Our son just had his 53d birthday which we celebrated with going to a Washington Nationals  baseball game. Twelve of us went to honor Jim and in spite of the fact that we seem to be a bad luck charm for the Nats – in their four game series with the Kansas City Royals they won three and lost one – the game we went to –  but it was a lot of fun. 

However talk about sensory overload. Our family  occupied parts of two rows – one right behind the other. Immediately in front was a TV screen hanging down above us – same thing to the left and right. The loudspeakers and the music were at the highest setting. There was the constant hawking of food. There was the “ presidential race “ which takes place in the fourth inning. Admittedly I am not the baseball fan now that I was as a child and young teen – I was a Brooklyn Dodgers fanatic back then – but now the game is for me a fun family outing and a plus is the yummy hotdogs.

With all the surrounding noise and hyperactivity I could not help but reflect on how major league games have changed. My first game was when I was in fourth grade. It was a reward for a good report card. My mother took my brothers and me – my father was at work – none of us had ever been to a major league game. This was an afternoon game.  I so clearly remember my first view of the playing field. We were walking through the stadium at Ebbets Field trying to find our seats. I felt a bit like I was in a baseball wonderland with the vibrant colors of the uniforms, the green of the grass, the air of excitement. 

It was a game between the Dodgers and the St Louis Cardinals. The Dodgers were my most favorite team but the Cardinals came in second in my list of favorites. We had a small black and white TV – and whenever the Dodgers were playing I was glued to the TV set.

When we finally found the section where our seats were I will never forget my awe as we walked down  the steps to our seats – it was all so unbelievably colorful — so much better than the scene portrayed by the black and white display on our small TV screen. And the pitchers mound was truly a mound –  I couldn’t get over that. Though the game got called after the 5th inning for rain I was disappointed but it was still okay. Not too many children get to see their heroes in person. 

All these memories came bounding back at our most recent  baseball outing. I could not help but reflect on the simplicity of my first game – there was no need for the hanging TV’s ( of course they didn’t exist back then) or the other gimmicks that seem to be needed today to make the games more interesting. Is there a life lesson here  – why do we insist on embellishing events or happenings that standing on their own offer a special meaning that with the embellishments gets lost in the weeds!


  1. Loved this! You paint such a clear picture. I felt like I was at the baseball game with you as I read your writing.


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