Sunday, July 1, 2007

The All American Pastime

It's summer time, and that means baseball. This is a relatively new thing for me. I didn't grow up with summertime meaning baseball. When I was a kid, summertime meant garage sales, soccer games, riding bikes and selling lemonade. We weren't a baseball kind of family. We're more of a football and hockey type of family. We like sports where there is a lot of full body contact and aggression.

Summertime has only meant baseball for me since I was about 22 when I moved to DC. My friends and I would frequently take trips up to Camden Yards to see the Baltimore Orioles play. Those are some of my fondest memories of DC. There is just something wonderful about sitting in a baseball stadium (especially beautiful ones like Camden Yards or Coors Field), eating a hot dog, and spending time with good friends. There is an energy there that just makes you feel like an American. The green grass, the soothing announcer's voice, and the familiar songs played on the just doesn't get better. My love of the game was further deepened when I moved to LA and became a Dodger's fan...well, not so much a Dodger's fan as a Dodger Dogs fan (the deliciously overpriced hot dogs at Dodger's stadium). We would often go to Dodger Games and sit in the outfield with all the teenage hoodlums. Eventually, I moved up in the world and had a co-worker with season tickets that he would frequently pass on to me. Many a night was shared with my LA peeps under the starless sky of Dodger's Stadium. In fact, the conception of this blog occurred at my last Dodger's Game with Dan, Evan, and Emily. Each time I left the Stadium with Randy Newman I would with him cheer, "I love LA!" And in those moments...I truly did.

I miss those nights of baseball, hot dogs, and friends...both in DC and in LA. Summer nights watching baseball is part of what epitomizes my time in both of those great cities. I was a little sad to be moving to a city where I didn't have such great friends and where there is no Major League Baseball team. But, what we do have here is PGE field and the Beavers (the AAA team that is affiliated with the Padres). And, while it's no Camden Yards, and it's no Dodger Dog, it is still baseball and it is still summer.


ginny said...

I DID grow up in a baseball family (watching, not playing). I have to put a plug in for Chase Field (always The BOB to me) in Phoenix--it spoiled me with such great ballpark food that when I had my first Dodger Dog I was all "you've got to be kidding me!" Plus: air-conditioning.

Evan said...

Go Beavs!!

You are lucky indeed to be in Portland for baseball season. It's one of the better minor league venues, and let's be honest you get to see the Padres-to-be in action.

And, having been to about 20 major league ballparks I can say that Camden Yards is the perfect ballpark, but takes a close second to Wrigley field just because it's Wrigley... I can further state that air-conditioning has NO place in baseball. And...

Go Padres!!

cheyney webb said...

The only time I got to see the Dodgers was with Ryan and I made him leave in the last inning (because I had to get up early for work). In that last inning, the dodgers got 2 runs and won the game. Luckily, Ryan didnt beat me too hard.