So after more the two years back in the U.S., I finally made it to a baseball game. Pretty ignorant about it, I nevertheless needed to check it out since: 1) my older son has been playing recreational baseball ever since we’ve moved to the U.S. and loves the game, b) it is such a big part of the U.S. culture and living experience and c) I am a curious person so had to check out the baseball game atmosphere. Since we live in DC area, it had to be the home team – Nationals.
My husband had taken our older son to few games already, but for Niki and me, this was the first.
So on a recent pleasant Sunday afternoon, we took the metro and headed over to the Ballpark. By now you could have guessed that I can barely understand the basic rules (so a pitcher throws a baseball toward a batter, who tries to hit it. If he does, he immediately throws away the bat and runs to cover as many bases as possible – or if lucky, all four of them, so he could score, while the other team struggles to catch the baseball in the field and throw it back), so while I watched some parts of the game, I happily spent time also taking strolls and checking out the ambient. If you are curious, let’s take a walk together.
Let me tell you – two things I noticed are: people LOVE baseball and start early nurturing the LOVE. I am talking about babies wearing onesies with favorite team numbers and names, toddlers in jerseys and adults with hats and other fan attire (which you can of course get at a giant Team store located on the premises). “Red” was everywhere.
The other things is that people LOVE to eat ballpark food at the Ballpark (baseball stadium). We are talking about multiple stands and kiosks selling the favorite HOT DOGS with fries, nachos, hamburgers, milkshakes and ice cream. But then also seen were stands with signs that said Gluten free grill, Kosher bar, BBQ and others. Choices were endless, and almost all people walking around or sitting down had some kind of food/beverage in their hands.
The other important piece of the Baseball game experience are MCs (masters of the ceremony) and DJs. These guys did various introductions of distinguished guests, side events and the players playing music and beats specially selected by the players. It would be guitar solo for one player, while for another would be salsa music…DJ would, in addition to playing music, also cheer the crowd with the sounds and cheerful beats before a point or after a point was scored. There would be mandatory ‘wave your hats’ segment, followed later by ‘make some noise’ instruction segment at crucial points of the game. Real spectacle!
At one point, this screen came up on the jumbotron.
We hope that Ellen said “Yes”.
Real spectacle, as if I expected less. And yes, by the way, Nationals won.