Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Sports Talk: Nothing like a summer day at the ball park!

As a correspondent sports writer for The Casey County News, I write an weekly editorial column for the publication. Published June 19, 2013.  
I attended my first Major League Baseball game in two years last weekend. I have not actually been to many MLB games in my lifetime. I did, however, attend my fair share of Louisville Bats games while living in the city, but I did not even get to do that last summer. Friday evening was definitely a reminder of that special something baseball can bring to summertime.
The Reds played the Brewers, which was cool to me, as a Brewers’ home game was actually the first MLB game I ever attended. My uncle took my brother and I, along with our cousin, when we visited one summer long ago. He taught us all of the tricks to enjoying a good baseball game—including catching a foul ball. (I think that wasn’t so much a “trick” but just the kind of luck my uncle tended to bring when it came to sports in our lives.) For that reason, the Brewers still hold meaning in my world, even if my husband would have preferred watching the Cards and Reds face off the week before.
We got lucky with the weather not only being sunny and beautiful, but not extremely hot nor humid either. We got to enjoy plenty of deliciously bad-for-you ball park food (more than either of us needed) and see the Reds take a close win.
You see a lot of people at the ball park, ready to enjoy a game: groups of young friends and groups of old friends; old families and new families.
While I definitely enjoyed the game itself (I wanted the Reds to win, but I admit that I was more than OK with the Brewers playing well enough to make it a ball game), I was equally entertained by the group of three boys who sat behind us for a large portion of the game.
The three of them were there with fathers/uncles/grandfathers (could have been any or all thre) and were probably between the ages of five and seven. One definitely knew “all” there was to know about baseball and Reds games and was telling the others exactly the things to yell, what all of the fun on the jumbo tron was all about, when they needed to stand up and dance in hopes of getting on the jumbo tron and why baseball was his favorite sport.
One of the younger boys had lots of questions and was very concerned about seeing a home run and when there would be fireworks. He was also having a hard time deciding if baseball was his first favorite sport or second, until he remembered this was his second Reds game and he definitely liked watching baseball games, so it was probably his favorite.
I find there is something relaxing and down to earth about baseball when you are actually there at the field. It does get intense and it is a very serious sport, but there is such a positive, family-oriented and fun atmosphere that surrounds it. You expect to see young kids running around begging for another hot dog.
Sitting at the game on the Friday before Father’s Day, seeing so many youngsters there with their daddies—and seeing adults enjoying the game with their fathers—made me think about what a neat memory attending a baseball can be (and is) for anyone who was fortunate to have been taken to a game as a young one.  
My husband and I were both athletes but baseball and softball were not our sports, but I still know that I’ll be excited about the opportunity to take our kid(s?) to a baseball games someday. Yes, football and basketball and soccer games would be cool too, but I think baseball is special. This, coming from the girl who is not an avid baseball follower, but still holds fond memories of her first MLB game many moons ago with her uncle.

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