Well, just because the Red Sox are almost finished doesn't mean I am going to let the bad taste in the mouth affect my love for America's Past-time. That being said, my 23 month old son and I took a long weekend to go to three different minor league baseball parks and see how the other half lives. Here is what we found out:
Both teams played like youngsters. There were some bad errors, some decent hits, and a lot of excitement. It is weird though, because the ball just doesn't jump off the bat like it does with major leaguers. Still, for about $9, you can't go wrong. It terms of food, my son asked for a hot dog, which he devoured, and then we went off to the left field grassy area where kids were playing tag and had no desire to really watch the game. While I stood facing the game and was also able to see my son, he had no problems running around with the older boys until his pants and shirt were stained with grass and mud. We left after the 5th inning and took a 45 minutes drive home. He fell asleep in the car after the 15th minute.
We walked to out seats, which were last row of the 100 level seats and on the aisle. This way, in case my son wanted to impulsively leave his seat (which happens every minute), we could get up and not bother anyone. Again, when the game started, he was more happy to see the mascot and could care less about the game itself. But I enjoyed what I saw. Portland scored 4 in the first and then scored again in the bottom of the ninth on a controversial call to walk off and win. Did my son enjoy himself? Yes. However, there wasn't a whole lot for him to do on the concourse, so we basically just walked around and he just looked for "Slugger." His grandparents, who live in Portland, came with us for the game, and then walked him home by the 4th inning. They reported that he fell asleep in his stroller when they were about halfway home.
The next morning, we awoke in Portland and went down to the old port for lunch. After we ate and he took a nap, we were on our way to Lowell, home of the Single A Short Season Spinners. This Red Sox affiliate is home to mostly young kids who have just been drafted. The Red Sox's first round pick, Andrew Benintendi, was also in the lineup that night so it was great to see him in person. We arrived a bit early, so we walked around the front of the stadium and into the shops. The stadium is right across the street for UMASS-Lowell, so it was well maintained and everyone around seemed very talkative and friendly. There was a DJ out front and the weather was perfect, so my son was smiling the entire time we waited. Well, we also waited next to the giant blowup of Canal-igator, their mascot, so that of course made him grin ear to ear. It was Mookie Betts bobble head night so people were excited, and when we entered through the gates, my son grasped his new prize and wouldn't let it go. This is the 5th bobble head of his collection, and 3 of them are already broken. He doesn't care though.... he just shakes them until their head falls off.
What did I learn this weekend? That bobble heads run the Minor Leagues! And also that I think my son is beginning to love this game as much as I do. And even if the team I love dearly isn't going to win it all this year, there is still plenty of other places in the Northeast to go enjoy as well. I will be back to Fenway two more times this year, but I may visit Norwich, Portland and Lowell again as well. I know my son will be happy to make the trip!
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@red33sox Peter Lepak 7/22/2015 02:52:00 PM Tweet