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The Phillies spend some memorable moments with their grandsons


I’m going to take another leap of faith this weekend.
Sunday morning will mark my sixth appearance in the Escape the Cape Triathlon, a unique race that begins with participants jumping 12 feet off the front of a Cape May-Lewes Ferry boat in Delaware Bay.
It’s been three years since my last dive. Escape 2020 has been canceled due to Covid-19. I was registered for 2021 last August, but an eye injury led me to anticipate this Sunday’s edition.
My 64 year old knees required me to make some adjustments. Instead of doing the Sprint Triathlon event – a 0.35 mile swim, a 12 mile bike, a 5k run – I switched to the Sprint Aqua Bike, so my run will be over after the swim legs and bike, thus saving prevents me from running/jogging/walking and maybe even crawling on a running course which will include several sections of sand.
There are things I will miss skipping the race. Most of the course takes place on the bay’s waterfront, where crowds gather to cheer on friends and loved ones. My highlight, however, always comes during the bike part. The route takes runners past my son and daughter-in-law’s house. I can always count on my grandsons Hampton (6) and Graham (4) to be on the sidewalk and offer their “Poppy” encouragement and maybe even some water. This year they will be joined by their little brother Nixon (7 months), although he is probably too busy eating, sleeping or playing to notice.
Speaking of grandsons, we had a blast at the Phillies game last Sunday. The Phils staged a spectacular rally to complete a three-game sweep over Mike Trout and the Angels, even though we were home when Bryce Harper hit a grand slam in the eighth inning and Bryce Stott won it with a three-point walk-off. dinger on the ninth.
We left the Lower Township at 11:15 a.m. and quickly joined hundreds of people fleeing the 347 North after a weekend on the Jersey Shore. We hadn’t gone 10 miles before Hampton and Graham asked, “Are we there yet?” We went through the Citizens Bank Park turnstiles at 1:35 p.m., just as the game started.
The boys lasted five innings, which was actually a bit longer than expected. We had great seats – row 15 in section 113 along the right field line – but we didn’t sit there much. The day included two trips to the team store to buy souvenirs and two visits to the ice cream stand in mini batting helmets. There would have been only one ice cream stop, but Graham dropped his treat on the way back to the seat. That meant dad (my son Kyle) had to reverse race uphill for another scoop of chocolate chips while I sat with the boys and balanced some soft pretzels and drinks on my lap while the Hampton’s ice cream was running down my thigh.
But I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
That’s being Poppy.


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