Me, a baseball fan?? I never caught the vision of watching eighteen overpaid men try and hit and catch a little ball. My dear husband has said "Karen, you need to understand the strategies involved and then you will appreciate the game." Understanding strategies didn't help. But now I have found something that makes me want to go to ball games. The Orem Owlz.
The Mayor and some of my fellow councilmembers chipped in on four season tickets to the Orem Owlz . It is a ten minute drive to the stadium; two dollars to park, but one gets $2 in concession credit; a two minute walk from the parking lot to the stadium and there I can have a great time with my family. I do watch the game, but I sure have a lot of fun soaking in the atmosphere.
I am so glad alcohol isn't allowed at the stadium. That policy (which I hope remains in place) really brings out the "family friendliness" of the organization. I see young families on the $3 berm with their Wheat Thins and sippy cups. I see grandmas and grandpas watching the game with the grandkids. The Pacific States playground looks like an anthill with all the little kids playing on it. My 8 year old always spends the sixth inning there.
There are young baseball fans running around with mitts that are too big, hoping to catch a fly ball. Then there is the Owlz' mascot, Hootz, the mecca of all under the age of 9. He is constantly hugged, poked and patted by the kids. I heard one little girl excitedly yell "There's the big chicken! Here, chicken, chicken". Then there are contests, such as the caped baby dolls being launched into laundry baskets and fans racing Hootz around the bases. All this happens while the air is filled with the smell of grilled hamburgers and bratworst.
The crowd cheers and jeers the teams. It doesn't matter that it is rookie league ball, they could be MLB for all my family and I care. We cheer just as loudly for them as we did for the Atlanta Braves at a MLB game earlier this year. I would rather see baseball at this level of play anyway.
After the game, the top of the dugout is lined with kids laying on their tummies, dangling autograph balls and pens into the dugout, each hoping to get their ball signed. The players are kind enough to sign the balls. Last night, my 8 year old was in heaven because a player reached up and put into her hand the ball used on the last out of the game.
I am disappointed my turn in the season ticket rotation isn't more often. I find myself standing at the ticket window, buying admission to games for which I don't hold season tickets. I want to look at our beautiful mountains from those stadium seats more often. Thank you Orem Owlz for teaching me what America's pastime is all about.
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