For as long as I can remember I’ve loved baseball. I grew up in a house of rabid Dodger fans, not just those LA guys, but all the way back to ‘dem Bums of Brooklyn. So it was pretty much sacrilege that I was a Yankee fan. My parents were good sports though, they took me to see the Yankees many, many times so I could cheer for the team I loved and jeer the team they hated!
I’ll never forget my first game at Yankee Stadium. It was September 1986, the Red Sox were in town (on their way to lose the World Series to the Mets). Though the Yankees won that game 11-6, the real action didn’t take place on the field, it took place right in front of us!
We went early so we could watch batting practice. We had box seats on the third base side and as was customary where-ever my family sat down anywhere outside of our home, my father took a seat on the aisle. Suddenly my dad yelled, “Give me your mitt!”, but it was too late. He was hit by a foul line drive. The ball hit my dad and ricocheted off him, landing two rows behind us. I scrambled to get the ball, but alas, someone else nabbed it. As I returned to my seat I saw my father lifting himself off the ground and my mother and sister laughing hysterically. My dad kept asking, “the ball hit me, but how did I wind up on the floor? There’s no way that ball knocked me over.”
Apparently in the heat of the moment, and as my dad buckled over in pain from being hit in both the palms of his hands and chest by the baseball, I used his back as a springboard to hop over the two rows of seats to try to get the ball. Ooops! My mom said it was quite the scene. To this day, the re-telling of that story brings tears of hysterical laughter. I’ll never live that moment down.
Later, in the 8th inning of the game, Boston’s left fielder Jim Rice made a catch right in front of us but in the process had a collision with shortstop Spike Owen, who wound up leaving the game with bruised ribs. In all the hubbub, Rice lost his baseball cap and someone in the stands wound up grabbing it. I don’t think Rice would have cared, but then the guy (clearly a Yankee fan) started taunting him. The next thing we knew Rice and the rest of the Red Sox infield invaded the stands trying to get the hat back from the guy. After a ½ hour delay of game, Rice retrieved his hat and returned to the field and three guys from the stands were arrested. Needless to say, I had a pretty eventful first-ever MLB baseball game.
I was quite excited this past weekend when The Hubs and I took our almost five-year-old son to his first-ever game. I’m relieved to say it wasn’t as eventful as my first game was, but we certainly had a fun time. We took the boy to see the Dodgers vs. Mets out at lovely Shea Stadium…er, I mean Citi Field.
It was supposed to be 90s throwback day, but the only throwback we experienced was the Edguardo Alfonso bobble head doll they gave out to all the fans!
Citi Field is a great place to see a game. The revised park and its entire staff is totally fan-friendly. First thing, we got him some proper baseball gear – a team hat and t-shirt. We took a walk thru the Champions Club; saw the World Series trophies from both 1969 and 1986 and even had our picture taken in front of the original Mr. Met mascot.
We ate hot dogs and French fries out in center field while watching batting practice. My son had his first-ever bag of Cracker-Jack, got some ice cream in a little Mets helmet cup and he loved sitting way up high “with the birds” in left field.
He liked that there were lots of chants when the organ music played. He told us his favorite is “da, da, da, da, da-da, CHARGE!” I was pleasantly surprised that he made it all the way thru the 7th inning. We sang “Take Me Out To The Ball Game” and clapped through Lou Monte’s corny Italian classic “Lazy Mary” then decided to head out before he started to melt down. The Mets were losing and there wasn’t a lot of action in this game, there were lots of walks which is quite dull for a five-year old (or anyone!).
We made it thru the 7th inning before the boy started to lose it…
My boy said he had fun and would like to go to another game, but instead of the Mets and Dodgers, asked if we could go see Yankees next time. That’s my boy…..
Now its’ your turn to share. What sport do you love? What was it like going to see a game when you were a kid? With your kids?
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