A local TV personality hosted a West Michigan Whitecaps game (our local minor league baseball team) with free kids tickets and reduced adult tickets last Saturday night. We have been waiting for years until the boys were old enough to finally take them to a game and we decided that this was the year. I have always known that when I took the boys to their first game, I wanted my parents to join us. So I emailed at the beginning of the week and invited them to come. I was very excited when they accepted. I was able to use some of the free tickets the boys had earned through reading month at school as well.
Maranda from WOTV
Forecasters all week said it looked like rain for the weekend, but I still remained excited about our outing. We got to the park pretty early, loaded with sweatshirts, coats, blankets, and umbrellas.
We found our seats right behind third base and Aaron had decided to bring his glove in order to try to catch any stray fouls that made their way into the stand. As a matter of fact, one ball DID come our way, but it was a "foam" promotional ball thrown toward us from the Pig Mascot.
The boys have both declared that we need to sit behind first base next time, since that's where all the action was.
Noah was excited when he "got a book" which was actually a program about the players and Noah and Steve settled in to read all about the stats. It was fun to listen to Noah's questions about what different things meant.
It was cool to watch the people take the tarp off the infield and we wondered immediately if it was going to be needed to cover the field back up from rain before the game was actually over.
After meeting my parents and bringing them to our seats, the boys decided it was time to wander a little before the game started. We wandered over to where the little playground area was all blocked off. After a quick little time playing (we crawled under the chain) a security person came and scolded us for going in so we headed back to our seats. The boys stopped for a fun picture behind the whitecaps board.
We stopped on the way back to get them their dinner of a kids meal and settled them in to eat. My parents treated us to dinner, which was awesome. They had pulled pork and pulled chicken sandwiches that we loaded with BBQ sauce and they were really yummy. I can still taste them now.
When the game finally started, the boys were pretty attentive at first. They were both excited to watch the board that showed the speed of every pitch after it was thrown. They also laughed at all of the silly things the mascots did to entertain the crowd in between each inning.
The kids lasted about three innings before the need to start wandering hit them. That was the nice thing about a small and uncrowded park. I was actually okay with letting them wander over to the grassy hill and play for awhile. They entertained themselves for quite a long time rolling down, up, and sideways.
While it seemed as if they didn't really care about the game, periodically when I glanced over to check on them, I would find Noah parked right down in the front row, watching the game pretty intently. That's one thing about him. Even when we think he's totally off in space somewhere, he is usually catching pretty much everything that's going on.
After awhile, I brought them back to actually hang out with us for awhile. The rain and wind were gradually picking up too and it was clear that the coats and blankets that we were originally going to leave at home were a good thing to bring. It was nice to snuggle under them, especially when our hands started getting cold.
How cute are these boys?
Let's pause for more silliness on the field, shall we?
Back to the story. Somewhere in the seventh inning, the boys felt the need to start wandering again and they worked their way down to the seats right behind the third base dugout. The rain was picking up and we were all starting to get cold, so I called them to us and said that we were going to go sit up higher where it was dry. They came with us and at that point, we decided that we had had a great first baseball experience but it was definitely time to call it a night.
As we were leaving, Grandpa asked the boys to hold out their hands and presented them each with a souvenir Whitecaps baseball of their very own. They were SO excited! I wish I had taken a picture of their reactions, but I think my hands were frozen at that point so it wouldn't have worked.
Despite the cold, wind, and rain, we really had a great time at the ball game. The boys were talking about it at breakfast this morning and there is no question that they want to go to again.
I think we'll wait another month until it warms up, though.