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Night at the Ballpark

April 20, 2009


Friday was just an AWESOME day! The sun was shining nice and bright and the temperature was a glorious 75 degrees. Just a picture perfect day! People were out mowing their lawns, taking walks, playing in the park and motorcycles were coming out of their long winter’s nap all over the place. SPRING has SPRUNG!

We are fortunate enough to have a single A baseball team where I live. The “River Bandit’s” are affiliated with the St. Louis Cardinals. The stadium where they play was built in 1931 and is very similar to the Chicago Cubs’ Wrigley Field only on a smaller scale. It has been updated many times over the years just like Wrigley. The field, scoreboard, restrooms, seating, snack bars etc. are all state of the art while the outside still has that olden day’s charm. My grandfather used to take my father to games there, my father used to take me to games there and now I take my kids there.

Taking your kids to a ballgame is a great way to spend time with them and have some fun. It doesn’t matter if they are boys or girls and it doesn’t even matter if they are baseball fans. If the crowd or nostalgia of the game doesn’t get them the peanuts, popcorn, soda, cotton candy, hot dogs, brats, candy bars, nachos, hamburgers, various items available for purchase in the gift shops and the possibility of catching a foul ball will. An afternoon or evening at the ballpark is fun for everyone!

It was such a beautiful day Friday that I thought a night at the ballpark would be great fun for my boys and I. Friday night home games are fireworks night as well so immediately following the game is a fireworks show. My wife volunteered to stay home with our youngest and my 17 year old and 13 year old jumped into the car and headed for the ballpark. We walked up to the ticket box and I asked the lovely young lady behind the counter to give us the best seats in the park. She was certainly listening to me because she really did give us the best seats in the park. We sat in the box seats right behind the home dugout along the third baseline, second row up and on the end so we didn’t have to walk through people to get out of the isle. We felt so close to the action that we swore we could have reached out and pinched the ass of a right handed batter or the nipples of a lefty. What’s the price for the best seats in the park? A mere $27.00! 9 measly dollars a seat for the best seats in the park for a baseball game and a fireworks show. It just doesn’t get any better than that!!

We had a great time! The weather was superb for baseball! We laughed and ate peanuts, cotton candy and cheese covered pretzels. We drank soda until we almost peed our pants and the boys got a kick out of me yelling at the umpire. I amazed them both by correctly predicting what the next pitch was going to be 95% of the time. I kept laughingly telling them “my grandfather was a pitcher, my dad was a pitcher and I was a pitcher.” “GOOD pitchers, so what do you expect?” We talked about this and that and for a short time I was more than just their dad and stepdad, I was their friend. Our mascot even sat next to me at one point and we gave each other a high-five. He even took my sunglasses off the top of my baseball cap, put them on and turned to the crowd to show how good he looked. Now how cool is that??? LOL

At one point during the game I looked over my shoulder and stared at the spot my dad and I used to sit when I was a boy. I imagined the ballpark the way it used to be with old wooden benches with no backs. Suddenly, there I was sitting with my dad watching the game wearing my Mike Schmidt baseball glove, waiting for a foul ball to come my way. For just a few moments, I was 7 years old again and my dad was still alive and well.

If you have children and the opportunity to take them to the ballpark, take them! Even if you only get the chance once, take them! They may just remember it for the rest of their lives.

12 Comments leave one →
  1. lviss permalink
    April 20, 2009 7:20 AM


    • April 20, 2009 11:25 AM

      Thanks! That’s the Mississippi River you are seeing in the background and the bridge connects Iowa and Illinois. The stadium is on the Iowa side of the river.

      No chance of the ball going into the water, no. About 10 to 20 yards outside the stadium wall is a retaining wall built to keep water out of the stadium when the river level rises.

  2. April 20, 2009 9:30 AM

    Memories past, present, and future!
    Love your story!
    Spoken from the heart!

    • April 20, 2009 11:29 AM

      Thanks Luisa! I’m glad you enjoyed. 😀

  3. April 20, 2009 10:24 AM

    I agree with Lusisa. What a heartfelt post. Baseball is such a good game to take kids to. It’s just one of those sports that seems “respectable.” I’m so glad you took your boys. Someday they will look back and think of you when they take their own kids. Great memory Gary to have given them.

    • April 20, 2009 11:31 AM

      I hope they do take their kids there like I took them. It’s always a good time and makes for wonderful memories as you said. We go to a few games every year!

  4. April 20, 2009 1:18 PM

    hey is that the same ballpark that’s only about 20 minutes from my house????

    if it is we need to all hook up for a ballgame sometime. I LOVE going there.

    • April 20, 2009 1:38 PM

      That would be the one, yes!

      Yeah, that would be a lot of fun!! Let’s do it!!! 😀

  5. _joey_ permalink
    April 21, 2009 1:29 PM

    This blog’s where its happenning. Keep up the good work.

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