Beautiful Baseball

This weekend I got to enjoy two baseball games. On Saturday I met up with friends who happened to have a spare ticket, then on Sunday the family joined in with others from Austin’s school to sit as a group in the family section.
Such a big deal this was, because we just built a new ballpark here in Minnesota. In case you are unaware, the Twins have been playing inside a giant toilet bowl called the Metrodome for about 20 years. It had a big white roof and artificial turf. Sad.

This was the first week the newly minted Target Field has been open, and I got to go twice. I’m pretty happy about that. And being at the game, among others who enjoy the game, is great to reinvigorate my love for the game.

Baseball is a game of suspense and skill. You sit there in your seat, bouncing your eyes between the pitcher and batter, tensing up along with the pair of players until finally we see the ball and the air. Then it’s a held breath while the mind comprehends just what happened to that tiny speeding object.

I love the game. Its sights and smells, stories and statistics, its ups and downs. Sunday’s game was terrible. Twice the Twinkies left the bases loaded. Twice. Never would you hear the crowd start roaring for a 2-out rally, only to be instantly quieted after a single pitch. But it was great to see the crowd keep rallying to keep their spirits up.

And it’s a fun game to teach. Once I finally got my son’s attention away from the other maniac boy next to him, I was able to get him watching the outs, then the runners, then the balls and strikes. Of course, we got into this when the Royals had a 6-run inning. But he’s getting there, and he likes it.

After the game, we lingered around to take pictures, wandering down to the field level. Then we saw lots of people filing out onto the warning track. Turns out Sunday afternoons, following the game, they let kids run the bases.

We got there in time, snapped some pictures, saw the special grass shipped from Colorado, and the lad ran from First to Home on the very clay the big boys played on. It was so cool. Austin doesn’t fully realize what that fresh air and field of green means, but he’s getting there.

So sit back, drink a cold beer, eat a hot dog and peanuts (or burger, or nachos, or garlic fries, or something on a stick), yell at the ump for being blind, and play ball my friends.