Wednesday, June 1, 2016

Take Me Out To The Ball Game!

I always wonder what it is that makes people think the way that they do.  My son and I went down the street to watch a college baseball game tonight, and when I got home my husband was wondering why we would go.  It's true that I'm not a baseball fan.  You can't pay me to watch a game on television.  But, when someone asks me if I would like to go to a game, I'm right there.  It never occurred to me that anyone wouldn't understand why I would want to go.  But, now that my own husband seems confused about this issue, I thought I would write about it for any of you who might wonder the exact same thing.  I thought that I would write to explain to those who have never gone to a professional or college baseball game why they should give it a try.

Let me start by explaining a few things.  I'm a football fan.  Anyone who knows me at all knows that I am a die hard Green Bay Packer fan.  I park myself in front of the TV every time I get a chance when my Packers are playing.  I'm not a baseball fan.  I grew up with my family watching and rooting for the Chicago Cubs.  It is what it is.  So, if I had a baseball team, it would probably be the unluckiest team in baseball.  But just last year, my son and I stopped off in Cleveland just to go to an Indians game.  Why?  Because Cleveland is fun.  Those people know how to have a good time doing anything.  Cleveland is a fun place to watch baseball.

Last summer, my son and I also went to New Britain, Connecticut to get a last experience watching the Rock Cats before they moved to Hartford and became Yard Goats.  But, why do we do it?  It's not because of baseball.  It's because of the whole experience.  It's about the activities.  It's about the food and souvenirs.  It's about the crowd in the stands.  It's about all of it.  It has very little to do with baseball.

Take tonight's game for instance.  The Torrington Titans were playing the Pittsfield Suns and they lost 11 to 7.  If I were a fan, I would have been upset.  I would have been upset that the shortstop for the Titans can't catch.  I would have been upset that the center fielder apparently can't throw home.  But that doesn't bother me.  I'm not a big fan.  I do understand the game, but I'm not that into it.

No, tonight my son and I were enjoying the company of the two lovely ladies who sat next to us who are big Titan fans.  They were wonderful company and they saved our seats for us when we went to the concession stand and my son chased down the two players who were selling the raffle tickets and purchased some for the ladies.  We all laughed and joked about various things during the game and had a great time.  The game provided a lot of entertainment too.  There were two bats broken and many foul balls that went flying into the parking lot, the stands, over buildings, and everywhere.  All that excitement that we really enjoyed and we aren't big baseball fans.

One of the activities for the night was that they had some kids go out and play a version of Bocci where they tried to get their baseball closest to the Titan's player.  It was adorable.  They also got us all up to dance at one point.  That was a good time. My son's shop teacher was in another part of the audience and he and my son were texting jokes to each other throughout the game.  We watched kids catching foul balls.  We watched people out having a good time with their friends and family.  We listened to the music in the down times.  We had hot dogs and french fries and ice cream.  There are so many things to enjoy at a baseball game.

Major league stadiums, like the Indians, have restaurants, bars, play areas for kids, shops, and all sorts of entertainment for those who actually paid to get in and see the game.  People spend a lot of time in these extraneous areas during the game.  For anyone who hasn't gone to a game because you don't watch baseball; you should give it a try.  It's reasonably cheap to get into a baseball game.  It's not nearly as high priced overall as say football.

My favorite baseball games are actually the minor leagues and college leagues.  We have four minor league baseball teams here in Connecticut in Norwich, Bridgeport, Hartford, and New Britain.  In Torrington we have the Titans College League.  We also have several colleges around the state.  There's a lot of baseball going on in a state that has no major league teams.  I spent a lot of time in my younger years at New Britain games.  The name of the team has changed a few times over the years, and they are now the Bees; but it's a great place to watch a baseball game.

Baseball is America's past time.  There's a reason for that.  It's a great place to go and hang out with family and friends.  There's all kinds of entertainment, there's delicious junk food, there's good company, and there's the simple fact that you got out of the house and got away from the computers and the televisions for a while.  I've spent a lot of time watching baseball games and I intend to watch a few of them this summer.  I like seeing what it's like at the different stadiums.  I remember listening to Harry Caray sing "Take Me Out to the Ball Game" during the 7th inning stretch at Wrigley Field many times over the years.  It was classic Cubs baseball.  I love the ambience at a baseball game.  I love to watch the crowd.  It's just something that everyone should do with their families and friends, and for God's sake take your kids.  Not all travel is grand vacations.  Sometimes a short trip to a baseball game will give you just as many great memories as a grand trip.  Memories are precious, and the ones I have of going out to baseball games are great.  I wouldn't trade them for anything.  Go out and make some memories.  Take in a baseball game and learn what it's like to experience it live and in person with those you love.  Enjoy!

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