Tuesday, August 22, 2006
"Take Me Out To The Ballgame..."
Quick! Cover your children's eyes. Don't let them read what I'm about to tell you!
I AM A BASEBALL VIRGIN!
OR AT LEAST I WAS UNTIL LAST NIGHT.
I attended my first professional baseball game at the Rogers Centre (formerly referred to as the Dome Stadium. You can see it in the photo above, situated alongside the CN Tower, the world's tallest free-standing structure...or so it was advertised as such 30 years ago when it opened). It was the Toronto Blue Jays playing against the Oakland Athletics. And wouldn't you know it -- darn, at my "coming out" game, the Blue Jays lost.
It was interesting for me to note on the Jumbotron that many of the Toronto Blue Jays were originally from California. And one of them used to actually play for the Oakland Athletics.
All summer, my husband had been taking a different child to a few games. It was the first time that my husband had opted to buy into a group of season's tickets with several other men. Most of the games we got tickets for (based on the lottery system) were on Sunday afternoons, which were great. Off would trot Dad and one out of three children for the exciting afternoon.
My children became seasoned fans, while I, THE MOTHER, wondered at all the hoopla surrounding the game. My husband decided to let me see for myself, and along with our two regular seats, he bought three others way, way up high, and priced down, down low. He told me to sit with our number one baseball fan, my 11 year old, in "the good seats" and he'd sit with the other two in the nosebleed section, and sometime in the evening we'd switch off.
So here sat the Virgin Mother alongside number one fan. He was my guiding light, explaining the moves, telling me stats he recalled for players and their plays, and just keeping me from embarrassing him too much with questions about the game.
I sat there, looking at the stadium all around me -- from the stands to the playing field -- and explaining to him something too. I told him, "A, it's not just about playing the game of baseball, and watching the game, it's about a baseball culture." People have been number-one fans much longer than this 11-year-old boy of mine, and it shows: in their manner of dress, in their attitude, in their knowledge, in their lingo.
And yes, there was certainly lots to learn last night about the game...and how it ties in to life in general:
1. Whether you view the game from the cheap seats or from great seats, always keep your eye on the ball.
2. It's not whether you win or lose; it's how you play the game.
3. Always give it your best shot.
4. Chewing gum, spitting and scratching your crotch in public is very unsightly.
5. A home run always means so much more when you've got someone special in the stands to watch you make it!