Saturday, May 30, 2015

Take Me Out To The Ballgame

Ticket for The Quad City River Bandits Baseball team, photo by J. Berta

Greetings All:

"Take me out to the ball game,
Take me out with the crowd;
Just buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jack,
I don't care if I never get back.
Let me root, root, root for the home team,
If they don't win, it's a shame.
For it's one, two, three strikes, you're out,
At the old ball game."

I will guess that most of you reading this recognize the words to this song, "Take Me Out to The Ballgame," by Jack Norworth and Albert Von Tilzer.  They wrote this tune in 1908.  I've got a link to it below and there's some interesting history behind it.  For example, the lyrics above are only the chorus.  There are several verses to the song.  I never knew that, among other things.

It is a song as central to baseball as overpriced hot dogs and long pitching changes.  Traditionally sung between the top and bottom of the 7th inning, it's a crowd favorite.  I've got a link to a version sung by,...well, you'll just have to check it out for yourself, if interested... 

OK, we're back.  I should give a bit of background on this post.  Thursday night (May 28th) was both the local Realtor and Association of the U.S. Army (AUSA) night at our minor league ballpark.  For those of us old enough to remember, the stadium was called John O'Donald Stadium.  Now, it is Modern Woodman Park.  Yes, it has gone somewhat commercial.  There is a Ferris wheel in the background, high-end beer and food (with prices to match) and even private suites.  So much for the days of being a big shot were box seats.  

I did get a kick out of seeing that Barefoot wine is the "Wine of minor league baseball."  (Or words to that effect.)  Then again, it's a ballpark and summer.  So ought your beverage be cold?  Oh well, that's just my two cents.

On a more serious note, I love that this ballpark has seats reserved for wounded Veterans.  The area of seating honor is named for a personal hero of mine, Congressman Lane Evans.  He served in the U.S. Marines and continued to serve our nation in Congress for many years.  Despite being an unapologetic liberal, he was well-respected by all and beloved by most.  One of his key issues was supporting Veterans.  It is more than fitting that this sitting area is named after him:

The Lane Evans box for Veterans, photo by J. Berta.

Truth be told, I'm not a huge baseball fan.  My favorite sport, without question, is football, particularly Iowa football.  However, we had a great time at the ball park Thursday night.  When I mean, "we," it was Dawn and the girls.  While Cassie (our eldest) was a good sport, Carly (our youngest) had the time of her life.  She even snagged the most elusive of souvenirs...

The baseball my daughter snagged, signed by The River Bandits mascot, Rascal.  Photo by J. Berta

She did not catch it, instead ran it down in the area off the first base line and snagged it.   Still, it's hers.  She even got it signed by the River Bandits mascot, "Rascal."

Even if you're not a huge fan of baseball, going to the ball park is something special during summer.  Minor league ball parks are a place to enjoy a few hours with family and friends.  It is a way for us to celebrate the "national pastime" (or at least the 21st century version of it) and bask in the glow (sun or neon lights) of the experience.

So take a break from the world and take someone out to the ball game.  You'll be glad you did.

Play ball!

Be well my friends,



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