Saturday, July 2, 2011

Taking in The Boys of Summer

I have been a huge baseball fan nearly all of my life.  All types of baseball really but particulary the show, and my hometown team, the Seattle Mariners.

Sure, I'm a fan of football and basketball as well, but for me there are many things distinct about the game of baseball which make it like no other sport. The sounds, the smells, the history, and the anticipation that builds before giving way to the critical play all add to the richness of experience I take away from watching or more often recently, listening to, my favorite game.

It is only natural then that, as a father, I want to share these experiences with my son.  I can even now envision the day when I'll be able to attend a game with him and a son, or daughter, of his own.

Lukas is 4 years old now, and now seems like the right time to begin taking him to more games to watch.  Before now, with his nap and sleep schedule as well as shortened attention span, the time never seemed quite right to load up and take him to the ball park.  The couple games we did attend before he was 1 were not for his sake, and frankly his being along made it difficult to focus on the game.  So, since then we hadn't actually attended a big league game.

That all changed yesterday however, as Mrs. LIAYF and I took Lukas to the Mariners game against the Padres from San Diego.

We arrived early and entered Safeco Field through the Team Store.  We entered there because as we were getting ready for the game - packing sandwiches, water bottles, fruit, and of course peanuts - we realized Lukas didn't own a Mariners shirt.  That had to be remedied.

Mrs. LIAYF, not a huge fan, first grabbed a Chone Figgins shirt.  NO! I shouted.

After getting the Ichiro shirt, like any good baseball fans, we headed straight down to the field to watch batting practice.

Seats here would have been nice.
Then, after batting practice and a trip the bullpen to watch the pitchers warming up, we found the kids play area out beyond center field.  This proved a great place for Lukas to burn off some steam, and as it turned out we ran into one of his pre-school buddies with his parents there as well.  Oddly enough, I later ran into one of my employees and her husband as well as another colleague I had worked with over 5 years before. 

Finally, as the game was about to begin, we made our way up to our seats.  This is where I admit our tickets were free.  They were ones I received because I enough of a regular at Starbucks, that I knew when they were having a customer appreciation giveaway.

As you might suspect, the tickets were in the nosebleed section.  If you look closely you can see Ichiro running into right field in the picture below.

That little white dot, centerish.  Yeah, that's him.
But that didn't matter too much as the seats were bathed in the evening sun, with beautiful views of the city skyline beyond.  Plus, I had a another fine view just to my left.

Smile at the camera and I'll buy lemonade!
For me, the game was a blast.  The anemic hitting M's put on a power show scoring six runs by the 6th inning, giving all of us ample opportunities to explain the finer points of the game to Lukas, as well as to teach him how to throw up his arms in celebrations before giving high fives to the surrounding crowd.

Truth be told, he was squirming and ready to go by the third inning.  But Mrs. LIAYF promised him that if he was patient and let daddy watch the game for another inning, we could go back to the real highlight of the visit to the ballpark for him.

He obliged, so we did as well.

I'll admit, this was a pretty cool play structure

After another inning of playing in the kid area we were ready to head home, a win for the team, and also for team LIAYF already securely in hand.

How about you readers?  What events do you enjoy taking your kids too?


Homemaker Man said...

MMA. Is that inappropriate?

Also, great 1st day at the park. Nice the tix were free, thus making it a lot easier to leave early.

Siera said...

I want to take my sin to a Mariners game just to play in that climbing structure... Think I will this summer.

LvilleTex said...

We are taking the boys to see the Seattle Sounders play Manchester Seattle!! Have Anne call me this week, we fly in on July 19th!! Tell her to check her email...

James (SeattleDad) said...

@Homemakerman - MMA sounds like fun. Sounds, because I have never actually watched. The no tv thing has its disadvantages.

@Siera - Good news. With the recent downslide of the team, there should be much more room at the play structure if you do attend.

@Tex69 - Look forward to meeting you all!

Kevin McKeever said...

I've been taking my daughter to baseball games since she was 6 weeks old. Unfortunately, she's now only into for the nachos.

Sorry we never hooked up in Seattle. We ended up at the Mariners game on July 3 vs. the Padres. SafeCo is one of the best ballpark I've ever been in.

Clint said...

When my daughter gets older we(myself, the wife and daughter) will take the 2 hour trip to Milwaukee to watch a baseball game.

My daughter and I do watch baseball on TV QUITE A BIT.