Tuesday, April 24, 2007

FIRST PITCH


I got to my first baseball game of the season last night. We have a local AAA affiliate of the Anaheim of California, Los Angeles, and Surrounding Areas Angels. (Ok that is a joke – but I may have only amused myself with it.) The local team is called the Bees. It’s an AL affiliate so they have to use the Designated Hitter rule which is to bad, but it’s still professional baseball and it’s fun to watch.

The Bees have had pretty good teams the last few years which has also been fun to watch. They missed the play offs last year because in the end of the season they started to loose games – but they started to loose games because of how many of their players had been called up to the big league. So it was a mixed blessing – I got to see a bunch of guys that made the big time when they were local. But I missed out on seeing a playoff game for the PCL.

Last night I was given tickets by my Mom so I took my boys and met her and several other family members there to watch the game. We had a lot of fun – we got to see a real funnel cloud out over the lake as we walked up to the stadium (a rarity in these climes). My 10 year old got a game ball tossed to him by a Bees player and the six year old caught a promo Frisbee tossed into the crowd.

Team sports teach lots of things but I was fascinated last night by what watching a game could teach. Set aside for a moment all the times that my oldest and I talked over rules of the game and explained some of the strategies of the game, but look instead at what they learned by doing.

As the home team would run in from the field if a returning player had a ball he would toss it up to the kids waiting up above the dugout. So my boys would watch the game and when there were two outs they would get up – make their way down the stands and wait over the dugout – then wave and cheer and look hopeful as the players ran in. They were doing something on their own – without being guided or shepherded by me in any way. I could see them the whole time of course but this is something they did. The sense of accomplishment is much greater, I’m sure, because of their own actions. They learned it’s fun to get something by doing.

My youngest ate the entire time he was there. I made several trips to the counter with him to purchase peanuts and popcorn and typical ball game foods. He learned that you can just drop the peanut shells right on the ground at a baseball game. And also how much fun going to a ball park can be. This year is the first year that he is probably old enough to enjoy both the game and the experience – although he didn’t watch a lot of the game but more than he did last year for sure.

I don’t get to watch near as much of the game when I take my kids to a game but I love taking them anyway. When I go to a game myself I buy a brat and a soda on the way to my seat and never leave it once the game starts. With the kids I was up and down all the time helping them to the restrooms or buying the next bag of peanuts or jumping up to get pictures when they did something cute.

That kind of family activity is hard to beat – when I finally dropped the kids off that night they were tired but happy and so was I. Pretty good pay off for the first pitch of the year.

3 comments:

Rebecca said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Rebecca said...

I like the bit about the youngest eating the whole time you were there. Somehow I can see that. Your mom told me you guys were going-- glad it was fun.

Do you watch The Office? SOMEHOW I have not watched it until now. My new favorite show of all time. I downloaded Season 3 to my iPod and bought Season 2. I've been cracking up ever since.

Drake Tungsten said...

I've only ever watched one episode of The Office. The boss guy irritated me soooooooooo much that I suspect I'll never watch another one. I found him so over the top and over acted that I went way past having sympathy for him (and his employees) and went straight to revulsion.

The game was a blast. I'm going to try to get to some more of them this year.

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