Love of The Game

It’s been about a month since the 2015 Major League Baseball First Year Player Draft, and of their top twenty-five selections, the Boston Red Sox have signed twenty-one as of this morning. Ten of these, including seventh overall pick outfielder Andrew Benintendi, will begin their professional baseball careers with the Class A Lowell Spinners, a short season team in the New York-Penn League.

Over the years the Spinners have been the first stop for dozens of future major league players, including current Red Sox players Jackie Bradley Jr, Clay Buckholtz, Justin Masterson, and Hanley Ramirez.  Other familiar names like Kevin Youkalis, Jacoby Ellsbury, and Jonathan Papelbon started there.

There is obviously no guarantee that anybody on the current roster will ever make it that far, but if they do my four year old can say that she saw them before they were stars.

 

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Several times each summer I drag the teenager with me to our local minor league ballpark.  Now that she has a boyfriend that drives my partner has been much less available, so I decided it was time to start teaching Alaina the joy of a night at the game.

I had no idea what to expect. We’ve been to fairs and other activities with large crowds, so I didn’t think that would intimidate her, but wasn’t sure how she would do sitting still and watching.  We haven’t been to a movie theater yet, but I was encouraged by how well she did at her sister’s dance recital last month.

She loved it. She loved the crowds, the music, the lights, the food. We had so much fun that we ended up going back two nights later.

We took breaks in between innings to walk around and didn’t make it the entire nine innings before she got tired, but I was very impressed with how well she behaved both nights, taking just as much interest in the game itself as she did chit chatting with everybody in the vicinity.  On entering the second night she immediately pointed out the area that I was supposed to go to if I got separated from her.  Much like when I take her big sister, as long as there was a constant supply of different foods she was content.

 

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The stadium itself, Senator Thomas J Dodd Memorial in Norwich, Connecticut, is a beautiful place to watch a game. Its been around since 1995, and is currently home to the Connecticut Tigers, a Detroit Tigers affiliate. Prior to the Tigers it was home to two AA teams that left seeking higher attendance.  Last season the team set a franchise record with 78,118 fans, but that’s still pretty low compared to the other teams in the league.  They recently reached a deal to stay in Norwich through the 2018 season and hopefully will stay beyond that.

 

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That can only happen with the support of the community. I’m guilty myself of only going a few times a year, usually when the Red Sox affiliate is in town. Every time I leave saying that I should make more of an effort to go more often. Kayla now owes me a few bonding nights and Alaina is already asking when we can go back.  I’ve  circled several more games that I plan on attending, and hope to make this a regular family night road trip.

 

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I should note that this is not a sponsored post, and I’m not affiliated in any way with either of the teams mentioned here, or Dodd Stadium itself. I’m just a dad with a blog that really enjoys baseball and bonding with his daughters.

 

 

 

 

 

35 thoughts on “Love of The Game”

  1. Minor league baseball in a small town is the ultimate family bonding experience! I remember seeing the Navigators at Dodd Stadium when it opened in 1995. I look forward to taking my son to minor league games when he’s old enough.

  2. I have to say we were never much of a sport watching family but my husband’s were, so I know our son is going to get dragged to some games! And possibly be playing too. Maybe that will mean a Saturday morning sleep-in for me while hubby takes him to practice? 🙂 #hereshoping

  3. This looks like such great fun for you and your daughter. We don’t really have baseball over here on that scale; I suppose the closest we have to large games is football – but a football match is nothing like this, and the only food on offer is pie in my experience – very suspicious looking pie!
    I’m jealous of that candy floss!
    Thanks for joining in with the weekend blog hop!

  4. I love love baseball and this is the first year in a while I haven’t gone to a game. Actually had tickets but being pregnant and exhausted preclude me from going. My daughter had been to a few games already with me and seems to like it 🙂 great tradition to start!

  5. Sounds like great father and daughter time. And it is nice that she shares your enthusiasm for the sport. Also sounds a whole lot more civilised than taking your child to a football match. I will be taking mine when he is old enough but I will definitely be sticking a pair of ear defenders on him. There are some terrace chants I do not want him to hear! #myweekataglance

    1. It gets a little louder and rowdier at some of the higher levels of the sport, but this stadium is usually pretty kid friendly

  6. Wow! Looks like a great day! I have vague memories of my dad taking me to minor league games when I was little. I remember the really good hotdogs more than anything. 🙂 Probably not something I’ll do much with my daughter since we live in Jolly Old England now (hard to find any baseball here!), but I’m sure her dad will take her to enough soccer games to make up for it. 🙂 That cotton candy looks AMAZING, by the way! Thanks for linking up to #myweekataglance!

  7. This is a great way to spend time with your family and support the local team. I hope one day I can get my daughter interested in things that I am too….must admit though I’d like the steady stream of food too!! xx #bigfatlinky

  8. What a lovely bonding experience with your girls! It’s so great that they’re going to grow up fans. You’re starting family traditions! 😀 It’s so lovely that she wanted to go back again and she was so well behaved. It sounds like you’ve made some great memories. I wish we had this in the UK. I’d love for my partner and daughter to do things like this. Thank you so much for linking up to #whatevertheweather. x

  9. That’s a lovely tradition to have with your girls. Must be fun for them to have time with you and doing something together that you both enjoy. Of course the food is always going to help too! 🙂
    Thanks for linking up! #Whatevertheweather

  10. What a lovely post and great experience. Its great when you all share an interest like this, makes it all the more fun. PS. Dead jealous about the candy floss, its my favourite x #magicmoments

  11. It’s great that you found this bonding experience with both of your daughters, Alaina looks like she’s having a ball watching the game with her big ball of cotton candy. Popping in from Magic Moments.

  12. This is lovely, what a great way to spend the evening and bond with your daughters. Being new to the US, we don’t really go and watch, although my husband has taken the boys to a local team (Northshore Navigators) a couple of times, and as we’re just north of Boston they do all keep track of the Red Sox 🙂 My younger son got a ball signed at the last game they went to, and the player also gave him one of the game bats (as they shared their name!) which I thought was such a wonderful thing to do. Great experiences x #magicmoments

    1. That’s really cool. You don’t get that kind of player interaction anywhere else that I’ve found besides a lower level baseball game. Its a great way to get them interested in the game

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