Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Take me out to the ballgame ...

Baseball is part of summer to me, thanks to my husband's influence.

I went to some Little League games when I was younger and my brother, who is three years younger than me, played catcher. My family went to a few Cincinnati Reds games because we lived just off I-71 north of Louisville and we went to a White Sox game when their stadium was new {I think it was 1993} and to the crosstown Cubs when their stadium was still old when we were vacationing in Chicago. And there were Louisville Redbirds/Riverbats games occasionally.

So baseball wasn't a stranger to me.

But Greg loves the St. Louis Cardinals. He can rattle off stats and historical moments. I have no idea how many shirts with those "birds on the bat" he has.

I got a little interested when Mark McGwire and Sammy Sosa was vying for the homerun record in 1998, and I needed something to talk to Greg about when he studying abroad in Germany and I was still going to class in Murray, Ky. From there, I gradually learned about the game and players, especially those who play in St. Louis.

One of my favorite things about baseball, and, really, sports in general, is the emotions. Baseball is methodical. But then there are moments -- like when Skip Shumaker hit a homerun in the ninth inning yesterday to win the game and all his teammate rushed to the home plate to mob him -- that make great stories.

Our family's most recent baseball story is going to the Southern Illinois Miners game Saturday night. It's a minor league baseball team, and we got to spend the game in a suite, courtesy my brother-in-law John. That was a first for us, and, really, the only way it makes sense to take my 19-month-old {almost ...} son to a three-hour sporting event that is fairly slow moving. Ben likes to move. So baseball probably isn't his thing right now. I promise you his dad will help influence him otherwise.

Like he did me.

But Saturday night was fun.

Ben was happy until about 9 p.m., two hours after the game started. He prefers to go to bed around 7 p.m. You can do the math. He was a tired boy. But it was cute to watch him try to sit in this seat. Clearly he doesn't weigh enough to hold it down!

Cate liked cuddling with her 1-year-old cousin Mae Rose. Yes, this cuddling happened in the air-conditioned suite.

And Greg was sporting a Cardinals shirt. In fact, the first thing he did when we got there was found the Cardinals game on the TV in the suite. I teased him, but he was in baseball paradise -- watching one game live and his favorite team on TV. Nearly simultaneously. Meanwhile, I did well to keep up with the Miners versus the Rascals {great nickname!} while tending to children.

Dippin' Dots were a hit. And thanks to the suite accommodation, this $4 bowl of ice cream pellets was the only food I had to buy. Hamburgers, chips and dip, drinks and desserts were provided in the suite.

Did I mention it was a late night for Ben?

I knew it was going to be a late night, so I wanted to make sure we took his blanket -- which he's been calling "Nigh-Night." On our way there, I realized we didn't have it. This fact stressed me out a little because I knew Ben would want his bed and I'd have to convince him to snuggle with Nigh-Night. With Nigh-Night missing, I wasn't sure how this would work.

So we stopped in Paducah, on the way to Marion, Ill., and I found a similar blanket. Consider it Nigh-Night's cousin. And it only took stopping at two stores. Ben was satisfied and I was left thinking about the next road trip that would give me a chance to spend more time in Tuesday Morning.

Until then, Greg and I will probably sit on the couch some evenings and catch a few more Cardinals games. And hopefully they'll win more than they lose. Although, it is a long season, which can be both good and bad, depending on who you ask.

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1 comment:

  1. I think that's the ONLY way to watch a baseball game. How perfect, especially with the kids. I'm sold on the air conditioning aspect.