Monday, July 23, 2012

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Some friends' little boys had their birthday party at the ballpark on Saturday night. It was, I'm a bit ashamed to say, the first baseball game of any kind the boys have ever seen. But it was awesome. Even the rain held off for us!

This is my attempt at getting rid of clutter by taking photos of ticket stubs.

We drove up to Coolray Field to see the Gwinnett Braves play. I don't think I'd ever driven by the place, much less been to a game there. Just from my limited experience, it was well laid-out with good views even from the concession areas, a nice lawn past the outfield, convenient restrooms, and the largest screen I've seen outside Turner Field. I've been to two Atlanta Braves games in my entire life and both were before I went to college. (Don't hate on me. I know I live in Atlanta, we're just not baseball people.)

We watched the opening with wide-eyes: I couldn't believe my kids had never seen a real, live marching band before! Apparently, I haven't taken them to any parades in their recent memory. We will have to rectify this soon! But there were lots of other things we enjoyed that were just as exciting, though perhaps not as new to us.

For the kids, there was a party package with classic ballpark dinner food: hot dogs, chips, Cracker Jacks, and lemonade. And off past the outfield fence, bounce houses and inflatable games decorated the lawn, perfect for getting kids to burn off some of that extra energy while the adults "watched" the game. Ahem. Despite the threat of thunderstorms, we DID get to enjoy some batting practice...and pitching...

He is READY. Look at that stance!

Yes, we have a lefty. He's still figuring it all out.

I promise he did hit a few -- I just never captured it on film.

Direct hit! Yay!

Did you notice the number on the board? That was his previous pitch -- 35 mph is decent for a 5 yr old, right?!

My baby's first baseball game!

My big boy's first baseball game!

My middle child (L) with the birthday boy, doing what he does best -- eating!

 It took Jacob a while to actually want to watch the game, but he finally warmed up to the rhythm and by the third inning we had to drag him home despite the crushing loss of the home team already in progress.

We had a great time, and would've stayed longer, but we had already been through long week of late nights (evening VBS -- a post to itself) and both Gaines and I had to teach Sunday School the next morning.

We do plan to go back as a family -- they have made it quite the family-friendly venue. It almost reminded me of a fancier, much more crowded version of going down to the baseball fields in my hometown to watch the high school boys play (minus those painful metal bleachers). And it was SO much easier (and cheaper!) than trying to go downtown to Turner Field and find parking and fight the crowds....if we want to watch live baseball, this is the place for us.

Thank you, friends who invited us to the Gwinnett Braves! And thank you to all the folks at Coolray Field for a great evening! We'll be back!

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