When I was a little girl, I wanted to be a baseball umpire. Never mind that I had never played baseball before and I didn’t know why my father glued himself to the TV whenever a game was on but I thought it would be awesome to have so much power to make people happy or angry.
We never had cable. There were no networks geared just for kids, no DVR’s, VCR tape rental was just starting to get popular. Most kids were able to watch the two hours of cartoons everyday after school because their parents weren’t cheap Filipinos. I didn’t mind. We still had Saturday morning cartoons.
We’re talking real vintage stuff here, kids. Smurfs were never on the big screen. I thought the “older kid” shows were so cool back when I was Team Zack (not Team Slater) and Fergie from the Black Eyed Peas was just Stacy Ferguson.
That is, until baseball season. My little brother and I would scream in horror when our cartoons were preempted by that damn sport. Who wanted to watch a boring game anyway?
My dad did! Back then there wasn’t a TV in every room. (Now we only have a TV in our family room and a small 12″ TV upstairs for kids’ movies.) If you wanted TV time, too bad. Dad was watching the San Francisco Giants or the Oakland A’s. I started watching out of boredom and it wasn’t until much later that I appreciated their… Ahem, uniforms.
One beautiful October afternoon, my brother and I sat down with our dad to watch the 1989 World Series– the Battle of the Bay— when lo and behold, Mother Nature had other plans. She sent a major earthquake measuring 7.1 on the Richter scale. As a child growing up near major fault lines in California, I remember experiencing them so often that I could guess how strong they were on the Richter scale with great accuracy. But this one? This one was greater than anything I had ever felt in my life. It was so strong that my husband said he felt it two states away!
It wasn’t until my first year of college that I went to a real professional sports game. I remember a long bus ride with a few friends to Candlestick Park. I was in awe of this amazing park and wondered how it would have felt sitting there when that earthquake hit, the earthquake that kept us out of school for at least two days. I loved taking in the smell of ballpark fare and beer not knowing that decades later my children would beg for $9 nachos at minor league games.
When Operation Care and Comfort offered tickets to soldiers in northern California, I jumped at the chance to take my kids to their first Giants game, totally understanding if tickets had run out or unavailable to us in our unique situation.
We got tickets to Opening Week, the final game against the Colorado Rockies.
Needless to say, we had an amazing time!
We stopped at Travis AFB to pick up lunch and snacks but mostly to save money from having to buy food and drinks in the park. Now I splurge on special occasions but no such occasion exists when it comes to a cup of ten-dollar-lemonade! A is eating octopus from the sushi bar.