She roots, she scores: a take on Front Row Amy
Spent Sunday afternoon being about as close to Front Row Amy as I'll ever get.
My son and I went to the game between the Brewers and D'backs. My season tickets are in the club level--no, not a suite, but in the seats in front of the boxes which are moderately priced by MLB standards and among the best values in Miller Park, what with the small sections, great view, waiter/waitress service and a full service bar--but on this day, I scored ducats on the field level, 11 rows behind home plate.
"Are we by Front Row Amy?" my son, who's 22, asked. Close, I said, about a section over. Sure as shutouts, we saw her make her way to her seat before the first pitch.
For the uninitiated, Amy Williams views almost every Brewers game from the front row behind home plate. She is admittedly easy on the eyes, intriguingly dressed, and apparently a very big tan if last year's interview with the Journal/Sentinel's Jim Stingl is to be believed. During the course of my afternoon in her vicinity, I saw nothing to dispel that. While she seems to get constantly pestered by fans of both genders and all ages, she remains locked on the action on the field.
And, she scores.
It's a lost art, the business of keeping manual track of a game via a scorebook, one that I've practiced most of my adult life and a skill I passed on to both of my kids as well as my wife ( who does quite well once I draw her a diamond with the positions numbered).
This is someone else's work, but it's typical.
My daughter took to it like a duck to water and insists on doing it every time we go. My son's scorecards are a nine-inning exercise in modern calligraphy--anally accurate to the point of looking as if they were professionally printed. My scorecard looks like a chicken with ink on it's claws did the Harlem Shake, but I can read it and, in the end, that's all that counts.
A scorecard costs $2 at Miller Park--a book of blanks is far cheaper but I almost always get mine at the yard--but you see very few fans practicing the dark art any more. Modern scoreboards do a fine job of letting you know what batters did during the course of the evening, but I still enjoy having the hard copy in my lap. It's also a cheap souvenir, a memento of your night at the yard, although I seldom keep any of mine. I've always promised myself that there's a spot on the mancave wall for the one that comes from a Brewers game-seven World Series win or a Milwaukee no-hitter.
Anyone who bothers to keep score is, in my estimation, a baseball fan on another plane (like my radio cohort, Jeff Wagner, who always has a scorecard in hand). . It takes concentration and slavish attention to detail to keep a nine-inning account of a game complete with pitching changes and pinch hitters, not to mention movements around the bases and the rest of the mayhem on the field. I have a hard enough time doing it when I'm taking in a game all by my lonesome or when I'm shooting the breeze with a bud. I can't imagine what it's got to be like for FRA who does her accounting while being distracted by all manner of well-meaning fans.
Which makes me admire her that much more.
No, I don't buy into her claim that she doesn't want to be noticed. One doesn't sit in the front row, in nightly view of the behind-the-mound camera, to blend in with the crowd. And, you don't do a Facebook page flouting your celebrity. Those aren't bad things, but they go against the I'm-just-another-Brewers-diehard motive she claims brings her from the Fox Valley to Milwaukee each night.
What matters is the fact that she's into the game. She claps for every good thing. She's in her perch all night, win or lose, blowout or narrow victory. And, during it all, Front Row Amy is writing it all down. She roots. She scores. In front of God and everyone. From one of the best seats in the house. With plenty of distractions.
And that speaks volumes about FRA.