Tom Smart, Deseret News
SALT LAKE CITY — Jack Robertson is one happy Salt Lake Bees fan.
That is because the 11-year-old was the Bees’ 10 millionth fan Tuesday evening, winning a gigantic prize package by just walking through the gates of Spring Mobile Ballpark to watch the home team shut out the Sacramento River Cats, 10-0.
“Jack’s great debate was he had a game tonight and he wasn’t sure if he wanted to miss his game to come to the Bees game,” said Jack’s father, Jeremy. “He made a good choice.”
Jack, Jeremy and the rest of the Logan-based Robertson family — including mom Michelle, sisters Callie and Aubrey and brother Andy — drove south for the Salt Lake County Firefighters Union’s night at the ballpark.
“We buy a block of tickets every year and come together,” Jeremy said. “We got our tickets from the coordinator outside, came up the stairs, and (Bees general manager) Marc (Amicone) and the gang were waiting for us.”
He added that the family was in disbelief that one of the six of them had been the magic number.
“We thought it was a practical joke at first,” Jeremy said. “Confetti and balloons; we’re just in shock.”
Jack, who was given a No. 10 Bees jersey with the word ‘Million’ across the back, and his family won a prize package that includes Bees season tickets for the next 10 years; tickets to the next 10 events at EnergySolutions Arena; a VIP experience for 10 individuals at a Bees game, a Jazz game, a Miller Motorsports Park event and the 2013 Tour of Utah; a two-night trip for two to watch the Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim at spring training next season; and 10 tickets to Megaplex Theatres, a Fanzz gift card, Papa John’s pizzas and Subway meals.
"We were house hunting today," said Michelle, adding the family was already in the process of moving to Salt Lake. "Now we’ll be close by to enjoy the tickets."
“This is an amazing opportunity for us,” Jeremy said. “And to make it a family event, to be able to provide something like this that we can make into a family tradition now is pretty amazing.”
Michelle added: “We’re just lucky that we got here half an hour late.”
After making their way through the confetti, the Robertsons were also treated to a good game, which included a leadoff homer run by Andrew Romine as well as three more shots. Third baseman Chris Nelson hit two homers and center fielder Matt Long added another. Long also contributed a double and Kole Calhoun added a triple.
“Today has been a long day,” said Bees manager Keith Johnson, whose team had a short turnaround after earning an extra-inning victory at Fresno late Monday night before returning home.
“I thought we did a great job today of compartmentalizing that and going out and playing baseball,” he continued. “And we played all nine innings. We were able to put at-bats together throughout the course of the game.”
Matt Shoemaker picked up his sixth victory in the start. He went five innings, striking out nine batters while giving up just two hits and three walks.
Romine led the Salt Lake offense, finishing 3 for 5 at the plate with two runs scored and two RBIs while Long went 2 for 3 with three RBIs and Efren Navarro went 2 for 3 and drove in one run.
Tuesday's crowd totaled 15,185 fans. It was the largest of the season so far and was bolstered by the 10 million fan celebration as well as being a "Pass of All Passes" night. The Bees have entertained at least half a million fans in each of the last three seasons, helping the team become the sixth Pacific Coast League squad to reach the 10-million mark and just the second to reach that mark in 20 seasons or fewer.
Sarah Thomas is a graduate of the University of Utah and has been covering sports for the Deseret News since 2008. EMAIL: firstname.lastname@example.org
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