Monday, June 04, 2007

Five year plans and new deals, wrapped in golden chains

One thing about having children I've always looked forward to is the joy of taking them to ballgame. And although she's too young to have appreciated it, Little Rockette made her debut at yesterday's rain-soaked slopfest of a ballgame at RFK.

We planned this trip probably as far back as a month ago, as it was the first non-premium weekend game when we were available. (I'm pro-"teh plan", but I'm not paying premium prices for this team.) Plus, bringing the little one to a day game was bound to be a little easier.

But, of course the rain made this one interesting. We were planning to leave for the 45-60 minute drive to RFK around 12 pm or, giving us plenty of time to leisurely make our way to our seats in Section 506. However, we waited it out at home until 12:30, hoping to hear news about the status of the game. Without any definitive news, Mrs. Rocket and I decided to go for it - it wasn't raining that hard and we weren't going to risk letting the tickets go to waste.

After meeting Little Rockette's godfather outside the main gate, the four of us made our way inside just in time to see Josh Bard's first inning home run on the TV monitor. Damn.

We settled into the seats right around when Guzman led off the bottom of the first inning, immediately bypassing our assigned seats for a row farther back under the overhang. But the swirling winds were bringing some light rain back into our faces, so it wasn't long before we moved even father back, maybe a half dozen rows in front of the old football pressbox.

Little Rockette was content to stay in the baby carrier backpack on her mom's lap for the first few innings, looking around and absorbing the sights and sounds in front of her. But it was still a little wet and colder than we expected in the upper deck, so I decided to go hunt for a blanket at the team store.

While I was off being a dutiful father, I missed the best part of this otherwise crappy game - Zimmerman's Hondo-esque blast into Section 533. I stopped and watched the replays on a TV monitor near a concession stand. Poking around the team store for a blanket, I saw the other interesting occurance of the game - the home plate umpire refusing to award Kevin Kouzmanoff first base because he leaned too far into the pitch.

When I returned to our seats without a blanket, (45 bucks?! Yeah right! I'll wrap her in my jacket instead) Little Rockette was out of the baby carrier and acting pretty fussy. Apparently the fireworks for Zimmerman's home run had spooked her a bit. Plus it was also about time for her to eat.

After she had most of a bottle, Little Rockette was calmer. I parked her on my lap and draped my jacket across her while we watched the Nats squander scoring opportunities and play horrible defense. Perfect way to introduce a young fan to Nats baseball.

After a late inning trip to the ladies room with mom, we put her back in the baby carrier on my chest for the last few innings, where she soon fell asleep. (Frankly, I don't blame her!) I put my jacket on over the baby carrier and zipped it up as much as possible to try to keep her warmer. She stayed asleep as we made our way through the exiting horde to our car in Lot 8.

All in all, it was an uneventful game made a little more adventurous by the weather and the challenges of bring a five month old to the ballpark. Little Rockette handled the experience just about as well as anyone could expect. I'll save the ticket stubs for her and perhaps try to get Zimmerman or Manny Acta to sign one for her. Hopefully someday that's something she'll enjoy. I can't wait to take her again, especially when she's old enough to appreciate the experience.


Blogger Nate said...

The first of many great stories, Rocket. Just think, when Zimmerman's going into the Hall (knock wood) your little girl can tell people she was there to see his longest homer at old RFK Stadium.

8:27 AM  

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