The View from the Cheap Seats

Last night we had the fun experience of taking our short people to their very first baseball game. It also happened to be the opening game of the season for the Iowa Cubs, which the team celebrated by losing. So now that I’ve given away the ending, your only incentive to stay is that later in this post there are cute pictures of my children.

Last night was not supposed to be the opening game of the season. The opener was supposed to be on Thursday afternoon, but the game was SNOWED out. Seriously, Iowa. We get it. You’re moody and obnoxious. Now can we have spring? Please? Anyway, they postponed the Thursday game to Saturday, which made the Friday game the default season opener, a fact that was celebrated by about twelve Iowans.

Seriously, we were afraid the stadium was going to be crowded considering that it was A) the season opener, B) Friday night, and C) actually fairly pleasant out. This is how Iowa is in the spring. Wednesday– sunny, pleasant, high in the fifties, take the kids to the park. Thursday– rain turning to snow, cold, windy, and miserable. Friday– sunny, high of 58, kids are running around without jackets. Sigh.

In spite of our concerns about how full the stadium might be (I have a thing about crowds), we were pleasantly surprised to see many empty seats. I’m pretty sure the franchise people weren’t that excited, but it worked for us.

Principle Park

Last night was Arthritis Awareness Night at the Iowa Cubs. This meant that my family got free tickets to the game because I’m a walk team captain. It also meant I got tickets to sell to earn money for my team. AND it meant that there was one small six-foot table holding a display that said “Arthritis Foundation” and two buckets that said “donations.” I kind of felt maybe we could have tried a little harder? Anyway, we got in free and managed to find free parking in spite of Des Moines’ best attempts to drive me to insanity.

Art took some pretty cool pictures of the stadium and the game. Principle Park has a really amazing view, with the skyline of Des Moines on one side of the park and the state capitol building on the other side. Love this picture:

Sec Taylor Field at Principle Park

Sam was not overwhelmingly convinced about the game, probably because we were in the cheap seats and Sam is three. He has squirming issues but he did enjoy all the games and contests and stuff between innings (hot dog gun, anyone?) and watching the extremely annoying unsupervised children in front of us goof off. During one of the five-second periods when he was sitting still, I took this picture, which is definitely the cutest picture of the night.

Art and Sam

The great excitement of the evening, however, was not the hot dog gun, or the racing cheeseburgers, or even the guy dressed as an eggroll (you could distinguish him from the guy dressed as a taquito because the guy dressed as an eggroll was wearing a Chinese hat). Ryan, Sam, and I were walking to see if we could find some friends I had sold tickets to when the batter hit a foul ball into the stands. Not just into the stands, into the walkway in the stands about five feet in front of where we were walking. So Ryan got his very own real game ball, from his very first baseball game. And we ran into Cubbie, the I-Cubs mascot, who autographed Ryan’s ball for him. That child held onto that ball like it was the best treasure in the universe for the rest of the night. He has been promised a display stand so he can put it on a shelf in his room, along with a fake baseball that is NOT hard enough to go through my windows.

Anyway, being the FAIL of a mother that I am, I didn’t have the camera with me when he got the ball, but Art did take some pictures after we returned to our seats. Of course, Ryan is going through his evil refuse-to-look-attractive-in-pictures stage, so this is the most pleasant shot we got:

Ryan and a Game Ball

We left before the end of the game because the boys were getting tired and Ryan is deathly afraid of fireworks anyway. But all in all I think it was a successful evening at the ballpark. And since we didn’t have to pay for our tickets or parking, and since we resisted the $4 peanuts, it only cost us the cost of gas. Which means we should have this family fun outing paid off sometime in 2015.

Oh, and Ryan thought it was okay that the Cubs lost since they lost to a team called the Round Rock Express. As in trains.

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