I’m not the biggest fan of organized sports, but I do enjoy baseball and football (proper football, which you might know as soccer). I don’t follow teams and leagues in baseball, but know enough about the sport to be able to enjoy discussion of standings and what not. And despite my home team being the Seattle Mariners, I’m less inclined to support the designated hitter rule
Last year I was able to take August to his first professional baseball game – plans to take him to a Mariner’s game the previous year were derailed by illness. This year I was able to take Ciaran to a baseball game, though not a Major League game, instead it was to the Everett Aquasox, the short season A Level Minor League affiliate of the Seattle Mariners.
Through a number of circumstances, I had to have some specific requirements for being able to take him, and the time was a major part of it, since I had to be able to return from the game in time to pick up August and Dela in the afternoon from day camp.
Ciaran and I left the house about 10:15 a.m. and headed north to Everett. It was a pleasant drive, about 30 minutes and thankfully the stadium was easy enough to find. It was my first minor league game, and I had never been to Everett Memorial Stadium, so I was a little nervous about finding it, as well as parking and getting into the stadium, and the general logistics of attending a game in a new location (at least new for me).
We arrived, found parking easily, went in to the stadium, found our seats and the game began. It was a relatively hot day, a bit abnormally so for the region (but not record breaking), and the stadium is nothing but open seating, meaning we were in the sun. I knew I had planned on getting Ciaran a hat – I purchased a Mariner’s cap for August at the game we attended last year. Just before the game started, I asked Ciaran if he wanted a hat. He said no, he didn’t. About halfway through the first inning, I asked again, and he responded again that he did not. During the second inning I asked again, mentioning to him that a cap would help to keep the sun off his head and help to keep him a little cooler. Then he agreed, and we went to get a cap. The mascot of the Everett Aquasox is a frog. Ciaran’s favorite animal is the frog (you should see how many frog stuffed animals the kid has). There is a reason I wanted to get him a hat, as I knew he would like it, especially since he keeps trying to take August’s Mariner’s cap.
What is funny about this was his indifference during the rest of the game to the hat, and as soon as we arrived home and he showed mom, it became his favorite hat. Later when we picked up August and Dela from day camp, he again professed his adoration for the headwear in no uncertain terms.
So how did the rest of the game go? Ciaran was less interested in the game itself than watching the mascot. He is 3 years old, so that’s to be expected. We had great seats, row 7, not quite halfway down the first base line. I wanted to get those seats so that he could see the action clearly. Thankfully, since this was a minor league game, those seats were affordable.
A large number of summer camp groups were at the ball park – an 11:00a.m. start time will do that. It was “kid’s day” so the idea was for more people to take their kid or youth group to the game, and it worked. What didn’t work, however, was the concession stand. I know our choices are limited by being vegetarian, and I didn’t expect much. Ciaran wanted a hot dog, and unfortunately I was unable to get him one (there were no vegetarian options for burgers or dogs, unlike at other ball parks). That wasn’t so much a problem, because pizza was on the menu. Cheese pizza is almost always an easy sell to kids, so I asked for pizza at the concession stand. The problem was they were out. This irked me as the large youth groups were getting plenty of pizza. After a bit of negotiation, Ciaran said that popcorn would be good to eat, so I got him a big bag of popcorn.
I enjoyed the game immensely, and enjoyed being able to spend the time with my son, just the two of us. I’d like to do so again, and the Everett Aquasox is a great way to do it again affordably with a great view of the action. I don’t know if I’ll be able to any time soon, however, since most of the game have a 7:00 p.m. start time. I might be able to take August to a game, but will have to figure out when a good day would be, since we wouldn’t get home until 11:00 at night possibly (depending on how long the game goes). I’ll also have to make sure we eat well before hand.
As for Ciaran, I’ll certainly take him again to a ball game, but not until next year. He sat through the whole game, but was less interested in the game than in hanging out with dad and watching the mascot. We had to get up a few times, to go to the bathroom, to get a drink, to get some ice cream (it was hot), which I had expected. Hopefully next year he’ll be settled enough to begin to pay attention to the game itself.
In case you’re wondering, the Everett Aquasox lost. And Ciaran fell asleep on the way home.