The Colts teamed up with the Indianapolis Indians and brought some blue and white to Victory Field on Friday night.
Fans were lined up at the gates an hour before they opened to see the Indians play the Scranton Wilkes-Barre RailRiders and get autographs from Colts kicker Adam Vinatieri.
Wendy Nicholson and her family drove up from Seymour, Indiana and stood in line for over half an hour.
“Just to see Adam,” she said. “That is exactly why we came.”
It was the perfect opportunity for her to wear the shirt she ordered from Amazon and get it signed by Mr. Clutch himself.
“Because he’s my favorite Colt. And he’s cute.”
When he finished signing, Vinatieri joined the Colts Cheerleaders and Blue on the field. He spent some time with Center Grove senior P.J. Buck, one of the top high school punters in the state.
“It’s unbelievable – best kicker of all time in my hometown city,” said Buck. “He’s been the man I look up to ever since I was little. I’ve been watching the Colts play and watching him kick and that’s just motivation to keep working and keep being the best I can be.”
Three years ago, Buck lost his mother and two younger brothers in a car accident. Now going into his senior year, his community and football have helped him heal.
“Love, love, love – they’ve been nothing but supporting and encouraging to me and my family, which has been a helpful way to cope and move on from everything,” he said. “From time to time, just going out to the football field and kicking a ball for a couple hours – that’s really been my way to release everything that builds up. Just spending time with all my teammates.”
And Vinatieri counts himself among them.
“We all have a brotherhood. Even if he’s a high school kid, he’s doing the same thing that I love to do, so it’s really cool to meet him,” he said. “To have guys go, ‘Man, I looked up to you. I always remember watching you play when I was a little kid,’ it’s kind of fun and it’s a badge of honor.”
After a quick warmup with Blue, Vinatieri joined Coach Frank Reich on the mound to throw out the ceremonious first pitches.
“He’s made a lot of money throwing balls around,” Vinatieri said of Reich, “so I expected a good pitch and he didn’t let us down.”
For Reich, it was another welcome back moment and a continuation of what he’s been doing for months – building a team.
“I know that we appreciate it when the guys come out and we get support from the other teams in the city,” he said. “So for us to have an opportunity to do the same thing, I just think it shows something about Indianapolis.”
Indianapolis is a great city with great teams and a great sports culture that brings the community together.
Whether it’s football, baseball, basketball, soccer, or racing – the fans support the teams, the teams support the fans, and they all support each other.