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A Day At The Game

My wife got us all tickets to a Seattle Mariners game this past Sunday. One of the things that I was hoping to come from this game was to teach my son how to do baseball score keeping. More on that in a bit

James at a game 2013

This past Sunday was our semi-regular annual day at a Mariners game. Except for last year we have taken the twins to at least one of the Seattle Mariners home games each year and as the kids have gotten older the enjoyment has the improved, both theirs and mine. 

The other reason that we do this is that we have a new Au Pair each year and it gives them an American cultural experience. There was a time not too long ago when a Chevy commercial went something like “As American as Baseball, hot dogs, apple pie and Chevrolet” so this is a great slice of American culture to share with international visitors. This year we also had our Au Pair's dad visiting with us for a couple of weeks from South Africa, and her boyfriend was also joining us, so anticipation and excitement was high.

It was a normal spring day here, which is to say that it was cool and overcast but we never did get any rain. Which is a thing in Seattle...  the weather can fool you so if you are waiting for a nice sunny day to get out and do something you may end up in the house for many days waiting for clear sky’s. 

And another thing, albeit a bit random, and that is that no one here in Seattle uses an umbrella. Just saying.

We all piled into the mini van and off we went, leaving early to not get caught up in too much stadium traffic. We got there, parked the vehicle and crossed over to the stadium.  It is always a treat to watch the kids faces light up as we walk into the stadium, when they look out onto the field and just take in the size of the stadium.

As I mentioned in the beginning, this year I wanted to try and interest my son James in learning how to record a game, keeping track of the hits, walks, strike outs runs, etc. He does go to a gymnastics program twice a week but the only team activities he does are the Chess club and the math team. So baseball has never been a thing for him and I wasn’t expecting too much interest from him.

On the other hand he is a math wiz (I’m thinking Billy Bean and the KC Royals) and loves codes (bought himself a book on codes at the last book fair) so I thought this could be a great fit for him, and I was not disappointed. By the 3rd inning he had it down, tracking all of the action on the field, his pencil (and eraser) just a flurry of  fully engaged activity. And he could not have been happier!

Now, on the absolute opposite side of the spectrum is my daughter Jackie, who likes the social aspects of the game, cheering when the crowd cheers, dancing and clapping with the stadium music, but not following the game at all. And she also loved the food and snacks there,  filling up on Peanuts, lemonade, ice cream, kettle corn and probably a couple of other things I missed.

Later in the game the rest of the adults made their way over to the team store where Chloe’s dad stocked up on Mariners gear to bring back home to South Africa. They missed the homers

The Mariners were pretty much locked in for a win by the top of the 8th, up 7 to 4 after three home runs. See the video of the 2nd HR while James is focused on scoring the hit.

At that point I did what every other non-baseball fanatical fan at the game did... grabbed everyone and made a beeline for the minivan to beat the other 30,000 or so fans trying to get out of the parking garages as well.  

We beat the rush and headed home, everyone happy with the day. Introducing my son to scoring and some baseball statistics far exceeded my intention to try and get my son connected with sports in a way that would interest him.

He now wants to watch the Brad Pitt movie “money ball” and hopefully he will dive into the plethora of statistics and numbers that baseball offers. I have computer baseball game driven mainly by numbers and stats with minimal graphics and will introduce him to that and see where that goes.

My takeaway for the day was to never underestimate the power of a reasonable idea.


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