Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Closing down RFK

Ed and I have had a piece of a season ticket for the Nationals since they arrived in town three years ago. Mounted down in Grateful Ed's (our basement bar) is a little collage that holds an Opening Day ticket, a photo of the scoreboard advertising Grateful Ed's Brewhouse, and now the Closing Day ticket. Prior to its opening, Ed announced that the fact that RFK was serving veggie hotdogs was a sign of the decline of baseball. You see, Ed is one of those guys who thinks Yankee stadium is the ideal setting for a baseball game precisely because there are no amenities. You cannot even get fresh popped popcorn at Yankee stadium - only prepackaged crap. Unlike me, Ed is not at all excited about the new stadium because he just knows there's going to be a bunch of fun extra stuff to do, and that is not what baseball is about to Ed (though we both think the sandbox located in front of the outfield seats, but behind a large fence in the San Diego ballpark is nothing short of brilliant - now that we have a kid!).

Connor has been to an enormous number of games for someone his age. His career of going to games started within his first three weeks of life when Ed and I were both at home on maternity / paternity leave and there was a day game. Before age 2, he'd probably made it to a dozen games or so, and now I'm certain the number of games he has attended tops 20. Over time, he's gone from nursing to sleep in my lap every game to being among the more energetic fans. He can even do "the wave" (another thing Ed hates when baseball fans do, though he finds it enormously entertaining when Connor participates). Probably the most frequently asked question Ed or I get from folks is "Does Connor need a ticket?" and Ed's standard answer sums our gameday experience up perfectly "Technically, no, but he does need about 20 seats". Fortunately, our row happens to be populated rather sparsely, so it's usually not a problem.

In all of the games Connor attended this year at night, he did not fall asleep once.

He laid on the ground a few times, he put his head in my lap a few times, he would even settle down with a nice cold bottle of milk for a few minutes - but sleep did not visit him, regardless of how long past his usual bedtime we were out. But on Closing Day - when the stadium was practically sold out - and we had almost no room for Connor to do his usual roaming (I think we were limited to about 5 seats), and the stadium was noisier than it's been since Opening Day, Connor climbed up on Ed's lap at naptime...and slept. He slept soundly for several innings, and while uncomfortable for Ed (normally it would've been my lap, but these days, I have no lap!), we got to once again experience the joy of watching the same innings of baseball, on a beautiful day in September.


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