Take Me Out to the Ball Game

Peter is at a meeting in San Francisco this week and we were talking last night about the time a few years ago when I went with him to a Giants versus Padres game at their new stadium, Candlestick Park, right on the Bay. It was a beautiful California summer night and we took a streetcar to the stadium.

The first thing I noticed was that there were older grandmotherly women dressed in red shorts, sneakers and white shirts working the stands, greeting people, helping with children and seating. I found out that they were a volunteer group that helped the fans and kept order. What a great idea. I think many other teams do this also.

When a home run was hit, the ball usually went into the water, and there were boats out there waiting. Someone usually jumped into the water and retrieved the ball, which floated. Who knew? And it was shown on the jumbotron, which provided some entertainment. And with the crackerjacks, the wave, hot dogs, and the Seventh Inning Stretch done to “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”, it was all a lot of fun. I heard later that the boats were sent away, too dangerous, people jumping into the water, but later still, they came back. I don’t know what the situation is now, but that was then.

Back in the mid-70’s when our son George was about seven, and we were living in the Norfolk, VA area, Peter took him and a few of his friends to a Tidewater Tides baseball game. The tickets were from the ship’s Welfare and Rec Fund and were $2 a piece plus $1 for better upfront seats. What a deal. When he came home, he said the whole afternoon cost him a bloody fortune (his exact words), the baseball cards, the baseball caps, the hot dogs, sodas and popcorn. But you shouldn’t put a price on a memory, and you never know when you’re creating one.

Which reminds me of another time at a Nats game at RFK stadium. Peter said he would really like a beer. I said this man here is walking up and down the stands selling beer. Peter said yeah, but that’s Budweiser and it’s probably warm. I’d really like a Michelob. Well, I needed to stretch my legs anyway so I went up to get Peter a Michelob. I stood in a long line and when I got to the front was told that they were out of Michelob. After a big sigh, I said, “My husband really wants a Michelob.” The man then said, “no problem, I’ll put Budweiser in a Michelob cup and he probably won’t know the difference. I took the Bud in a Michelob cup back to Peter and waited for my big moment. After a while, I said. How’s your beer? He said, Great. I said, “It’s Budweiser, they were out of Michelob.” And my next words were to be, “The man up there said you probably wouldn’t know the difference. ” But I didn’t say them. Peter said, “Well, at least it’s cold.” I let him have the last word.

During my voluminous research for this blog, here are a few things I learned.The 2014 World Series champs were the San Francisco Giants. Hitting flies at home or at home plate is called swatting, a 1980’s Red Sox hurler was called Oil Can Boyd. And a bench-clearing fight is a rhubarb and a great baseball tradition.           (From Saturday’s Baseball acrostic puzzle)

Let me root, root, root for the home team,

If they don’t win, it’s a shame,

For it’s one, two, three strikes you’re out

At the old Ball Game.”

Here is a good website to hear all three verses of “Take Me out to the Ball Game” sung at a ball game in 1908: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=q4-gsdLSSQ0


3 thoughts on “Take Me Out to the Ball Game”

  1. I thoroughly enjoyed this baseball post! My only baseball story is that my mother and I decided to take my stepfather to a game at Shea stadium for Fathers Day on June 21, 1964. It was a perfect day for a game and we were so pleased for my stepfather. The game was between the Philadelphia Phillies and the New York Mets. Jim Bunning pitched a perfect game for the Phillies-No Hits-and Gus Triandos was the catcher. He was the only catcher in MLB history to catch a perfect game for both the American and National leagues. Thank heavens for Hot Dogs!

  2. Well, you’ve done it again, Joanne! First, I am back in sixth grade, playing ball at recess with my classmates, in a skirt no less (we weren’t allowed to wear pants)! Even now, I remember that it was a very hot day (of course, it was…in Gulf Coast Mississippi!) Then, I was back in the old Turner Stadium here in Atlanta, when the Braves won the pennant. What an exciting night for Lonnie, our son and me! The fireworks blazed forth…we won!! (I’ve always been sorry that Amy was already at college.)

    I guess baseball has a few standards that are always the same from stadium-to-stadium, team-to-team, year-to-year and game-to-game forever and ever. Boys (and girls) of all ages want certain things AT a baseball game and PLAYING baseball…the wind in your hair when you throw down the bat and run joyously to 1st, hot dogs, Cokes (or beer), salty popcorn, roasted peanuts, candy, your team to win and, the best of all, to catch one of those baseballs.

    Thank you for sharing and being the catalyst for these O so delightful summer memories. Keep ’em coming! — Love, Mary

  3. I hope the last reply got through. A thunderstorm is bumping around outside and when I tried to send the reply, something bad happened. Sigh… Just another stumble in another frustrating couple of days.

    Liked your remembrances. Say hello to your hubby.


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