Take Me Out to the (Stanford) Ballgame

I can’t really explain it, but Spring has me falling in love with baseball. Ok, maybe it’s not so much Spring as my kindergartener who just started Little League, but the sunshine and longer days sure don’t hurt. So a couple weeks ago, on a beautiful Friday evening, I packed a picnic and hauled my family (and some friends) over to Stanford to watch the “big boys” take on Rice.

I have friends who had told me Stanford Baseball games are one of their favorite family outings. And now I can say it’s on my list as well. It’s a huge step up from Little League, of course, and a huge step down—in terms of commitment and crowd—from the Big Leagues. I guess you could call it the Middle League.

When you arrive an hour ahead of the game (which proved to be totally unnecessary), you get great (free) parking in the dirt lot and your choice of a spot in the general seating area, which happens to be beautiful grassy areas at the first and third base lines. Tickets for our family of five were about $25 and a program was just $1—which, along with baseball cards, has my little guy wanting to “read” non-stop. Though you can’t take a stroller in, they do have stroller parking right outside which seemed very well watched.

While there was food—the typical burgers, hot dogs, popcorn—for sale outside and inside the Sunken Diamond, you could bring your own picnic or call and have a hot pizza delivered. How cool is that? The Spot, a local pizza joint, will call you on your cell phone and meet you at the gate with your order. We’ll definitely be giving that a try next time around.

Our whole family—which happens to range in age from 10 months to 36 years old—each found something we loved about the night out. For my baby, it was having a bunch of new people to admire her as she danced and screamed along with the crowd. For my little boys (and my husband), it was being up close to the action of the game—in fact, my 5-year old even stayed engaged for all 10 innings. For me, it was being outside with family and friends, knowing we were creating another special memory together.

And that walk-off homerun to end the game? Well, that was just about as good as it gets if you ask my son. And I’m guessing those guys in the red uniforms would agree.

Stanford baseball is at home this weekend, with two games Saturday, Sunday, and Monday against USC. More of Amy’s adventures can be found at Using Our Words.

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