Monday, April 5, 2010

It’s Opening Day, Baby!

The Always Home and Uncool office is closed for what should be a national holiday. The following first appeared 10 years ago on our family’s old AOL Hometown Web site. Enjoy and may your home team win … unless you root for the flippin’ Florida Marlins. Let’s go, Mets!

* * *

On April 3 (2000, Thing 1) made her Major League debut at the Texas Rangers' Opening Day in Arlington, Texas. It was actually more like Opening Day back at Shea with the Mets – chilly, windy and the home team won. We only made it through seven innings, but she handled it well, sleeping through most of the game.

Thing 1 first opening day 2000 If you plan on taking your 6-week-old baby to a game, here's what you need to know:

  • Get to the game early. Feed baby right before going inside. Burp well. Repeat if necessary.
  • Bring diapers. Hope the stadium has baby-changing tables in the restrooms or else plan on changing your kid on top of a garbage can, which isn’t too bad if only it makes diaper disposal that much easier.
  • Put baby in one of those holders that you strap to your chest. Saves wear and tear on your arms, makes her and you feel secure. Also, frees your hands for beer drinking and scorekeeping, plus you don't have to pay for an extra ticket.
  • OK, your hands are mostly free. Until baby falls asleep, leaning on your chest, you must support baby's neck. This makes keeping score quite a feat (really, a knee -- which supports baby's neck while you grip scorebook and pencil), but eating and drinking are doable. It helps if you are adept at shelling peanuts one-handed. Or enjoy eating peanuts in the shell.
  • Yes, drinking with baby in tow is acceptable also long as you are not breastfeeding (or at least, the breast feeder) but only in moderation. Not only don't you want to get sloshed with a child strapped on your chest, you want to limit your own bathroom trips ... for obvious reasons.
  • Having baby at a ball game makes you a chick magnet. Drunken groupies, girlfriends dragged to the stadium, ice-cream vendors -- they all love you and the baby. Heck, it’ll even makes a few guys teary eyed.

by Greg Shea

Today you'll dig in the closet for your glove 
    and snap a ball into it while sipping your morning coffee.
Today as the toast comes out of the toaster,
    you'll still remember how to execute a perfect "pop-up" slide.
Today you'll drive to work and admonish yourself
    to "keep your head down" and your eye on the road.
Today your team will be in first and planning to stay there.
Today you'll end your contract holdout.
Today you'll still be able to turn the double play.
Today you won't lose a business deal in the sun.
Today you'll find yourself rotating your arm around your head
    to stretch the shoulder and keep it loose.
Today someone asks if you'll be at the meeting
    and you respond by saying, "Let's play two."
Today you spend an hour in the attic
    with old baseball cards and dusty Sports Illustrateds.
Today sunflower seeds strangely find their way into your back pocket.
Today you find yourself muttering something about "Bill freakin' Buckner."
Today you'll think of wearing a black suit to match the eye black.
Today you'll have the steal sign.
Today you slip up in a meeting and mention "our sales team ... vs. lefties."
Today a hot dog and peanuts for lunch will sound about right.
Today you tell a co-worker to "warm up."
Today the only strike you'll know about
    is above the knees and below the armpits.
Today you'll wear your jacket only on your pitching arm.
Today you'll buy two packs of gum
    and stuff them in the side of your mouth.
Today, during lunch, you'll wonder why Coke doesn't come in a wood can.
Today you'll scratch yourself and spit for no apparent reason.
Today you'll wonder why stirrup socks never caught on.
Today you'll be the rookie looking to make it big.
Today you'll be the wily vet with just a little something left.
Today you'll look for the AM dial on your radio.
Today your glove is hanging off the handlebars of your bike.
Today seems like a good day for an ice cream before you head home.
Today is box scores and Baseball Tonight.
Today is Donnie Sadler and Keith Osik.
Today is Sammy Sosa and Barry Bonds.
Today your first coach is cheering. Still.
Today Mom's watching.
Today Dad's in the backyard -- with his glove.
Today it'll still be a kids' game.
Today you'll be a kid.
Today is Opening Day.
Copyright © 2000 The Closer


  1. Hopefully it will be a Happy Halladay around here.

  2. Happy Opening Day. I think there was some sort of game in my neighborhood . . .

  3. Charlie Brown you are such an uncool New Englander. *sigh* Guess that's why those of us in the 3 northern states call you guys southern New Englanders. We are worlds apart in SO many ways. *sigh*

  4. Cheryl: I'm a true New Englander. I always root for the team playing the Yankees.

  5. I'm a New Englander and always root for the team playing the Sox. Always. But I'm a 'quiet' I'll move on.

    I grew up in the MidWest and we are Tiger's fans. Oh, the good ol' days ;) Have to say, though, that opening day at the old county stadium (Brewers) was INSANELY fun. As a kid, as a college student, as a 'grown up' - So Fun!

  6. I'm pretty sure stirrup socks never caught on because they're pointless. We used to live two blocks from the ballpark in Arlington. I took Neil to games when he was little like yours. It's a good environment because it's not in downtown so you don't have to worry about being in an obnoxious city or taking the subway anywhere. There are never parking problems. It's a great stadium for kids. Cool that you got to experience it :-)

  7. I hear you! Yesterday was fine, even if the outcome of the one game wasn't exactly to my liking. Opening Day doesn't feel like Opening Day when there is only one game going on.

    But today? Today rules! Working from home, I've got three games to switch back and forth from on between 1-4 (Mets/Marlins, Cards/Reds and Tribe/ChiSox), then the Cubs and Braves at 4, then the Giants and Astros at 7, then the Twins and Angels at 10.

    Plus I'll be participating in my fantasy league's auction from 8PM on. Should be fun to see the values of the players who do well today (and yesterday) become artificially inflated.

    Oh, Glorious Day!

  8. The Quest for Championship #28 begins!!

    So when are we going to New Britain and/or Norwich?

  9. I had to freaking work today! LAME.
    Go, Reds!

  10. We took a 6-month old to a football game (Texans vs. Chiefs) and I'm here to testify, babies ARE like magnets. I was the only thing harshing my husband's gig that day.

  11. Did they do a movie about this kind of craziness? Except switch the teams...FEVER PITCH or something like that? ;)

  12. Dripping beer onto the baby's head isn't kosher either.


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