Thursday, May 2, 2013

Kicking Off Our Baseball Season

Last week we went to our first baseball game of MANY to come this season. We have a big midwestern road trip in the works (actually, we're leaving three weeks from tomorrow!), and I hope to find an opportunity to fill you in on all our plans before we leave, but suffice it to say, there will be much baseball-ing as we continue our efforts to get Eric to all 30 MLB Stadiums. He has currently been to 17 of 30, and this trip will cross off another three (plus one repeat): Milwaukee, Cincinnati, and St. Louis (and Cleveland). More on those details to come, I hope!

So, as I said, the Rays game we went to last week was only the first of many for this season. And, it was Ellie's second game of all time, so that's very exciting (she went to her first game last July, at just shy of four months old). So far, she's a baseball-fan natural.

The game was Rays v. Yankees, and the Rays emerged victorious, although we actually watched very little baseball. It was a night game (7:10 p.m.) so we were racing against Ellie's bedtime and we knew we would only be able to stay a few innings. So, we arrived early to do a bit of walking around before the game started.

Ready for some baseball!

We tried to get Ellie's picture with this big inflatable Raymond, but she was far too distracted by him for photo ops!

Tropicana Field

Family shot!

We walked out to the field before the game and by chance ended up right next to the Rays Touch Tank, so we were able to get a sneak peak of the real live rays before the game began. Ellie was pretty interested.

Watching the rays swim by

This guy wanted to say a special hello!

We did a little more walking around and then decided to get something to eat. By that time, the game had just started so our timing was perfect - everyone went in to watch (because that's what we all paid to do, so this makes sense) so we had our choice of uncrowded food lines and empty tables. We sat in the kids' area while we ate hot dogs and french fries (and more healthier options we brought for Ellie, although she did snack on a couple fries), and then Ellie had a blast crawling around the play area. She particularly liked climbing up into the baseball glove chair. Climbing is her latest skill and it is totally the coolest.

Left: Eric and Ellie having dinner; Right: Ellie in her new fave chair

Playing on the giant baseball bat

Crawling through a glove


After dinner/play time we decided to go up to the Rays Touch Tank to give Ellie another look at the real rays. Daddy was in charge of pointing things out to her, although she seemed pretty skeptical of the whole thing.

Off to the Touch Tank!

Ellie and Daddy

Cool! Check it out!

My favorite Rays fans

After taking these pictures I couldn't help but think of the Touch Tank pictures from Ellie's first Rays game - she sure has changed a bit in eight months!

Then and now: Ellie and Eric at the Touch Tank in July 2012, and April 2013 

Then and now, part 2: she's such a big girl now!

After the Touch Tank we did a little more walking around, including some fan gear shopping, where we forced Ellie to try on baseball caps. Cutest thing ever. We didn't buy anything yet (we have a hard enough time getting people to realize she's a girl as it is [dresses notwithstanding], so if we put a ball cap on her there's no hope), but sooner or later I think we'll have to cave to the cuteness.

I nearly died.

Left: Eric showing Ellie the mascots she'll see this season; Right: Enjoying our evening at Tropicana Field

By that time it was getting late and we still hadn't even watched any baseball (aside from what we could see on the TVs in the dining area) so we stepped out towards the field to watch a little bit.

Ellie and her daddy watching together

Clearly nearing the end of the eveing!

Little Ellie was getting sleepy so after about an inning we packed it in and made our way home. Despite the small amount of actual baseball-watching, we had a really nice evening at the ballpark and I'm pretty excited to take Ellie to all the games we have planned for this season. Plus, I'm excited to go myself - last time we did a big baseball stadium tour I was pregnant, and unable to consume beer. Baseball just requires beer. So, we're all in for a good time this summer!


Lauren said...

How cute, I love going to Rays games and her outfit is the best!!!

Nichole said...

Love Rays games! Ellie looked like she had a good time :)