I grew up in a household that treated baseball like religion. The game was sacred and the players were icons. Both my mom and dad were die-hard Brooklyn Dodger fans and often told me stories of how they shed tears when the team went west to LA. While my dad stayed true and still is a Dodger fan til this day, my mom switched allegiances to the NY Mets mostly because they signed her favorite all-time player, Gil Hodges. Me, I went a totally different route and it caused a lot of friction in our home. I rooted for the Yankees – which is the ultimate nemesis of any Dodgers (or Mets) fan.
It was all because of a southpaw named Dave Righetti. I’ve followed him since was with the Yanks triple A team in Columbus. I rejoiced at his July 4, 1983 no-hitter and when he got the record for career saves. I was shell-shocked, when after 10 years in NY he signed with the San Francisco Giants (another former New York team that was no better to be a fan of, according to my Dodger dad) but continued to follow him with stints with the Oakland As, Toronto Blue Jays and Chicago White Sox. I even have a little shrine to him in my office:
Now, I’m hoping to pass my love for the game onto the kidlets. The Hubs and I took our son to his first-ever MLB game last season to see the Dodgers vs. Mets at Citi Field. It was Edgardo Alfonzo bobble head doll day and we were pleasantly surprised that our boy made it all the way through the seventh inning stretch. Between getting the doll, seeing the Home Run Apple, taking a photo with Mr. Met and getting Carvel ice cream in a little plastic Mets cap, he was sold on the whole baseball game experience.
My boy in full Mets gear for his first-ever game & bobble head doll.
This season we thought we’d try taking both kidlets to a game. We saw an ad in our local paper for a Father’s Day special that the Rockland Boulders, an independent minor league team, was running. Dads got a t-shirt and a free pizza cutter-we decided to go for it.
We arrived a little early for the 2 pm game to check things out. The Boulders have only been around since 2011, but they play in a gorgeous new ballpark with incredible amenities built for the family baseball experience!
That started with the ticket prices. Reserved grandstand, aka “the cheap seats”, were just $8 apiece and home plate box seats were $16. We wound up going with box seats along the third base side, just a few rows behind the visitors’ dugout ($13 a ticket).
Wherever you sit-in the outfield, behind home plate or in the upper deck, you feel like you are right on top of the action. We also had a clear sight line of the field over the fans sitting in front of us due to an extra 3’ in height that was added to each row in the ballpark-great for little ones!
The stadium features a wide concourse that revolves 360 degrees around the field – you could even take a ride around on the “B-Train” a tram that circle the park. There were plenty of concession stands with typical baseball game fare such as hamburgers, hotdogs, french fries and soft pretzels as well as some unexpected surprises, including fresh roast beef sandwiches and thin crust pizza.
One of the best things in the ballpark was the BoulderBerg kids zone, which is a playground and jungle gym for kids to run, climb and slide on. It’s a great place to take restless kids during the game and still actually see the game – I would think every ballpark would want to add this feature to its layout.
The kidlets were also obsessed with the team mascot, the Boulder Bird (he even has his own FB page, rivals the old San Diego Chicken anyday!). They watched his every move, from the dugout to the stands. He was funny, and very engaging – he really got the crowd going with his on- and off-field antics.
Aside from the players, our biggest compliment goes to the entire staff of the Rockland Boulders. From the ushers to the grounds crew, from the camera guys to the game operations crew and from the customer service reps to the concession workers – they all worked hard to make sure that the crowd had fun and a great baseball experience! They had us dancing, laughing and cheering throughout the entire game!
We had such a great time at the ballpark! With all of that activity and excitement (including a bench clearing brawl!), the kidlets made it through all nine innings. Unfortunately the Boulders lost the game to the Jackals, but we’re planning on going back and rooting again for the home team at another game next month!
Now it’s your turn to share. Who is your favorite baseball player or team?
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