A baseball memory

telleutelleme

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The first time I went to a professional baseball game was to see the S.F. Giants at Candlestick Park.My oldest brother took me. We stopped off at the Peanut Farm, a local bar on the way up and I waited in the car while he and a buddy had a couple and brought out a huge bag of roasted peanuts to take to the game. I don't remember who played the Giants that day, just the absolute excitement of going to a Major League game. My brother did two great things besides taking me. He bought me a Giant's Pennant and a team ball. In those days they had stands that sold game stuff like programs, pennants, caps and balls. They were autographed by the team although most were stamped, only the rookies and backup players actually signed them. Having one to show off to your friends along with baseball cards was important for a 5th or 6th grader.

Later in 1963, my best friend's Dad took me along to see Game 3 of the Yankees v. Dodgers World Series in L.A. It was a very special treat by a wonderful person. He would always take me to stuff with his son as he knew I didn't have a dad. Yankees lost 1 - 0. Pretty boring pitcher's game. However they had stands just like Candlestick and had team balls; except the Dodger's balls were all gone and all they had were the Yankee's balls. They were in a big grate, probably shipped to L.A. for the games. I bought one for myself and one for my buddy's Dad to say thanks. I was given $30 to go to the game; which was a large sum for my mom, though I think my older brother kicked in. Any way the ball had all the Yankee's greats on it, with Mantle and Yogi in the sweet spot. I kept the ball for years at my Mom's house and eventually I took it and put it into a black sock as the ink was starting to fade. I bought one of those plastic ball holders and put it in that and the sock. The most interesting signature on the ball was Steve Hamilton who signed with a star as the dot over the "I" in Hamilton. He pitched one inning in the series as a reliever. He was always my favorite on the ball because of how he signed his name. He was one of the few that actually signed the ball, all the big names were stamped, only a few had ink across or touching the stitches.

I gave the ball to my step-son a number of years ago as he is a big baseball fan and I know he will keep it and pass it on. It was just a regular team ball from 1963, nothing special and I am sure tons were sold. I think they sell for a few hundred, so nothing mind blowing. It is just a special memory. He was really happy I passed it on to him.

I've seen Dad's with their kids at games and it is such a wonderful bonding experience. I took my own kid a couple times but he was more interested in motorcycles so we went to the Astrodome to see flat track and TT races and some motocross. I even took him to ice races indoors in the old Summit in Houston. It was good and he remembers it but in my mind it isn't the same as baseball. I wish he loved the game as I do, but he doesn't, looks like both grand kids are the same. SAD but it was great for me. My older brother is 86 now, wonder if he would like to come to Texas and go to an Astros game? Maybe a World Series???
 

bgmacaw

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One time period stands out and that was back in the 80's when I hadn't lived in the Atlanta metro area for very long. The thing to do in that era was to go to a Braves game on a whim. They were losing badly most days so the stadium was usually at 1/3 capacity or less. So, you and your pals could go down there, buy a cheap ticket for good seats, drink cheap beer and food and watch them lose.

Then, the Braves started winning and, then, MLB turned into a big business. I haven't been back since.
 

Vibroluxer

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We have the Pirates and, while it would be nice to know what a winning season looks like, there is an advantage to the team being so cruddy: the tickets are cheap.

When I was married we, the 5 of us, would go to church then off to a Pirates game for the afternoon. The kids didn't really like it but it was something we could do for little money and we could do it as a family. We must have hit close to 45 games over the years. Maybe someday they will look back on the memories as fondly as I do.
 

Engine Swap

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I remember the White Sox “shorts” uniforms…

bucky-dent-white-sox-shorts.jpg
 

lammie200

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My dad took my older brother and myself to PIT for the first night game in WS history at a fairly new Three Rivers Stadium. ‘71 Pirates vs Orioles. Really exciting game. Clemente, Stargell, etc. He was a big Pirate fan because he grew up in PIT.

My wife and I went to the SF game where Bonds broke Aaron’s HR record. A hollow feeling spectacle. SF lost the game and at least half the crowd left after Bonds hit his HR.

There were other games in SF where they let kids run the bases after the game. Took my kids for that a couple of times.
 
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Harry Styron

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My early memories of MLB were a few trips with my little league teammates to see the Kansas City Athletics as Municipal Park in downtown KCMO. The A’s were terrible in the mid-60s, and the owner Charlie Finley tried many gimmicks to boost attendance, such as a mechanical rabbit with a basket of balls on its head that would rise up out of the ground whenever the ump needed a fresh ball. Finley also brought Satchel Paige out of retirement for a few games and built a “pennant porch” in right field, pulling in the fence by twenty feet and filling it with a grassy embankment, where he placed a couple of sheep and a shepherd.

As much as I enjoyed the games, I remember the 3-hour trip, with six kids in a sedan with the windows open, singing along to Chug-a-Lug and Dang Me. Driving up the Paseo in Kansas City was interesting too, seeing the fine brick homes grading into tenements as we approached the ball park (the word stadium would be a stretch for that facility).
 

SuprHtr

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My dad took me to two Red Sox games beck in the late 60’s but it wasn’t my thing at the time. I finally got excited about baseball in 1991 when the Braves lost to the Twins in extra innings in the 7th game of the World Series. I was a rabid Braves fan for the next 10 years. That was an incredible time for the Braves. I miss those days.
 

Geoff738

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Took my kid to see a game last night. Just the local Intercounty league, although the opposing team did have ex Jay Dalton Pompey in the outfield.

We have seen a couple Jays games this year, including one in a box where we subsequently found out the tickets cost 24 thousand each for the season. But that’s another story.

Cheers,
Geoff
 

Toto'sDad

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When I was still a drinking man, I had hooked up with the Elks Lodge. It was a cheap place to drink, they had a nice gym, steam room, sauna, and jacuzzi. Plus, I knew a lot of guys there.

A friend from the Lodge asked me and a couple of other guys to go see the Dodgers play in L.A. Reggie Jackson was playing with them back then. We rode down there in a Volkswagen Rabbit, I rode in the backseat, and I thought they were going to have to get me out through the trunk. We had some box seats for the game that the guy who got the deal up had parlayed from one of the wealthy members.

I don't remember much about the game, Reggie didn't do much of anything. I drank an awful lot of beer and ate some hotdogs that smelled better than they tasted. The ride home in that rabbit seemed like it was twenty-seven hundred miles long.
 

Slip Kid

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My neighbor took me to my first MLB game. It was the Yankees and I think they played the A’s. I think it was in ‘77 and I would’ve been 8. I remember being on the 2nd or possibly 3rd level, 1st baseline side watching Chris Chamblis and Reggie Jackson bat.

I was also at the infamous “Pine Tar” game. It was on our little league trip to see the Yankees play. We were way up in the nosebleed seats behind home plate. We were so high up my friend’s mom had a panic attack and my father and her husband had to hold her arms to help calm her. I also remember being able to see how red George Brett’s face was that far up.

George Brett also was hitting foul balls in to my section at another Yankee game I went to. One came right at us and my uncle tried to grab it but the people right next us snagged it. I remember being really bummed about it.

My father used to get tickets for the Mets through work connections in the mid ‘80’s. They were several rows behind the Mets dugout. I was able to get autographs and have a Mets yearbook that Daryll Strawberry signed his rookie year. I also recently came across photos I took of Pete Rose and Keith Hernandez when they played the Phillies in a double header.

Edited to add: Sadly, I haven’t taken my son to a MLB game. Neither of us are big sports fans but I always thought it is a cool experience, especially night games when the stadium is lit up. Unfortunately the ticket prices are so high (like concerts) that I can’t justify the expense for something we’re both not that into. We used to, however, go to a local minor league game on Father’s Day along with my father and friends with their father. That was always a good day and what it should all be about.
 
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idjster

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I never had the chance to go to a game, but it sounds like you had some really great experiences, starting with a wonderful oldest brother. Congratulations! It sounds like it was great and IS a great memory!
 

TeleTucson

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The first time I went to a professional baseball game was to see the S.F. Giants at Candlestick Park.My oldest brother took me. We stopped off at the Peanut Farm, a local bar on the way up and I waited in the car while he and a buddy had a couple and brought out a huge bag of roasted peanuts to take to the game. I don't remember who played the Giants that day, just the absolute excitement of going to a Major League game. My brother did two great things besides taking me. He bought me a Giant's Pennant and a team ball. In those days they had stands that sold game stuff like programs, pennants, caps and balls. They were autographed by the team although most were stamped, only the rookies and backup players actually signed them. Having one to show off to your friends along with baseball cards was important for a 5th or 6th grader.

Later in 1963, my best friend's Dad took me along to see Game 3 of the Yankees v. Dodgers World Series in L.A. It was a very special treat by a wonderful person. He would always take me to stuff with his son as he knew I didn't have a dad. Yankees lost 1 - 0. Pretty boring pitcher's game. However they had stands just like Candlestick and had team balls; except the Dodger's balls were all gone and all they had were the Yankee's balls. They were in a big grate, probably shipped to L.A. for the games. I bought one for myself and one for my buddy's Dad to say thanks. I was given $30 to go to the game; which was a large sum for my mom, though I think my older brother kicked in. Any way the ball had all the Yankee's greats on it, with Mantle and Yogi in the sweet spot. I kept the ball for years at my Mom's house and eventually I took it and put it into a black sock as the ink was starting to fade. I bought one of those plastic ball holders and put it in that and the sock. The most interesting signature on the ball was Steve Hamilton who signed with a star as the dot over the "I" in Hamilton. He pitched one inning in the series as a reliever. He was always my favorite on the ball because of how he signed his name. He was one of the few that actually signed the ball, all the big names were stamped, only a few had ink across or touching the stitches.

I gave the ball to my step-son a number of years ago as he is a big baseball fan and I know he will keep it and pass it on. It was just a regular team ball from 1963, nothing special and I am sure tons were sold. I think they sell for a few hundred, so nothing mind blowing. It is just a special memory. He was really happy I passed it on to him.

I've seen Dad's with their kids at games and it is such a wonderful bonding experience. I took my own kid a couple times but he was more interested in motorcycles so we went to the Astrodome to see flat track and TT races and some motocross. I even took him to ice races indoors in the old Summit in Houston. It was good and he remembers it but in my mind it isn't the same as baseball. I wish he loved the game as I do, but he doesn't, looks like both grand kids are the same. SAD but it was great for me. My older brother is 86 now, wonder if he would like to come to Texas and go to an Astros game? Maybe a World Series???

Went with my dad and brother to Fenway in the '60's and it made a similar magical impression. All the noise and the crowd - and the Green Monster. Wow! And to boot, it was Bat Day and I came home with a very nice Carl Yastrzemski signed (printed) H&B bat that I used at my Little League games. Nice memories and I can still smell the popcorn. :)
 

Vibroluxer

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My neighbor took me to my first MLB game. It was the Yankees and I think they played the A’s. I think it was in ‘77 and I would’ve been 8. I remember being on the 2nd or possibly 3rd level, 1st baseline side watching Chris Chamblis and Reggie Jackson bat.

I was also at the infamous “Pine Tar” game. It was on our little league trip to see the Yankees play. We were way up in the nosebleed seats behind home plate. We were so high up my friend’s mom had a panic attack and my father and her husband had to hold her arms to help calm her. I also remember being able to see how red George Brett’s face was that far up.

George Brett also was hitting foul balls in to my section at another Yankee game I went to. One came right at us and my uncle tried to grab it but the people right next us snagged it. I remember being really bummed about it.

My father used to get tickets for the Mets through work connections in the mid ‘80’s. They were several rows behind the Mets dugout. I was able to get autographs and have a Mets yearbook that Daryll Strawberry signed his rookie year. I also recently came across photos I took of Pete Rose and Keith Hernandez when they played the Phillies in a double header.

Edited to add: Sadly, I haven’t taken my son to a MLB game. Neither of us are big sports fans but I always thought it is a cool experience, especially night games when the stadium is lit up. Unfortunately the ticket prices are so high (like concerts) that I can’t justify the expense for something we’re both not that into. We used to, however, go to a local minor league game on Father’s Day along with my father and friends with their father. That was always a good day and what it should all be about.
Hey Man, it's not too late. Long story but I just met my 39 yo son. He lives 3 hrs away and doesn't know it but when he comes to visit some time next spring or summer, he's going to a Pirates game with me. He's not a sports fan either and pretty much neither am I but it's something, I believe, we oughta do with our kids if at all possible.
 

Chip

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Macedonia, Ohio
When I was still a drinking man, I had hooked up with the Elks Lodge. It was a cheap place to drink, they had a nice gym, steam room, sauna, and jacuzzi. Plus, I knew a lot of guys there.

A friend from the Lodge asked me and a couple of other guys to go see the Dodgers play in L.A. Reggie Jackson was playing with them back then. We rode down there in a Volkswagen Rabbit, I rode in the backseat, and I thought they were going to have to get me out through the trunk. We had some box seats for the game that the guy who got the deal up had parlayed from one of the wealthy members.

I don't remember much about the game, Reggie didn't do much of anything. I drank an awful lot of beer and ate some hotdogs that smelled better than they tasted. The ride home in that rabbit seemed like it was twenty-seven hundred miles long.
I’d love to know what you were drinking because Reggie Jackson never played for the Dodgers. Maybe that’s why you don’t remember him doing much that day.
 

Chester P Squier

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First MLB regular-season game we took the kids to was to Arlington Stadium in 1989. Yankees at Texas Rangers. Yankee First-baseman Don Mattingly let a slow roller down the line go under his glove into right field. The Yankees were so bad that year, nobody remembers that Mattingly error.

While we were in Texas, we went down to Houston and saw an Astros game. On the same day, we were across the street at Astroworld. The kids enjoyed the ballgame better than the amusement park.

I might have posted that the first MLB game I attended was in 1962. Kansas City A's at Los Angeles Angels, in Dodger Stadium, which the Angels called "Chavez Ravine Stadium." We were in the uppermost deck behind home plate. What I remember was not having the take an elevator or stairs to get to our seats, because the parking lot was/is on a hill that the grandstand is built in to.
 




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