Nolan’s First Baseball Game

6 Jul

It was a monumental occasion and one that Baby Pickle will never remember, save for a couple of rouge photographs to look back at. That is fine by me, because it meant everything in the world to me. A few days ago we got to take our son to his very first professional baseball game.  Big whoop right? Wrong. It was a moment that I as a father will never forget.

I love the game of baseball, at times too much. My favorite team is the Colorado Rockies which is normal for a kid growing up in Wyoming — although I had my pick of just about any team I wanted, again because I was a kid growing up in Wyoming. The Rockies actually weren’t even a MLB team when I was born, and so I have been able to grow with them. I will never forget my first baseball game — May 20, 1994 vs the Atlanta Braves in old Mile High Stadium before Rockies’ home games were played across I-25 in Coors Field. Baseball has been a love of mine ever since. There is something about the grass (it looks greener), and the dirt (perfectly manicured), and the crack off a wood bat that is intoxicating. So enough about me, but you can see why taking Nolan to his first baseball game strikes close to my heart!

This first game for our little monster was particularly exciting for a couple of reasons : a) we were away from home on a vacation to the Mrs’ family in Des Moines, IA and b) it was a fireworks game. AHH! Fireworks!!! I don’t know what it is but fireworks just turn me straight into a little kid again. In fact, I get intensely pissed when fireworks shows are cancelled — which has happened the last few years here in Denver. Baseball AND fireworks, you kiddin’ me!? This night could not be horrible.

Back to Nolan and baseball. He has watched countless games sitting in my lap or in his swing, so he isn’t completely oblivious to the game but he mostly just likes all the color. And on this night, the night of his first baseball game, he liked the girls. We were sitting just a few rows up off the first base line, perfect seats in my opinion. Let me also point out, this is not a massive 30,000 + seat stadium that we were in, which makes it all the more fun. Many of you probably already knew this but Des Moines is not the home of any major league team. We were actually watching the Iowa Cubs take on the Memphis Redbirds — Cubs vs Cardinals, a great rivalry! So seats up the first base line was right in the action. I was stoked to watch some of the Cardinals that were re-habbing injury warm up in the bullpen in front of us, and I was telling Nolan about Edward Mujica who I also had on my fantasy baseball team at that point in time… He was looking over my shoulder. Ok, fine Nolan you can go sit with Aunt Sandy — I’ll catch you up on the game later….
Little did I realize, this move worked in his favor, because behind his favorite GREAT!-Aunt sat three young girls. And at that point Nolan turned into the biggest 4-month old flirt I’ve ever seen in my life. I was proud and a little sad, all at the same time. Baseball would be talked about another day, I suppose. Would (or will) girls always come before dear old dad? Eh, probably. That’s ok. At least he had a good eye 😉

The Cubbies lost a heartbreaker 5-6 even though they had an exciting stretch of 3 home runs in 4 at-bats. And down went the lights. It was fireworks time. Now Josie and I were completely unsure how Nolan would react to the fireworks for a couple of reasons but namely that he was only 4 months old and (for anyone who hasn’t viewed fireworks at a baseball game) the fireworks went off literally 400′ away from us. Mrs. Pickle held him and was ready to dart at any time he showed any discomfort, but the kid is a stud — did I mention the girls he was scouting?? — and he enjoyed most of them. The ending BOOMS were a little over the top and he could have lived without them. Overall though, the night was a screaming success (minus the screaming).

There will be many, many, many (Mrs Pickle says, “Stop Joel, they get it) more baseball games for our family. If for no other reason then to let the flirt loose.

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