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At the end of the day, Baseball is a good thing

I know Major League Baseball has its issues -- performance enhancement, player salaries, Bud Selig.....the list goes on. Even so, I contend that for a family friendly experience from a professional sport, MLB is pretty hard to beat. And the value - tickets for $5 and they let you bring in your own food.

Yesterday, the family and I went to see the Atlanta Braves battle the "hated" New York Mets. It was a Murphy-Candler Little League Day at Turner Field, which meant that several families we know, had boys and girls participating in a pre-game parade around the field. Some of the younger ones even got to participate in little mini-games staged in
the outfield.

The day was a little chilly, but we had plenty of peanuts and other snacks to help keep us warm. The game was great. The Braves never trailed and closed things out with a dramatic diving catch by 2nd year local boy Jeff Franceour.

The best part is that after the game the day only got better. After Sunday day games in Atlanta, kids ages 4-14 are allowed a very special treat. They get to run the bases.

Initially Kelsey was not really excited about the prospect, but we had loads of time to convince her. All the Little Leaguer's in attendance meant that this was a more popular activity than we could have ever imagined. The procedure is that all the participants and parents line up on the ramp at the Hank Aaron gate. We arrived at the bottom of the ramp and were told we needed to ascend the ramp until we found the end of the line. Ironically, the end of the line was already at the top of the ramp, four levels up, and about 50 feet from the tunnel we used to get to our seats.

At only 4 1/2, Kelsey has never played organized ball and needed some convincing. The walk up the ramp allowed her to see a surprising percentage of participants that were young girls. It wasn't long before she concluded that this must be pretty cool if all of these kids were doing it. The line moved a lot faster than I imagined and before we knew it Kelsey was zooming around the bases like a seasoned veteran.

I applaud the Braves. The activity was well staffed and smoothly run. Every participant got a T-shirt and a certificate. I hope it made an impression on Kelsey and the other future All-Stars. I know it made an impression on me.

Baseball is unique. It has tradition and subtleties more so than any other professional sport.
I know there are those in the world who don't enjoy baseball, and for them I am sorry. On so many levels, at the end of the day, Baseball is a good thing.

Comments

Tony Alva said…
Love baseball, love the Braves. Even if you don't like baseball all that much, going to a game is still a fun time. If you hear of the running the bases thing happening again let me. I'd love to put The Squatz out there.
Chrispy said…
That's very cool - getting to run the bases at Turner! I'd like to have done that as a kid (at Shea, of course).

Sorry Kelsey didn't get to see the Mets sweep the Braves... maybe next time?

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