To be fair, this item on the Summer To Do List actually came from Pete. I was pretty sure it would be fun for me, too, so I stole it. I say that like Pete actually makes a list of things he wants to do each season, and I took this off his list and put it on mine instead. ;)
At some point in the spring, probably when the baseball season was still young and Pete was in the midst of his annual baseball fever, he told me he thought it might be fun to go to a Paw Sox game. Sometime in May, I received the quarterly email at work that details any free museum admissions or discounted tickets we can get by showing our work ID or calling the listed contact, and surprisingly there were two Paw Sox games on the list of discounted events. In the end we only saved $2/ticket, but that's $4 we could use towards my $10 ballpark dinner, right?! I don't think I looked to see if they were "good" seats - McCoy Stadium isn't big enough that you need to be concerned about where your seats are. But for $9 each (plus a $2 ticketing fee), it's cheap night out.
Bonus: the tickets we bought were for a game against the Lehigh Valley IronPigs (awesomest team name is baseball, if you ask me!). The Lehigh Valley IronPigs are coached by Ryne Sandberg. Ryne Sandberg was Pete's favorite player back when Pete was a wee boy. Probably right around when this photo was taken (thanks for sending the photos, Judy! We had a blast looking through them all!).
Barely related: when Pete was playing Little League, he was so much taller than the other players that his mom had to carry a birth certificate with her to his games to prove that he was the right age for the team and not some older ringer that they brought in to pitch for them! And then somehow he stopped growing...
He was cute then, huh? If you're lucky, when (if?) football season rolls around, I'll share the crazy adorable football-themed baby photos. But let's not start the football torture early.
We had a really fun time at the game. For one thing, there was plenty of good people watching for me. The awesome commentary from the two older couples behind us ("COME ON! They need to pick it up! They didn't use to take this long to play!", "oh - the guy at bat is so-and-so's ex-husband") who then left after the 6th inning and we later saw eating dinner in their motor home kept me chuckling for half the game. There was a young couple in front of us where the husband was keeping score on his scorecard until about the third inning. I'm pretty sure they are at the park frequently, because he was cheering for all the players and may have been the fan most interested in the game in our section. There was a family with three young kids who came prepared: They each had a sharpie, a ball, and a small bucket with a rope attached so that they could hang it over the railing to dangle in front of the Paw Sox dugout below us. And then there was the guy next to Pete, who leaned over somewhere around the fifth inning and asked Pete how long they played for. Pete was confused and asked him to repeat the question before telling him the game is nine innings long.
The Paw Sox won, which was nice, and we fun providing our own interpretation for Sandberg's signs when he was doing his duty as third base coach. "I'm hungry. I will get on my motorcycle and go to the grocery store!" I mean, I'm not a baseball expert, but I'm 90% sure that's the point he was trying to get across. It was a smaller crowd, but there was a little league team who was doing a good job of cheering for a few innings (and it was a good thing, the organ player/sound guy was horrible and needs some lessons on how to get the crowd going). Pete was not into any of the cheering/chanting/clapping, even when his (not) relative Matt Sheely was at the plate! I mean, dude has your name and is on your home team, but you don't want to cheer for him?! What kind of fan are you?
I'm pretty sure there will be some more Paw Sox games in our future, and I think all of you that have little kiddos who are into baseball should check them out! $11 for seats directly above the dugout on the third base line? You definitely can't get that at Fenway.