Baseball Makes Me Want to Fall Asleep in My Cracker Jacks. But I Still Go Anyway.

– Posted in: Bright Side of Life, Elfie, Family, Mouths of Babes, Personal Insanity, Sports, Things To Do with Kids, This Is Supposed to be Fun, Worst Mom Randomness

The other night, we went to a baseball game. Reno has a Triple-A team called the “Aces” (original, right?), and my friend gave us some really good tickets.

One of these days, my kids will go to a game where they have to sit where “normal” people sit. So far, every game they’ve attended has been special. Somehow we’ve ended up in a box twice, and the third time we sat in this grassy area where they just ran around and didn’t even watch the game.

But this time was different. This time, they’d previously watched A League of Their Own and The Bad News Bears, and suddenly they wanted to see a real game. So we took them. We sat there, chowing through two tubs of bottomless popcorn and explaining every play. We stayed for almost the entire thing (it went twelve innings). And as we walked back to the car, my daughter, Elfie, said, “That was great! I wanna go to more of those.”


See, the thing is, I am not a baseball fan. Why?

  • It’s slow.
  • The pants make the players look like they’re wearing saggy-crotched children’s pajamas.
  • It’s slow.
  • Every time I go to a game, it ends up in extra innings.
  • It’s slow.
  • Being in a stadium always gives me an up-close-and-personal reminder of exactly who makes up the electorate.
  • It’s slow.
  • If I’m going to be screwed over by having to pay for overpriced food, I feel like I should at least be at a Hawaiian resort.
  • Did I mention it’s slow?

I used to get mad about how much money athletes made, but after the whole financial crisis, I didn’t care as much. I mean, at least they’re doing something. Chasing a ball. Hitting a ball. Trying to run quickly (at least most of the time — with Triple-A ball that’s always questionable). They certainly work harder than people who sit around and move money with their Blackberries.

Anyway, I’m not a bad baseball fan for lack of trying. My grandparents were die-hard Cubs fans. They watched every game, kept stats, and made us all embarrass ourselves by forcing us into various forms of Cubs paraphernalia. My grandmother — LaFern — met Harry Caray and regularly wrote scathing letters to the Cubs management to tell them what they were doing wrong (are you all seeing where I came from now?).

So I should love baseball. But it just hurts me. I’ll go to a game (with extra innings, of course) every once in a while, just to eat a hot dog and stare out over the peaceful green field for a few long hours. But dear lord. Don’t ask me to do more than that.

Family at Reno Aces game

I’m really just here for the food…

Still, it was fun to see the kids watch the game. They loved clapping and yelling to all of the songs that get the crowd going (although after a while they asked what was wrong with these people and why they couldn’t come up with anything original). They liked learning how to yell at the umpire when he made a lousy call. And we were all just happy being together.

But really, the best part about baseball is that it always brings back a little piece of my grandparents. And it reminds me of my mother — she was infamous for yelling at television screens during just about any sporting event. You see, I come from a long line of boisterous, Polish women who’re easily irritated.

So it was no surprise that as we watched the Aces pitcher getting his butt handed to him, Elfie shook her head and said, “When are they going to take this guy out? I mean, who’s running this thing?”

“Okay LaFern,” I said.

“What?” she said, still scrutinizing the field.

I looked over at my husband and laughed.

Family at Reno Aces Game

In their rally caps — 11th inning. And disgusted.



10 Comments… add one

Polly July 23, 2013, 1:46 pm

OH, one of your best ever. Your mom and grama would be so proud!

Tammy July 23, 2013, 2:04 pm

Thanks cuz! I thought I should post it on the family FB page.

andrea-maybe it's just me July 23, 2013, 4:47 pm

Aside from the slowness of the game, it is typically accompanied by HEAT…bleah! Watching it at home at least provides the opportunity to multi-task. Love that Elfie shout!
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Tammy July 24, 2013, 11:31 pm

I saw a Cubs game in Chicago during a heat wave. That was pretty crazy. But at least the Aces game was pleasant. We were in the shade the whole time.

And I know — she kills me.

Kimbra July 23, 2013, 5:01 pm

Baseball is dreadfully slow, and hot, and around here everything is expensive. If I must participate in watching baseball, I prefer watching from the comfort of my couch in the air conditioning, with free hot dogs.

Tammy July 24, 2013, 11:36 pm

Watching a game at home for me is totally painful because there’s nothing else to watch except what they show you. At least if I’m there, I can people watch or see what the other players are doing (besides the pitcher, batter, and catcher). BTW, I totally forgot to tell the story of the drunk woman who though these guys next to us were in her seat, so she sort of tried to confront them a little. When she realized she was wrong (I helped her read her ticket) she left — but only after grabbing one of the guy’s beers off the ground! Just awesome.

Verity July 23, 2013, 6:26 pm

Ok, speaking of yelling at umpires…I will never forget – I was about 12 and my dad and I were at a college basketball game. The guy behind me yelled, “hey, ref – you hamburger. Get your head out of your ass!” It has puzzled me since…see what nice things your kids can learn at sporting events?
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Tammy July 24, 2013, 11:38 pm

I have absolutely no idea what that means. Maybe he said something else, but as a 12-year-old, you pulled one of those child-translation things. Or maybe he was just drunk (see my reply to Kimbra…).

Maxabella July 26, 2013, 6:53 pm

One of my most favourite nights ever was at a Yankees Game at Yankee Stadium. Possibly because it was all just so FOREIGN and I felt like I was in a movie, or something. One of the funniest moments was when the crowd were getting a bit antsy over a dropped ball by one of the fieldsmen (do you call them that) and the big fella seated behind us leaped disgustedly to his feet, spilling popcorn across the crowd and yelled, “You even suck in the video game!!!!” Hysterical!! x
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Tammy July 27, 2013, 12:21 am

That’s fantastic! You got a real live American baseball experience!

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