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The Changing Baseball Experience


I am a baseball purist.  I am that person who goes to a baseball game and sits down to actually watch the game.  I don’t become distracted by all the other activities that one can do while at the ball park.

Before the pregame festivities, I am make sure that I get a hot dog, soda, score card and pencil.  I watch the lineups being announced, I watch the first pitch, and I sit down and watch the pitcher warm up.  There is just something that almost therapeutic about watching the game while filling out your score card.  It is relaxing and keeps your head in the game.

At Kauffman Stadium in Kansas City, they have created what they call the outfield experience. This place has games, a smaller baseball diamond, a splash park, and a playground.  The first two years of the Kid’s life, going to the ball park was easy.  He didn’t realize what was beyond the outfield wall.  To him, the only thing that went on the other side of the fence was a home run ball.  This made it really easy for me to watch the game with him in the seat next to me.

Now that he is three, for the lack of a better term, the game has changed.  Not only for me, but for him. Our shared baseball experience was bound to change but I was determined to keep him from visiting the outfield experience for as long as possible. I knew that it was a slippery slope.  As soon as he knew that it was out there, he would not want to watch the game at all.  Going to be a baseball game would no longer be a shared experience but would become going to an overpriced amusement park.

Baseball Experience - The Rookie Dad

The first three innings of the Royals vs. Dodgers game was easy.  I was able to stuff his face full of peanuts and lemonade.  Being only three-years-old, he would only be able sit down for so long.  I didn’t want to resort to cotton candy too early in the game, I really wanted to leave that as a reward for being good. He was starting to get antsy as he did not like being stuck in his seat.

I caved.

I didn’t even make it three innings. We decided to walk around and there was no choice but to walk in the outfield.  The Kid immediately ran towards the playground. I can’t complain about him finding the only free thing to do out there.  However, part of me was frustrated that I was missing the game, and I was not even a fan of either of the teams that were playing. That is how much baseball means to me.

They were playing the game’s radio feed through the speakers, so I was at least able to keep up with the game.  I was still able to hear the roar of the crowd, the groan when the Dodgers scored a run, and I was able to smell the cooking hot dogs and popcorn.  I was still at the game and even better I was at the game with my son.

Baseball Experience - The Rookie Dad

It hit me about the fifth inning of the game, that the distractions, are what get the younger generation to the game.  It is what exposes that younger generation to the game.  It implants that vision of one day seeing their face on a big jumbotron as they walk up to the plate.

I want to pass down my passion for baseball to the Kid, I want to be able to sit down with him and be able to share the game with him, much like what my dad and I can do, and did the night following taking the Kid to the ball park.  If it takes a few distractions like a playground or splash park to get him to the ball park that, than that is what it takes.  We were still able to sit down for roughly half of the game and watch it together.  He was still able to stand up and cheer when the first baseman made a nice diving stop.

In the end, it is that shared baseball experience that a father and son are having.  It is that twinkle in the eye that your kid gets when they walk up to the stadium.  It is the ketchup in the corner of their mouths from the hot dogs and the sugar rush from cotton candy.  It is all about spending time together, building those experiences that your kid will not forget.  Those experiences will be what forms his love for baseball as he grows older.

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ScoreBig Review


The Rookie Dad did receive compensation by ScoreBig for this review, however that compensation did not in any way change my opinion of the service.

By now you already know that I am a big baseball fan, in fact I’m a big Colorado Rockies fan. Growing up in Kansas you would think that I would have turned out to be a Kansas City Royals fan however that is an argument that I really don’t want to get into now. When I found out that I would be going to Denver for a recent business trip, I knew almost immediately, that I would be hitting up a Rockies game. No matter what the cost.

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ScoreBig - The Rookie Dad

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Bolf (that is no typo)


In our family we like to spend a lot of time outside.  That means a lot of time spending playing a game on the front yard (which looks like the Sahara desert right now).  New games are created when you have a two-year old that allow them to be able to play. On our lawn it is, Bolf!

The rules are simple. It is played with a baseball bat and a ball. It does not really matter what type of ball you play with really a basketball, softball, baseball, even a golf ball if you want to add to the difficulty of the game.

There is a pitcher who rolls the ball on the ground to the hitter who then can wait for the ball to stop and then hit it.  Once he hits the ball it is like baseball, three bases with home base and crossing means you score. Each side getting three outs and nine innings or holes whatever you choose to call it.

Now this is where it gets tricky, just like in golf lowest score wins.  The beauty of scoring this way the parents can hit the ball as hard as they want and score but the children who are not able to hit is as hard and run as fast will always win!

See how the game is played by a true Bolf player.

Bad Time to be Sick


When the kid is sick… you know the parent will eventually get sick! (© The Rookie Dad)

I love being a parent and would not take it back. In fact I had to turn my head so that Hot Mama could not see me with tears in my eyes as we watched as a baby was being born on one of our favorite TV shows last night. I do not know if I was reacting the way that I was because I miss that feeling of holding a child in my arms for the first time or if I knew exactly what they were going through. Nine months of preparation and suddenly within 12 hours your whole life changes.

There is one thing that has changed that I was not ready for. Getting sick, I am not talking about the Kid getting sick. I was prepared for that, what I was not prepared for though was that I would get sick. I guess the Boy Scouts did not teach me well, maybe that is why I was never an Eagle Scout. I was one that I had the strongest immune system around, I would never get sick. I have noticed now that I am getting the sniffles and coughs more so than earlier.

There would be no problem with this with the exception that this comes on the eve of a 3 generation trip to the MLB All-Star Fan Fest with Grandpa, the Kid, and myself. I can only hope that I am feeling good because I know that the Kid will see me make a fool of myself trying to re-enact the dramatic 3rd inning grand slam home run in 2002 that led my High School Junior Varsity baseball team to victory… which I will make sure there is no video of me trying to do that.

Bottom of the 9th… and look who is coming to bat!


It is the bottom of the 9th, Game 7 of the World Series is on-the-line.  The home team is down by a run with 2 outs and coach has a crucial decision bring up the veteran who is injured but willing to take a shot, or bring in the rookie.  Someone who has not seen playing time all during the playoffs.

Either way, this could be a decision he may regret so why leave it up to someone who is injured and blame it all on that.  He chooses the rookie.

The rookie steps into the on-deck circle and starts taking his practice swings.  His stomach in knots knowing full well that the game is on-the-line the moment he steps into the batters box.

The pressure rising, the batter before him walks! This could be his one moment in glory as with one swing of the bat he could win the game.  The Rookies body is tense as he steps into the box.  The pitcher staring down the plate as he looks for what his first pitch will be.

The wind-up and the pitch… fastball down the middle for a strike.

The Rookie backs out of the box shuffles his batting gloves and digs his back foot into the box.  The pitcher wipes the sweat from his face as he looks down at the Rookie who is more nervous than he is.

He begins his wind-up and throws a huge breaking curve-ball which the Rookie fouls off making the count 0-2. The crowd growing tense knowing full well that the game is now resting in the hands of an untested player.

© The Rookie Dad

Settling back in the Rookie’s stomach is in knots. The pitcher looking in thinking now that he has the game in his hands. The wind-up and the pitch… fastball, down the middle of the plate and low but out of nerves the Rookie swings and makes contact.  It wasn’t a pretty swing but it was enough to send it to deep right field.  The fans stand-up and cheer thinking it might be gone and the series is theirs.  The right fielder runs back to the wall and jumps up… the crowds gasps as the right fielder then falls to the ground not knowing if he has caught the ball or not.

© The Rookie Dad

With a sense of disappointment the Rookie stops between first and second base waiting for the call, the right fielder checks his glove drops his head and starts to walk slowly back to the dugout.  The umpire raises his hand in a circle motion indicated that the Rookie has just hit a walk-off home run in Game 7 of the World Series!

Oh what a feeling.

© The Rookie Dad

Now, if only this game wasn’t played in our backyard and in Dad’s imagination.

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