We enjoyed some baseball games when we were in Texas, so it was nice when we moved here and noticed that we lived just a few miles away from a minor league stadium. We planned to attend a game sometime, and found a good reason to go early in the season. Some of the youth from church are in their high school’s marching band, which provides manpower for a concession stand once a month as a fundraiser. We found out which side of the stadium they were working and made plans to go to the game.
Elena didn’t know much about baseball before the game, but she quickly figured out the most important parts. She may not know why the runners start running when there’s a three and two count with two outs, but she does know where to get nachos from. Her excellent eyesight identified the kids’ play area, complete with bouncy house and carousel, from all the way across the field. Before the night was over, we made a trip to that part of the stadium so she could ride a horsey.
Aside from that, her favorite element of the game was Louie, the big green monster that fulfills the role of team mascot. Every few minutes she asked “where’s Louie?” and we would have to look around until we spotted him–on the roof of the dugout, in the press box, or just hanging around the stands getting his picture taken with the fans. While we were walking over to the play area, all of a sudden we saw him right in front of us. We asked Elena if she wanted to say hi or give Louie a hug, but he was just too big in person and she looked positively scared, not just timid (sort of like this). We let it go, but as soon as we were a safe distance away, she climbed back on the Louie bandwagon.
We left just before the seventh-inning stretch. It was Saturday, which means there were fireworks planned for after the game, but we just couldn’t stretch it. We needed to get a milkshake and put Elena to bed. It’s a good thing we left when we did; the game went into extra innings and didn’t end until it was too late for the fireworks display.
Elena has strong memories of the outing. Last night she couldn’t get to sleep, so I was rocking her and singing. She started to talk about Louie, and I pulled up some pictures of him on my iPod. After we looked at them for a little while, she crawled right into bed and fell asleep.