Take me out to the ball game (ALCS Game 2)
WordPress ate the original draft of this post. It was probably for the better because I doubt that it was that good, and it was way longer than I had wanted it anyway.
The Husband, The Girl, and I traveled to Baltimore to watch the Royals play in the second game of the American League Championship Series. The Husband and I weren’t going to take The Girl at first, but then I decided that I wanted us to experience it as a family. I was younger than her (and The Husband was a month away from being born) when the Royals won the series in 1985. Even though she would have no memory of it, I wanted The Girl there with us.
Of course, taking a six month old to a baseball game in October with rain in the forecast takes a bit of prep work. I spent the next day after we bought the tickets searching Amazon for cheap, water-resistant items. We already had enough warm weather sunny day stuff for The Girl and ourselves.
Some of the garb we packed:
Top left and bottom right: Columbia packable rain jackets
Bottom left (clockwise from top left): water-resistant pants for The Girl, fleece lined water-resistant jacket for The Girl, baby hat, baby sunglasses
Top right (clockwise from left): picnic/stadium blanket, tickets, umbrella
These are earmuffs that serve as hearing protection for newborns up to 18mos. We’ve used these with the girl since she was 2wks old at church and other places that are loud. We brought them along just in case the cheering upset her, but we didn’t end up using them. People always ask where we got the earmuffs. We purchased them from Amazon. The product website is http://www.earmuffsforkids.com
Here are the shirts that we wore to the game. I want to point out that, with the exception of the infant t-shirt, all of these items are MINE:
Top: Alex Gordon infant t-shirt
Bottom Left: 1985 World Champions sweatshirt (worn by me) Yes, it is really from 1985. It was my mom’s and she let me have it about 10 years ago.
Bottom Center: Plain old Royals t-shirt (worn under my sweatshirt)
Bottom Right; Royals jersey shirt (worn by The Husband)
Not pictured: Powder Blue Royals hat (worn by The Husband…also mine)
Parenting tip #1: Use a backpack to carry baby stuff when you go places where you’re anticipating a lot of walking or movement. Diaper bags tend to be bulky and even if you wear them messenger bag style, they always seem to get in the way. Backpacks feel much sleeker and makes moving about less awkward.
Parenting tip #2: Invest in an Ergobaby carrier. Seriously.
We pretty much had all blue errthang. Even Bertha the Big Blue Boat (my Chrysler Pacifica) is powder blue. I knew that if we were going to be at a game in an opposing stadium that we needed to REPRESENT.
I’ve wanted to visit Baltimore for a while and the game crossed two things off of my bucket list: 1) Visit Baltimore 2) See the Royals play in the postseason.
Baltimore is a better place than I had expected. The part of the city we visited had lots of character. There were lots of older row houses and businesses. We picked an express sushi place to eat at that was supposed to be near the Inner Harbor, which is a very lovely area. We didn’t find the sushi place, so we ended up eating at Five Guys. We were in a bit of a time crunch because we had to stop a couple of times because The Girl was doing her whole, “I’m hungry but I have to complain about it and refuse to eat until I want to eat,” shtick. We weren’t in a time crunch for the start of the game by any means, but we wanted to get in the park not very long after the gate opened so that we didn’t have to climb over people and try to get settled in.
Baltimore seems like a nice place. The people there were friendly (several people stopped us to ooh and ahh over The Girl). The area that we were in had a lot of character.
What I didn’t like was how loud it is there. It’s very, very loud. I’m comfortable in an urban setting, so I wasn’t thrown off by the city noises. The people there are loud talkers. The restaurants blare their music. The cops loudly blow their whistles. Cars honk for no apparent reason. There is a cacophony of sound everywhere you turn.
It only got louder as we approached the stadium.
Scalpers (or perhaps legit ticket vendors…who knows?) were yelling to passersby. There were people yelling out the prices of the prepackaged food and drink they were selling for cheaper than the stadium price (you could bring prepackaged goods into the stadium). The cops were on their whistles. A streetcar drove by loudly ringing its bell. People were talking loudly. Cars were honking. Music was drifting out from the stadium.
We drifted toward the stadium enterance; an orange and black mob surrounding us. We were ever conspicuous in our blue, but no one seemed to notice.
As we made our way to our seats, we saw the TBS pre-game show being filmed. I couldn’t believe it. I was about 30 feet from Gary Sheffield and Pedro Martinez.
Oriole’s Park at Camden Yards is a very beautiful ball park. It was built in 1992, but has the look and feel of 100 years before then. The architecture was really neat. I felt like I was in a snapshot from the early days of baseball.
A friendly usher guided us to our seats (we were on the aisle, thankfully), and we started to settle in with all of our garb. Our seats were on the lower level and we were under the upper level’s overhang which was good because it protected us from the wind and rain.
We ended up with some Royals fans behind us and several more near where we were sitting. I wish that I could have been back home at The K (Kauffman Stadium) cheering The Boys in Blue on, but having that cadre of Royals fans there felt like home. All of us (except one who grew up in Oklahoma) were from the Kansas City area and lived on the East Coast. One guy came from NYC to see the game.
I’ve only ever watched the Royals at a home game, so it was rather weird watching them as the opposing team. The ball park music was on point. Every song that they used after plays or during breaks was great. The atmosphere was great. If I wasn’t already a Royals fan, I would’ve adopted the Orioles as my team. I am, however, tired of hearing “Seven Nation Army” by The White Stripes and I’ve had the chant they do for Darren O’ Day (P) stuck in my head for two days now. It’s a catchy tune.
Overall, it was a good experience. It was nerve-racking (it was a tied game for five innings) as these games have tended to be. I was hoping that it would be a good game, but I was also hoping for a win because I don’t think that I’ve ever been to a Royals game where they’ve won.
Of course, I got my wish. The Royals won 6-4, pulling in the last two runs at the top of the ninth. I’m so happy that the game didn’t go into extra innings. Everyone around us came to a consensus that the game felt incredibly long and it was certainly emotional. I don’t think that I could have done extra innings.
The Royals take on the Orioles today and tomorrow in Kansas City. I’m hoping for a sweep because I don’t think that I can handle anything else.
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