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Thoughts For Thursday: A Trip To the Ballpark

September 15, 2011 · 29 comments

in Life, Thoughts For Thursday

Each year, my oldest son and I head to at least one baseball game together.  I have been a huge Tiger’s fan ever since I can remember, so going to these games is one of the highlights of my summer.

This annual event took place for us last Friday.  We got to the game a little late, but since it was raining, the game was delayed and our tardiness was no big deal.  When we got to the gate for admittance, the line was incredibly long.   Even though the stadium is usually pretty crowded, there usually isn’t a lengthy wait at the gate.  Since we were late,  I thought the crowds would be gone and I would be able to stroll right up and hand the gentleman my ticket.

I was wrong.

I don’t know if it was because of heightened security because of the 9/11 warnings or not, but everyone’s shins and ankles were getting inspected before they were allowed to enter the stadium.  Security always checks my purse, which I expect, but I had never had my lower legs checked out before.  So, this lower extremity check must have contributed to the long wait time.

Anwyay, we made it through security and found our seats.  Unfortunately, our seats were not located under and overhang, so they were drenched.  I looked around for anyone that might have a towel,  but that person did not exist where our seats were located.   (Found out later that a coworker was in more expensive seats and his seat was wiped down by a stadium worker.  I would have paid for my seat to have been wiped down if anyone was around.)  My son ran and got a billion napkins (sorry nature…), and we wiped down our seats.  No sooner had we sat down when the woman behind us started yapping non-stop.  Nobody else in her group talked, just her.  Every player was a ‘ding bat’ that didn’t get a hit.  The pitcher was throwing too many pitches.  Blah blah blah.  The best part of the night happened mid way through the game though.  The guy next to me stood up and raised his arms for some reason, which revealed his belt.  Guess what was attached to his belt?  A holster, complete with a gun.  This is my second ‘concealed’ weapon experience in a month, and I had never seen a gun before in my life except when worn by law enforcement.  This man might have been an undercover or off-duty cop I suppose, but he was also with his wife and kids.  I found it incredibly ironic that my ankles (no, not cankles) were being frisked, but guns could walk on through.  (He probably had a permit and such and was cleared by security, but who knows.)  I didn’t know if I should feel safer or more nervous around the guy.

Shortly after the gun sighting, it started to rain a little and it was getting kinda cold, so we left before the game ended.  My son and I were walking toward the car and one of the zillions of people asking for money outside the stadium came up to us.  This guy gave me a little flag on a wooden stick and I gave him a couple bucks.  He then asked me if my son was good to me and I said he was and we chatted just a second.  Then, he started talking to my son and started muttering the ‘F’ word repeatedly, telling him how he better keep being a good boy.  Overall, the message was good, but the delivery was a bit off!  We got away as quick as we could, but it just seemed surreal that this man was giving life lessons to my son and cursing repeatedly throughout the lecture.

The Tigers ended up winning that night, the nachos stayed dry, and my son and I had a lot of great conversations, so it was a great night.  However, I do think some of the oddness of the night made the whole event even better (and definitely more memorable).

Have you seen a baseball game yet this summer?




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{ 29 comments… read them below or add one }

The Biz of Life September 15, 2011 at 9:19 am

I don’t go to games in the big leagues, but I generally catch a game or two a year at a AA or AAA affiliate. A much cheaper and more enjoyable experience.


Kris September 15, 2011 at 9:19 pm

Biz, why don’t you like major league games?? I think I like ‘knowing’ the players and that adds to my enjoyment. Everyone is didfferent though!


The Biz of LIfe September 15, 2011 at 10:15 pm

Too cheap to pay the inflated prices. The minor league games are much more intimate (you can get seats that are almost on the field for $5) and you get to see the next generation of stars before they make it big


Kris September 16, 2011 at 6:30 pm

You know, I bet it would be pretty fun to get great seats and just have some fun. We don’t have a minor league nearby unfortuantely, so I have never tried to see a game. I could head down to Toledo to the the Tigers’ AAA affiliate and I would probably recognize half the players. Good thought!


Money Beagle September 15, 2011 at 9:47 am

Go Tigers! We went to a game in May to take our son to his first game for his second birthday. It was cold and drizzly, but we still had a lot of fun. He still talks about the hot dog he got to eat there 🙂 I think some of the side things you mentioned are kind of unfortunate, but at the same time, they’re opportunities to teach our children. We can’t shield them from everything. Glad you had a good time!


Kris September 15, 2011 at 9:24 pm

Money Beagle, was it hard to keep a 2 year old interested at the ball game? I think people that are 50 still probably enjoy the hot dogs best!

Have you been to Comerica Park many times?


First Gen American September 15, 2011 at 10:52 am

Last year, my husband took my sons to a red sox game at Fenway park the same night I was hosting customers, so we were all there but not together. Anyway, half way through my youngest who wasn’t quite 2 yet found some used gum, picked it up off the floor and put it in his mouth much to the horror of a nearby lady. My husband shrugged his shoulders…too late now and fished it out of his mouth. It is now a recurring story every time we go to a ball game.

Glad you guys had a good time. We went to a game about a week ago. It was a long night as we live 3 hours from the ballpark. I think next time we’ll either stay the night or do a day game instead.


Kris September 15, 2011 at 9:18 pm

You should definitely stay the night and take in another Red ox game. Boston is a fantastic place, as you already know.

Your poor son grabbing that ‘used’ gum, so very unpleasant. I remember picking up a bottle at the park and drinking what was left at the bottom and I never did that twice (once my mom found out).


Rob Bennett September 15, 2011 at 11:21 am

Our small town (Purcellville, VA) hosts the Babe Ruth playoffs or World Series each year. I love these games. The tickets are cheap, the eats are cheap, the players are not full of themselves, and I can walk to the park in five minutes.

I have not taken my boys to a “real” game yet. I still remember today the first one I ever saw (at about age 8). I couldn’t get over how beautiful all that green grass (it was grass in those days) was.



Kris September 15, 2011 at 8:45 pm

Oh my gosh Rob, I too will never forget my first trip to the park, and I always think about how wonderful that grass looks. (Comerica Park is grass still!) I love the marks in the grass from mowing, and it just looks like such a vast space of perfect lawn that would be the best thing ever to run through barefoot,.

I wold love to see the Babe Ruth playoffs. For some reason, I picture what you are talking about to be like Cooperstown New York. I love that little town, and I especially appreciated how not-commercialized the Hall of Fame area is. It seems so home-towny, which is what makes me think of what you described.


Squirrelers September 15, 2011 at 11:24 am

Having an evening with a child at the ballpark sounds great! I can totally appreciate it. Seems like you had fun, despite the weird situations you described.

Speaking of those situations, I wonder if it’s due to the horrible economy in Detroit?

I say that because I’ve been to both ballparks here in Chicago, for Cubs and Sox games, and never see that stuff at all. Now, at the old Comiskey park (1910-1990), when I went from the late 1970’s to it’s closing in 1990, there were all kinds of crazy things I saw. Had to pay people (thugs) to “watch” my car, saw quite a few fights in the ballpark, beer thrown on people, etc. Heard stories of firsthand of someone I met who got beat up a block from the ballpark, another person had a bullet fly across the windshield, etc.

Needless to say, the area around the old White Sox park was horrible. However, 20 years later, that same exact area (where the “new” stadium is) has been gentrified a good deal. The city looks better, less crime, you just feel safer. And, no crazy stuff at the park.

Maybe that’s the story in Detroit, the bad economy bringing out the crazy elements?

I did go to 2 games at the old Tiger Stadium in it’s last year open in 1999. Great old park.

I took my daughter to a game a few weeks ago, her first game ever. Admittedly, there were a few teenage rowdies nearby, some idiot spilled beer on me, etc. But the guy was very apologetic…in the old days, they would try to fight you if you even glanced at them. So maybe there’s some progress.

Anyway, look like I’ve written my longest comment ever:)


Kris September 15, 2011 at 8:41 pm

The area where Comerica park is is actually very nice. It is right across the street from where the Lions play, and Greektown is right there too. It is probably the nicest part of Detroit, especially compared to where Tiger Stadium was/is.

There are people looking for money all over the city. Around the stadium, you have those that play music for money. There are guys in wheelchairs with cups out for change, and then those that are a bit bolder and approach you. I really didn’t come across zillions, that might have been a slight exaggeration. However, from the stadium to my car a couple blocks away, I probably passed about 10 people that were seeking money. I actually feel very safe around Comerica park though, but there are plenty of people that need money in the city, that is for sure.

I would love to come to Chicago and watch the Tigers play the White Sox sometime. Maybe I will!

Thanks for saving your longest comment ever for my site.


Squirrelers September 16, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Oh, I didn’t realize that the new park is right by Greektown. Now, it’s been a while since I’ve been in Detroit, but I recall Greektown was a good place to go. There was a pizza place there I liked (pizza, greektown – yeah I know but it was good!).

Tigers are really good this year, they completely whipped the White Sox. Dominated is a good way to describe it. Have fun watching your team in the playoffs this year, I hope they succeed.


Kris September 16, 2011 at 6:19 pm

Well, it is actually about 1/3-1/2 mile away from Greektown, but walkable when with a crowd. Greektown is quite fun. You may be thinking of Pizzapopolis as the restaurant you went to. I have not been to Greektown casino though.

The Tigers have surprised even me this year. I am bummed that my favorite player is now a bench sitter (Inge), but other than that, the year has been great.

What do you think of Ozzie Guillen?


Squirrelers September 17, 2011 at 10:47 pm

Yeah, that was the place we went to.

Guillen will always be respected for bringing Chicago it’s first and only World Series title since 1917, back in 2005. That’s a big deal around here, among Sox fans anyway. Except for Cubs fans, who generally oppose the Sox.

That said, I wonder how long he’ll be here. His antics are great fodder for the local media, but might be getting stale with a lot of fans.

I’ve always liked the old Tigers uniforms, with the Olde English lettering. As a kid, even though I grew up in Chicago, I remember buying a Detroit jersey since I liked the way it looked.


funancials September 15, 2011 at 12:55 pm

As much as I dislike watching baseball on tv, watching in person is a whole different experience. Glad you all had a blast. More glad you don’t have cankles.


Kris September 15, 2011 at 8:36 pm

I too am more glad that I do not have cankles. What if I do though and I just don’t realize it?

I looooove watching baseball on tv. I love being at the park and seeing the grass and everything. But I also like my big screen tv with easy access to clean ‘facilities’ and inexpensive snacks.


Money Reasons September 15, 2011 at 1:16 pm

No games for me.

I’m doing fantasy football though, and so far I’m in the top position after the first game! I should enjoy it while it lasts, it won’t for long 🙂

The lesson from that man to your son should have been don’t listen to me, nor speak as I do. I would have probably gotten a bit red…


Kris September 15, 2011 at 8:35 pm

My son is in last for his fantasy football league. I think the kicker is the leading scorer on his team at this point.

The language oddly enough didn’t really surprise me. If I watch a movie with my son or anything, we hear plenty of bad language, so maybe we are both somewhat desensitized to it. If my son was your kid’s ages, I would feel differently. But since he is 17, I kind of just thought it was funny. Actually ironic too since he was teaching my son about respect, while peppering it with ‘fancy language’.


Jenna, Adaptu Community Manager September 15, 2011 at 1:33 pm

No baseball games so far this year. Although I crossed the border into Canada on 9/11 which was a little surreal.


Kris September 15, 2011 at 8:32 pm

Oh boy, border crossing on 9/11 must have taken a really long time. I cannot even imagine…


MoneyCone September 15, 2011 at 2:48 pm

Why would a guy bring a gun to a ballgame? Just insane.


Kris September 15, 2011 at 8:32 pm

I think it is probably more common than you think, depending on where the stadium is…


retirebyforty September 15, 2011 at 3:43 pm

Wow, that was an odd night. I would leave pretty quickly if I see someone with a gun… We haven’t gone to any games this summer, the baby is just too small right now. We can probably go next year.


Kris September 15, 2011 at 8:31 pm

Yeah, it would be tough to take a little one to a baseball game. Probably an event that would be best for you and friends for now.

For some reason, I didn’t find the gun too disconcerting. Probably because it seemed like he was with family and such. Not to mention, half the people in the stands could have had guns for all I know. Maybe I should be more cautious and I was being foolish, I don’t know.


Vitaeus September 15, 2011 at 10:55 pm

according to Michigan approximately 90,000 people have Concealed Pistol Licenses, not a resident of Michigan so no idea if the fellow was legal/allowed to be there with it.

Population of Michigan approximately 10million
for comparison
Population of Washington State 6,666,000 with 340,000 CPLs.


Kris September 16, 2011 at 6:29 pm

Wow, Washington has way more concealed weapons that we do here in Michigan. With how things have been going lately, I will probably see all 90,000 by the end of this year.

Thanks for sharing the stats!


Matt Wegner @ Financial Excellence September 15, 2011 at 11:58 pm

Haven’t been to a game in a few years, and when I have gone, there certainly wasn’t that much excitement. Sounds like an interesting night!


Kris September 16, 2011 at 6:28 pm

Oh I just love being at the ballpark and having some nachos. However, when it comes to professional basketball, about 30 minutes is all I can take so I get what you are saying.


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