The change of seasons is happening again. In our house this isn't the fact that robins are singing outside, or buds are growing on trees and brown rabbits are scampering about. No, this means that the smell of the hockey arena is being replaced by the crack of a bat and the perfect placement of a row of lawnchairs to watch the action on the field.
It's baseball season.
I am a big proponent of playing multisports as a kid. How else would a kid find out if they like one sport over another if they don't try new ones? The other great part is the variety as a fan! How nice is it to go sit outside and watch a ball game? It's got it's draw backs as any other sport would, like rain, and the fact a game is sometimes two and a half hours long plus warm up, and the dreaded double header; but overall its great to change it up
Some may think its also a great way to get away from the crazy hockey parent. Untrue. Baseball parents can be way worse. If you haven't been, just imagine those same fanatics that scream at their kids behind the glass, now projecting their instructions to little Tommy behind a fence....literally 10 feet from where he stands in the batters box trying to swing at a ball that is coming at him from a pitcher who is less than accurate. On a hockey bench, the coaches discussions with the players are between the coach and the player...not in ball. In ball the coach is standing right beside third base. That's within 15 feet of the crowd in many fields. Not to worry though, no crazed parent would ever shout at a coach that is trying to volunteer to help your kid.
The same goes for the officials. Rarely will the official hear the lunatic in the stands in an arena. It's much easier to hear from behind a back stop. The worst part is that it's likely the same 15 year old kid that refs the hockey game that takes the abuse from some adult who deems this ball game as the lead up to the World Series.
Where will you find me at these games? Often sitting way back with a great view and in the company of my family and a golden retriever. It's a much more peaceful way to watch a game without the commentators around you, or the 42 year old ex-player who still brings the bag of seeds to spit all over your feet.
Some insider tips? Watch for the odd foul ball; know where the closest bathroom is, and bring a cooler. Bring a blanket in your car, sometimes it does get cold. Sunscreen is a must for fans, even more than players. And of course the umbrella can save you from both sun and rain....and a large Tim Hortons cup will definitely hold a full can of Bud Light.