Why a Day at the Ballpark Is About Your Son, Not You

Father and son at baseball game Coors FieldI struck out swinging at the ballpark last night.

I took my son Eli to Coors Field hoping to do more than wolf down a stadium dog and fries. So …. how did I do?

Teach Eli to love the National Pastime? Nope, he was bored by the Colorado Rockies game from the very first pitch. Impart the basics of baseball? Not interested, even though a few days ago he started playing Tee Ball for the first time. Root, root root for the home team? Eli decided it would get under his old man’s skin if he cheered on the Arizona Diamondbacks, not our hometown Rockies.

Epic fail, as the kids used to say, right?

Not even close.

My son wolfed down cotton candy, had his first Mountain Dew, surveyed the glories of Coors Field on his father’s shoulders and charmed some fans. Expectations go out the window when children are involved. You take what you can get. And, as I’m reminded on a daily basis, it’s very rarely about the parent.

Eli eating cotton candy drinking Mountain DewMy own ballpark memories linger with no sign of fading. Eating ice cream my grandfather “Poppy” got from a fan who stole a case from a vendor. Sampling shaved ice outside Yankee Stadium with my Aunt and Uncle. And, best of all, the first sign of the stadium’s glorious green grass during every trip to The Bronx. That never got old.

Growing up, our family only visited The House that Ruth Built once a season. Later, we stopped going altogether. My father hated crowds, traffic and the unexpected moments that come with visiting the Big Apple. That made those early games special, even if deep down I knew my dad wanted to be watching the game from his leather couch, not our cheap stadium seats. It meant the world to us, and my father knew that mattered most.

My brother and I would snare a program from every game and treat them like Faberge eggs. I still have some of them today. If I close my eyes I can see Thurman Munson and Bobby Murcer adorning the cover of one from the early 1970s. I haven’t looked at that program in years. Maybe a decade.

I hope our Coors Field visit made a similar deposit in my son’s memory banks. If so, the game was a grand slam – even if the home team got slaughtered.


  1. Maureen Toto says

    I love it. He is a little blue man and Mountain Dew, wow. Thats an upper. When you are five its all the goings on around you. He will have memories.

  2. says

    My Dad was never into sports, so I grew up with none. My son I’ve taken to hockey, lacrosse and baseball — at Coors Field! — so far, and we’ve had a good time each time. But still, let’s be honest, baseball is boring, punctuated with moments of excitement if you’re lucky. Still, good job taking Eli and I hope he enjoyed the cotton candy and Mountain Dew. Yeesh! 🙂

    • Christian says

      I can’t deny that, technically, baseball is dull. But there’s something about the game — the rituals, the fact that its held during the summer, the daily stats that pile up — that forever endear me to the game.

  3. says

    Slaughtered, indeed. We were there, too, except on the opposite side behind home plate, third deck. It was still stinky from that point of view. But we had a wonderful time. I took my mother-in-law and two daughters—girls’ night out at the baseball game with pink cotton candy. I had more fun watching them than watching the Rockies, except in the bottom of the seventh inning when they briefly woke up.

    I bet Eli will remember it. Kids remember the funniest things, though, like what the bathroom was like.

    • Christian says

      I love how Eli strikes up conversations wherever he goes. And, since he was dress in his “Wild Kratts” homemade shirt, he drew plenty of attention.

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