Baseball is a sport I have never been a fan of. During baseball season, I would come into my parent's house or grandparent's house to find my dad or my grandfather sitting in front of the television with a baseball game airing on the screen. And I found it tedious and boring. I honestly still do. But, I had never actually attended a baseball game - not of any kind, not even little league.
Here in Tulsa, we have the Tulsa Drillers - a minor league team. I had seen the OneOK field during frequent trips downtown to Joe Momma's or Fat Guy's Burger Bar (if you are EVER in Tulsa, make one of these or both a place to eat a meal). And I would see families walking away from the field after the game was over. I started thinking that maybe there was something to actually going to a ballgame, something that made it more exciting than watching it on TV.
One of my co-workers also works part time at OneOK and she organized a baseball game outing for everyone in our department at American Airlines. Tickets were only $10 and I knew being that cheap I could afford it. What the hell, I thought.
When I walked through the front gates, I was struck by the rich greenness of the grass, by the smell of popcorn, hot dogs and beer and by the sheer amount of people who were in attendance. I had never even been in a stadium before, so it was quite a sight to see.
I sat down with my friends from work in our chosen section. They weren't the best seats in the house, but they weren't terrible, either. And the seats were surprisingly comfortable, even to me in my five-month pregnant condition.
I watched the players warming up, tossing the ball back and forth between one another. I was also reading the roster. I figured I might as well try to figure this sport out so I could understand the details of what was going on.
Then I saw Hornsby - the giant blue bull mascot of the Drillers. And he worked the crowd - mostly the kids. He was dancing, shaking his tail to various current hits playing on the speakers, engaging with the children who were just overjoyed to see him. In the process, he was entertaining me as well.
Between watching Hornsby and talking with my friends, I must admit that I did not watch too much of the game. So, figuring out the details did not work. What I did watch did not engage me too much, but it did give me a feeling of Americana. It made me think, "Wow. I'm at a baseball game. This is kind of cool." And I tried to put myself in the position of my grandmother when she was a teenager. She would sit in the principal's office at school and listen to the ballgame on the radio. I think I put myself in her position for a split second and I felt a touch of emotion, an American pride. And I suddenly wanted a hot dog and a piece of apple pie.
Go on Google and look up baseball teams in your area. Tickets should not be that expensive (unless it's Major League). Even if you don't like baseball, it is an experience. So much so, that I went again with friends from work just last week. And you are out in the fresh air and sparkling sun, your thoughts are not consumed by what else you have to do during the day. You are just basking in the American sport, even if you aren't watching it.