Four and a half may seem a tad old for an American boy to attend his first baseball game. But we did live in England for a chunk of it and while the NFL does make an appearance there, MLB does not. We did take him to Premier League soccer to compensate.
So here we are, summer of his 4's, and the best we can do for him is the Richmond Flying Squirrels minor league game. We did have awesome seats, though! That were $11. Bargain! And it was kids eat free Sunday - bonus. Parking was only $3! All in all, the Flying Squirrels offer quite the baseball value.
After a trip inside the gift shop where Charlie changed his mind from hat to foam finger (??) to t-shirt, we sat down along the first baseline. Brad got us some drinks and hot dogs and we settled in to watch. Sort of.
Brad made me switch seats out of concern for Eleanor, who was sitting on my lap, not getting hit by a line drive. I guess he intended to use his body as a human shield. After a few balls came by that were FAST I was wondering why they don't make helmets for the fans. I was pretty nervous the rest of the time we were there. Notice I didn't say rest of the game.
Brad had just remembered right before the game that his fantasy football draft was that afternoon and he had no idea who to draft, so was trying to subtly read player profiles on his phone in between Charlie's questions and me pestering him to get off his dang phone. Charlie seemed particularly curious about the catcher's uniform.
A foul came by a bit later and the first base coach came over to hand it to a fan. A nice man behind us suggested he give it to Charlie. The coach obliged and Charlie immediately dropped it off the ledge - he was so nervous! And excited - he kept asking us over and over again if his new ball was awesome. Brad told him it took Daddy 25 years to get a foul ball. And yes - very awesome.
After that excitement died down, Charlie was ready to hit the road. I was done with my beer, Brad really didn't want to have a last place worthy team again this year (again, the fault of living in England) and Eleanor was overdue for a nap. So we took Charlie's baseball and went home. And the Flying Squirrels went on to win 3-0. Happy Endings all around.
The ball now comes with us just about everywhere, in Charlie's kid's camera case. Brad gave him an Arkansas baseball cap to go with his Squirrels baseball t-shirt and those have been worn every day this week. We seem to be quite taken with baseball. Go Squirrels!
Oh and it was Eleanor's first baseball game too. She seemed a bit bored. So we took some selfies.