Berlin Center's Joni Mace was the one millionth fan to watch a Scrappers game.
By BILL SULLIVAN
VINDICATOR SPORTS STAFF
NILES -- The words took on a new meaning when Joni Mace came up to sing during the seventh-inning stretch of the Mahoning Valley Scrappers' game Thursday.
Mace, who had earlier been informed she was the one millionth fan to attend a Scrappers game, sang "Take me out to the ballgame, take me out with the crowd."
She didn't have to ask to be taken out -- her boss, Dan Cadle, at Cadle Company in Newton Falls gave her the ticket as part of a company outing.
She also didn't have to request to be part of a crowd. As a highlight of her prize package, Mace, of Berlin Center, won two round-trip Vacation Express airplane tickets to Orlando, Fla.
There'll be a crowd trying to join her on the special vacation.
Wearing an honorary white Scrappers jersey with the words "One Millionth Fan" on the back, Mace said she didn't know of the special promotion until just before she won.
"I didn't even know there was anything going on until the policeman out there said something," Mace said just inside the main gate of Eastwood Field only minutes prior to the game.
"My boss is going to kill me," she laughed. "He probably wanted to be the winner."
Of course, the employer won't try to harm the big winner on his staff, but if he does, Mace can easily ward him off.
She won an autographed 2004 Scrappers bat.
Mace attended her only other Scrappers game last season and said this promotion was the "first time I ever won anything."
She can now see all the Scrappers games she wants -- two 2005 season tickets are included in being the lucky fan.
Mace also won't have to request "some peanuts and Cracker Jacks," as her song stated.
She won a limousine package to Cleveland, including dinner, overnight accommodations and Indians tickets for two.
As she approached the gate, the beating of a drum in the concourse was becoming faster to help announce the lucky fan was about to be recognized.
Her heart must have begun to beat a little quicker too when the prize package was explained -- Mace has never been to Florida in her life.
She also has never been to an Indians game before.
"I'm a football fan," she said.
That might be changing soon.