles.)
In 2001, I made a tough decision in life… I moved away from my family and 1,539 miles away from my piece of heaven. Dodger Stadium was a place I spent many a summer night with my friends out in the bleacher seats, eating Dodger Dogs and cheering on the Boys in Blue. My new location was deep in the heart of Cardinal territory and boy was it strange. I was a blue dot in a sea of red.
I remember the day I found out that my Dodgers had changed their AA and AAA affiliate to be within a few hours of me. I checked to see if we could swing season tickets, could we move there ASAP and how many times they would be in Springfield, Mo. The answers were no, not right now and 18 games. 1 out of 3 wasn’t bad, right? We decided to become partial season ticket holders to the Springfield Cardinals with seats behind the visitor’s dugout for every game the Tulsa Drillers were in town.
Opening weekend we took a road trip to Tulsa for opening night at OneOK Field. Opening night was full of everything picture with Corey Seager, tweet on the scoreboard and a nice Drillers win. The next night it was on to OKC for the next game. Kiké, Bolsinger and Dodger dogs. My wife is no rookie when it come to my Dodger fandom but this made it all more apparent my love for the team. Two wins, great food and amazing memories.
That first season in Tulsa was full of highs for me with very few lows. Every game I left the park with a smile on my face win or lose because of the experience. Whether a game ball signed by Julio Urias, being photobombed by Nate Samson or tickets left by a player there was always something new at every game. As the season went on I became a familiar face for the Tulsa Drillers players and coaches when they were in town. That first season we collected signed balls, bats, hundreds of pictures and player interactions that will last us a lifetime. Oh and we met Tommy freaking Lasorda. With season 2 on the horizon, I decided it was time to share my adventures with all and hopefully pass along some souvenirs.