Ryan Chartrand

It was almost an irresistible temptation.

At first I thought just being in St. Louis during the World Series would be exciting enough to satisfy me. St. Louis is a great baseball town and I knew attending a convention just a few blocks from Busch Stadium would make for an interesting time.

The expectation of sports bars and restaurants jammed with rabid baseball fans cheering on their hometown Cardinals was met quickly that first night. You could actually hear the roar of the crowd inside of the hotel.

But then the rains came and postponed things for a day. However, it didn’t dampen the excitement of the town.

Then came Game 4 (actually the ticket says Game 5 but the rainout caused some changes and confusion). After a dinner with a peer from another California university, we started to head back to the hotel but again there was the roar of the crowd.

Wanting to feel the atmosphere up close, we decided to head to the stadium, but we weren’t the only ones, as many locals crowded around the fences of the new stadium, following the game on large screens inside of the park.

But then the temptation hit – wouldn’t it be great to get inside and actually see a few innings of the game? So we started to hatch our plan. Maybe a generous fan leaving the game would be kind enough to give us their tickets so we could possibly use them to see the rest of the game.

Of course, being university employees, paying the outrageous ticket prices was never even a consideration.

It wasn’t long until we had convinced two ladies leaving the game early to give up their $225 tickets. But we quickly found out the tickets were worthless as once they have been scanned at the gate, they can’t be used again. My co-conspirator then devised another, equally weak plan, which probably is best not put into print, and of course it didn’t work.

Somewhat disappointed, we were on the verge of giving up. But then I remembered a security guard I had met the prior morning while going to buy a Cardinal World Series hat. We had talked for a few minutes before I headed off to the store.

Would he be working tonight, and if he were, would there be anything he could do to help us? I found him at the same gate where he had been the prior morning and to my surprise, he remembered me.

I explained our situation and the fact that if we somehow could get into the stadium, we had seats, thanks to the kind ladies. The guard took pity on us apparently and advised us that if we went down this hallway, went down one flight of stairs and then took the elevator back up one floor, we could walk right into the stadium. It worked and we ventured into the outfield bleachers just as the Cardinals scored the go-ahead run.

No, it wasn’t the first time I was at a World Series game, having covered two as a sports writer in Los Angeles. But it was the first time I had ever snuck into a game for free. And I think that made it even more enjoyable.

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