Sunday, May 31, 2015

Boys' day at the ballpark

A post from the (seldom-heard-from) Daddy Man:

Biscuit has been sick again. He got a fever Thursday evening, stayed home from school Friday and has been pretty out of it. Since he just got over ear infections in both ears, and it was coming on the weekend, Kimmy took him to the doctor Friday morning. They said it was viral, and we just had to wait it out. He spent some time outside with me Saturday, but as soon as he went back in the house, Kimmy said he crashed on the couch and slept for a couple of hours.

He seemed to be feeling better today, so I asked him if he wanted to go see our local minor league baseball team play. "Sure," he said.

"Hey, do you know what happens at the games on Sunday?" I asked him.

"What?" he asked.

"Well, if you get there early, you can play catch on the field," I told him.

"The field where the players play?!" Biscuit asked excitedly.

"Yeah," I said. "And you can run the bases after the game is over."

He was so excited, he kept repeating everything I said to him.

"So we can play catch before the game and run the bases after the game?!" Biscuit asked. "That is SO awesome!"

I figured he'd be excited, especially since his baseball season just ended.

We pulled into the parking lot and got out of the car. Biscuit immediately walked up to the parking lot attendant and said, "Excuse me, do you know where we go to play catch on the field?"

The attendant smiled and said, "Yeah, you just go in that gate right over there."

We went in the gate, and we had to sign a waiver to get down onto the field. While we were waiting in line, there was a little boy in front of us with two older boys. Biscuit struck up a conversation with the boy, and they decided they were going to play catch when they got to the field. But when we got down there, those three brothers went with their parents to center field, and Biscuit and I walked over to right field.

We played catch for about 20 minutes. The game started at 4 p.m., and you could only play until 3:30, so we wrapped it up. The boy did a good job catching and throwing. 

We walked up and grabbed a couple of seats behind home plate. We watched the game for about five innings. Biscuit talked non-stop about playing catch on the field and how he wanted to meet a real major-leaguer, among other topics.

He started getting antsy, so we walked over to the playground, then looked around in the gift shop. We sat down at a table on the concourse and shared a pretzel and some ice cream while watching the team come back from a 7-0 deficit to win 8-7.

We got in line for Biscuit to run the bases. When we got down on the field, one of Biscuit's friends and his parents were waiting for us. Biscuit didn't realize that the other boy was feeling nervous about running the bases, so he took off, thinking the boy was right behind him. We were leaving the ballpark before he realized that he should've waited for his friend.

"Dad, I was just so excited about running the bases that I didn't even hear you telling me to wait," Biscuit said. "I feel bad about leaving my friend."

"It's okay, boy," I told him. "You didn't hear me, and you didn't know any better." 

"Yeah, Dad," Biscuit said. "I didn't know any better."

As soon as Biscuit crossed home plate, we snuck under the ropes and walked into the players' tunnel. I needed to talk to a player and the manager about a story I'm writing this week.

I introduced Biscuit to the manager. "This is Biscuit," I said.

Biscuit shook the manager's hand and said, "My real name is Griffin, but my nickname is Biscuit."

The manager smiled and said, "I really like Biscuit. I'm gonna call you Biscuit."

"Okay," Biscuit said and smiled back at him.

The players made a fuss over him, and he got to meet his major-leaguer because I introduced him to Luis Quinones, who played for the Cincinnati Reds team who won the World Series in 1990. He's our team's hitting coach now. He and Luis talked for a minute or two. Biscuit told him that he played for the White Sox last year and Red Sox this year.

After I got my interviews done, we walked out to the car to head home.

Biscuit was quiet on the way home. I think he was worn out after not feeling good. He caught a second wind when we got home and told Kimmy about our trip.

It's funny. Biscuit still sees it as his ballpark. He thinks he can just come and go as he pleases. He doesn't understand that I go to the games for work. Either way, I hope these will be cool stories for him when he's older.

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