THE BASEBALL STADIUM
There are many perks that can go with being at a successful dealership, such as professional baseball season tickets. Some years we would go to 20 or 30 games, usually in very good seats. I wouldn’t call myself a dedicated fan, but I more than enjoy the outings.
Taking kids to the ballpark is probably the most fun. I have taken all of my kids together and will always cherish those times. I tried to take a lot of other kids along as often as possible. There is something special about the first time a child walks into a Major League ballpark. When they walk out and see the players out on a huge field, the vast landscape of beautiful green grass, with it’s nice even patterns, against the backdrop of a perfect, cloudless blue sky, along with the immensity of the stadium itself, packed with thirty to forty thousand people, it is a jaw dropper.
Typically as their jaw drops their eyes get very wide and they stop for a moment and try to take it all in. It is a moment that I have seen on dozens of kids faces and it never ceased to bring a smile to my face. It reminds me of the good things in life. If you have the opportunity to get tickets to a game, please do yourself a favor and take some kids who have never been, the amazement and enthusiasm is contagious.
My son Russ asked if he could take one of his school mates along to the next game. I told him to let me talk to his parents and it would be no problem. I already had tickets to a game with Oral Hershiser pitching. Russ called his friend DeJon and told him the good news. I spoke to his Mom and it was all set.
When we arrived at the stadium the boys were excited. The moment when DeJon saw the players and the field was as expected, he stood there motionless for a minute taking it all in. I enjoyed the moment. I didn’t know that the real amazement for DeJon was yet to come.
Prosperity and good fortune can become too normal for us to realize what we have sometimes. It didn’t occur to me that the concession stand would be a big deal.
“All right boys, what do you want?” I asked. As Russell started discussing what type of Dog to eat, DeJon was completely quiet. His eyes were wide open and he asked very softly “I can get a Hotdog?” I saw his hesitation and suggested the “foot long”. DeJon just nodded. “Would you like a drink too?” I asked and DeJon said enthusiastically, “Yes please”.
“What else would you like?” I asked and Dejon looked at me in wonderment and said, “You mean I can have more?” “Yes, anything you like”, was my reply. DeJon just looked at the concession stand. “Would you like some candy too?” I asked as I was getting caught up in his amazement. He pointed to a bag of peanut M&M’s
We had front row seats on the second level, just above third base, great seats for a foul ball and a perfect view of the field. I spent most of the game just watching the boys. They were talking baseball, cheering for the home team and yelling along with 30,000 of their friends at a questionable call at third base.
When the peanut guy came around, you know the one that makes the great throws; I gave him a whistle and pointed to the boys. They giggled with delight as the two-bagger of peanuts came sailing over to them. I knew that I was starting to go overboard, but I had to say yes to cotton candy also. I can still picture them, leaning against the rail, excitedly anticipating the next pitch, sticky fingers and all.
Yes, they ate way too much junk food, but it seemed like it was all part of the experience. After all, I couldn’t shortchange a kid on his first trip to the ballpark. As the game ended and we walked back to the car, I was listening to the boy’s talk of all that they had seen and eaten. Russell and DeJon were as ten-year-old boys should be, happy.
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