Unfortunately, Yankee Stadium does not allow any video cameras or backpacks; so smuggling in filming equipment would be nearly impossible. Agent Lathan decided to pull the prank anyway, even if we couldn’t film it. Fortunately several members of our group brought cameras to the game and were able to snap photos and take some footage using their camera’s “movie mode”.
About five minutes later Rob appeared again, this time two sections to our left.
Rob appears two sections over
Same photo, detail enlarged
After another five minutes passed, Rob very quickly appeared in the section just to the left of us, the one in the middle of the two sections he had already searched. His head emerged from the tunnel and he looked around for about ten seconds before disappearing again. All three sections in our corner lept to their feet and screamed his name, but he was gone in a flash.
Rob’s quick appearance
Rob, seven sections down
Same photo, detail enlarged
The leaders of the Rob-related chants
Rob’s friends wave at him from across the field
View across the field
Same photo, enlarged to show Rob walking down the aisle
A stranger spots Rob in the lower level
The section next to us right before Rob appeared.
Same section, seconds later
Fans point towards Rob’s seat
Same photo, detail enlarged
A fan gives Rob a high-five
Fans a couple of sections over cheer Rob’s return
Fans laugh as Rob finds his friends
Fans take photos of Rob
Rob took his seat and watched the last two innings. Every few minutes people would walk up to him to say hello and snap a photo. The guys behind us started up another “Rob’s retarded” chant. Rob just smiled and waved.
The Tigers scored three runs in the 9th inning and went on to win the game. As we were leaving the stadium, Yankee fans’ spirits were lifted when they spotted Rob. As he walked down the exit ramp a huge chant broke out in his honor as fans shook his hand and gave him high fives.
So that’s my account from the upper deck. Now enjoy a first-hand account from Rob himself.
Agent Lathan, “Rob”
This mission called for something I specialize in: being LOST. Yankee Stadium promised to be a good place to get a reaction for three reasons: 1) there are tons of people around 2) a baseball game has many lulls 3) people are drunk. Still, I had no clue I would get the reaction that I ended up getting.
I waited until the 6th inning to start the mission (see reason #3). I got out of my seat and ventured to the nearest concession stand to retrieve some refreshments. When I returned to my original aisle holding a tray full of popcorn and a beer, I did my best to appear lost – once again, an easy task for me. I glanced up in the general vicinity of my seats, but did not recognize anyone in my section. Agent Todd led a team of our friends sitting in my section – who were all wildly waving their arms in the air and yelling, “Rob! We’re up here!” But I still continued to glance around them, squinting in their direction and glancing back at my ticket stub. Giving up, I hopelessly retreated from my aisle and continued my search.
I emerged again with tray in hand – this time two aisles over. I was greeted by an enormous reaction. The hysteria created by my friends had quickly spread. As I stumbled up the aisle looking aimless and not unlike a lost puppy, several hundred people who had never met me before began to scream my name and yell in my face: “Your friends are over there! Right over there!! Hey Rob! Where are you going?!” I paid no attention to them and continued looking for my seat.
Next, I briefly appeared in the aisle in between the two aisles from before. I glanced up to my section, heard a loud, “Rob!” and quickly darted out – just a little “tease” to keep my spotters on their toes. I also didn’t want to get tackled or grabbed by a concerned citizen who desperately wanted me to find my seat.
My next strategy was to wait a few minutes before making another appearance until there was a lull in the baseball game. I practiced this strategy throughout. If the Yankees were making a rally or if everybody was standing during the Seventh Inning Stretch, I would stay hidden. Once the commotion to the real game died down, I would then immediately burst through the aisle and make my appearance. After all, it wasn’t about the actual game was it? It was all about looking for me, right? Right.
My seat-finding odyssey escalated to the point where I was now wandering around at the exact opposite side of the stadium. As I stumbled up the very last aisle in the left field upper deck, I was worried that no one would see me. But sure enough Agents Kula and Todd spotted me out, and the entire section in the right field upper deck erupted in a cheer. Someone announced, “There he is! Look!” And then everybody cheered, “Rob!! Over here! Rob!!”
Amazingly, people who didn’t know me honestly thought I was dumb enough to look for seats on the opposite side of the stadium. Several strangers began a chant in my honor: “Where is Rob?!” This morphed into a more direct chant: “Rob’s retarded!” (CLAP-CLAP, CLAP-CLAP-CLAP) The whole entire upper deck began chanting this – most of whom had no idea who I was – some of those from distant sections might’ve thought I was an opposing player up to bat or something.
There was only one way to heighten the opposite-field upper-deck wandering: a front row sighting by the Yankee dugout. This would be tough since the area is heavily guarded by ushers and the rows are even chained off to those without proper tickets. But once I made my way to the lower level, I waited until a Yankee rally ended and more importantly until a vendor undid the chain to the aisle and followed closely behind him. I slowly tiptoed toward the Yankee dugout and falsely glanced around for my seat. For a brief second I peeked up to the upper deck and out of the corner of my eye I could see hundreds of tiny arms waving around in my direction. Off in the distance I could faintly hear the chant: “Rob’s retarded!” (CLAP-CLAP, CLAP-CLAP-CLAP) All was well.
In the top of the 8th inning and after over an hour of searching for my long, lost seat, I finally staggered back up to my section. When I appeared, the upper deck exploded in a cheer. I’ve never received such an ovation in my entire life. I thought to myself, “Maybe I should try getting lost more often.” Then a troubled usher grabbed my arm and asked, “Are you diabetic?” I nodded yes, even though I’m not. Another usher strenuously informed me, “That is your last beer!” He also made extra sure that I found my way to the proper seat.
On the way home I rode the subway by myself. Some people on the train, who had been sitting in our section, also recognized me as the lost guy from before. “Hey, it’s Rob!” they announced excitedly. Then they started to get worried that I was still lost: “Wait, weren’t your friends going to some bar on the west-side? This train only goes to the east-side.” Staying in character I replied, “Oh whoops. Oh well…don’t worry… I’ll find them.”
Check out the sequel to this mission – Where’s Rob?