A Day at the Park
It was a day I was subconsciously waiting my whole life for, but I didn?t realize it until it was happening. The day was August 8, 1996, just 25 days before my son?s first birthday. The Texas Rangers, my favorite baseball team, were in town to play the K.C. Royals. I had always dreamed of one day, taking my son to his first Rangers game. A father taking his son to a baseball game is just the American thing to do, and there I was, taking my son “out to the ball game”; Americas favorite pastime.
I hadn?t been to see a Ranger game in years and had been wanting to, for quite a while. But like many other young married couples, we didn?t really seem to have the time, nor the money. We decided to splurge and buy general admission tickets. Well it was about three hours before the game, and one hour before I got through with work. All of a sudden my phone rings, and it was my mother-in-law “wondering” if I wanted a couple of free view box tickets and a parking pass, for that nights Ranger game. I couldn?t have been more excited, much less believe my luck.
After I got off work , and picked up the tickets, I raced home to get my wife and son ready to go. Over the next half hour, I almost regretted having to bring my son, what with the hassle of getting the diaper bag packed , the traffic, and fighting the crowds while pushing a stroller. It was hectic, but I survived.
Finally we were situated and ready for the game. The singing of the national anthem was finished and we were waiting for the first pitch. All of a sudden it hit me, for some reason I couldn?t have been prouder. There I was, holding my son and watching my childhood heroes, sharing his first major league baseball game. Now I don?t know if what I felt was brought on by television fantasy, or just sheer pride and joy, but I do know that I felt like a million bucks.
After about ten minutes my son started to get restless, and my wife had to walk him around to keep him quiet. Every once in a while when she would bring him back to our seats, he?d sit on my lap and somewhat watch the game, saying “ba” which was his word for ball. That alone would make me smile, even if the Rangers were losing. I guess he just wasn?t as thrilled with baseball as I was, but one day that will change.
Even though it was a really good game, and my team lost, I didn?t seem to mind much, because my son and I had just watched our first Ranger game together. Just like everything else important that happens in my sons life, this too will go marked down in his baby book, with the ticket taped in as a keepsake. Despite the game upset and my sons crankiness, I?ll always think of August 8th as the day of the greatest game I ever saw.