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Southold family gets chance to watch a game with this Yankee legend

09/30/2015 6:00 AM |

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Everyone remembers going to his or her first major league baseball game. You probably joined in the cheers as your favorite team made a great play, ate a hot dog and marveled about how the game was better in person than it could ever be on television.

One thing your first game experience probably didn’t include was having lunch with a Yankee legend. But for young Southold residents Ethan and Hunter Magnuson, ages 12 and 10, it did.

After winning Turkey Hill Dairy’s Yankees Ticket Sweepstakes, the boys and their parents, Kea and Sean, were awarded luxury suite seats at Sunday’s game against the Chicago White Sox. Before the game, they also got the opportunity to eat lunch with Yankees legend Ron Guidry.

A two-time World Series champion, Mr. Guidry won the American League Cy Young Award in 1978. He won 170 games in his 14-year career with the Bronx Bombers and later served as the team’s pitching coach.

“It was very pleasant,” Ms. Magnuson said of the family’s two-hour lunch with the Yankee great. “He was just the nicest guy, no chip on his shoulder whatsoever.”

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The family’s journey to the stadium began with the purchase of some Turkey Hill Pinstripe Brownie Blast flavor ice cream. After they brought it home, Ethan noticed a pamphlet on top of the container giving instructions on how to enter the sweepstakes. His mom thought it was a great idea.

“I said ‘Oh, I never win anything, honey’ and my oldest, he said, ‘Oh, come on, Mom, you really got to do it, you really got to do it!’ ’” Ms. Magnuson said. “So we submitted it and kind of forgot all about it.”

Months later the family received a call from Turkey Hill informing them that they had won the grand prize.

The Magnusons dined at NYY Steak, a restaurant inside the stadium, with Mr. Guidry and his son Brandon. The two families talked about myriad topics, including hunting and fishing, since Mr. Guidry grew fond of the outdoors growing up in Louisiana and Mr. Magnuson did the same in his native North Dakota. Mr. Guidry even told Ms. Magnuson to call him by his nickname “Gator,” since she was having difficulty pronouncing his last name.

“We actually missed the national anthem,” Ms. Magnuson said of their long discussion. “We managed to get out there at the end of the first inning.”

The family, admittedly not huge sports fans, had a blast watching the Yankees take home their 9,999th franchise win. Ms. Magnuson said she believes the team has two new fans after Sunday’s game.

“[My sons] had a wonderful time,” she said. “They loved it. They were so excited, you know, cheering and clapping along with the crowd.”

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