KINGSPORT — The Times News handed out about 200 free tickets to Wednesday’s Kingsport Mets game, but it’s unlikely that anyone had more fun than 87-year-old Barbara Bell, who attended her first professional baseball game in 30 years.
Barbara is originally from Rochester, N.Y., and she and her husband regularly used to attend Rochester Red Wings games. The Rochester team is currently the Twins’ AAA affiliate, but was most likely the Orioles’ AAA club when the Bells were going.
Barbara and her daughter Debbie Bell attended Wednesday’s game with their “God given sisters” Debbie Campbell and Gina Turner.
After the game, Kirk intercepted the ladies in the tunnel on their way out of the stadium and presented Barbara with that game ball.
Barbara had admired the Mets jersey she got to wear as a prop while posing for a KTN “Happy Snaps” pregame photo on her way into the stadium.
“I know they took the jersey away from you when you took the picture,” Kirk said.
“Yeah, I was so disappointed,” Barbara replied.
“I’m going to give you a team ball, signed,” said Kirk.
“Oh, thank you so much. This is great,” Barbara responded.
Debbie Bell said they will definitely be back to watch the Mets play again. She had only one minor criticism.
“But they better have Cracker Jacks next time we come.”
Barbara added, “I’ve enjoyed this so much. I’m from Rochester, N.Y., and my husband and I used to watch the Red Wings play quite often. I have not been to a ball game since, but I’ve enjoyed this so much. I’m 87 years old and I’ve had a ball.”
What were her daughter’s thoughts on the evening?
“Priceless,” Debbie Bell said. “Absolutely. You just don’t even know. She had heart surgery. She had her aortic valve replaced May 1. I’ve had five breast cancer surgeries. We’re grateful. We had an absolutely amazing time tonight ... except there were no Cracker Jacks.”