Take Me Out to the Ballgame

Momservation: A Sno Cone is to a kid at the ballpark what a beer is to an adult. 

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Mom & Whitney at the River Cats game. One of the dozens of times we left our seats thanks to our very patient seat neighbors

As part of our annual Wheeler summer of Death by Recreation we hit a Sacramento River Cats game thanks to the nice people at Smile Generation. Cause you know, we had a four hour block free with nothing to do.

We picked a game against the Fresno Grizzlies because it’s the San Francisco Giants farm team. My son, Logan, 11, uber-Giants fan, was beyond excited to a) try to catch a fly ball b) try and get Brandon Belt’s autograph again (he got the former big leaguer’s autograph at a Giant’s game this year) c) get a Sno Cone the size of New Hampshire.

My daughter, Whitney, 10, just wanted to get a picture of Dinger (the River Cats’ mascot).

The seats Smile Generation gave us were great – right behind home plate but far enough back for a pop up foul ball. We squeezed past two nice ladies, who would have our butts in their faces at least a dozen more times for bathroom breaks, snack breaks, souvenir breaks, a lost iTouch search, and more bathroom breaks. They left before the game was over I think just to get away from our butts.

Almost immediately the kids vacated their seats to take care of b and got Brandon Belt’s autograph. He was really great, the big star in the minor leagues, signing almost right up until the start of the game. Once he did stop autographing for a moment a lady yelled, “Hey Brandon, c’mon!” They’re just kids!”

Logan and Whitney getting Brandon Belt's autograph (Fresno Grizzlie/SF Giant called back up to the "bigs" on 7/19)

As everyone stood toward the flag with their hats off a security guard whispered to her far too nicely, “It’s the National Anthem, ma’am.”

Ducking her Sharpie behind her back she stammered, “Oh. Yeah. Right. Sorry.”

Next, we loaded up of the requisite ball park food and drink: hot dog, popcorn, giant soda, and beer.

Then Dinger came along and we had to balance all our food and drinks plus Whitney’s so she could get her picture with her iTouch. Which she promptly lost, but didn’t realize until we left our seats, which sent us all racing back for a frenzied search. Luckily it was located, but once again reinforced Mom’s point that just cause you can afford to buy an iTouch with your own money doesn’t mean you’re responsible enough to have one.

Dinger, the River Cats mascot. Whitney's mission is complete

Soon fly balls were coming at us from the field and thrown back from the stadium roof. Scratch a off the list.

Before long it was time to take care of c and I was put on fly ball duty so the kids could stab and slurp on the their mountainous Sno Cones. Logan asked, “Mom, what is Sno Cone juice?”

“Liquid sugar,” I told him.

“No wonder it takes so good,” he feverishly slurped before I could change my mind and take it away.

We couldn’t leave without a River Cats souvenir so before the game was over we indulged the kids with a gift card Smile Generation gave us. When my son chose a River Cats batter’s helmet his sister asked him, “Why do you need a batter’s helmet from every game you go to?”

Logan looked at her like she was insane and replied, “Why wouldn’t I?”

The kids with their souvenirs - River Cats batting helmet and monkey, and MLB vintage trading cards (Rollie Fingers! The Big Unit!)

Whitney chose an orange monkey – her favorite color and favorite animal – in a River Cats jersey. Logan asked, “Why do you need another monkey?”

And Whitney threw right back at him, “Why wouldn’t I?”

Raley Field fireworks every Saturday night River Cats home game

We returned to our seats because, oh yeah, there was a baseball game going on, and also for the post-game fireworks show – which was a pretty impressive display for every Saturday night home game.

It was a great night at the River Cats game (thanks Smile Generation!), we dragged ourselves home drunk on a family fun high, and fell into bed.

But not before setting our alarms for 6 a.m. to leave on the next leg of the Death by Recreation tour – next stop: ShaverLake.


    • kellimwheeler says:

      We had a blast! Perfect summer family activity. Even with 15 trips to the bathroom and concession stands…

  1. Chase McFadden says:

    Awesome. And I’m with Logan: you absolutely have to get a batting helmet. You can’t have too many.

    We’ve got minor leauge ball two hours either way. Went last summer. Need to get back there. Thanks for the reminder.

    • kellimwheeler says:

      Two hours away? What – do you live in Wyoming or something? 😉

      According to the male species in my house you can’t have too many pocket knives either…

  2. Elizabeth says:

    What a great time! I love minor league ball and Raley Field is such a nice ball park.

    Hmmm. It’s Monday afternoon. Where can I find a hot dog and a sno cone in downtown Sacramento at this hour?

    • kellimwheeler says:

      Raley Field is really nice – I don’t think people realize how good we got it here w/ the River Cats compared to other minor league fields/teams. My son wants to go do the grass seats now – even better, so cheap!

      If you can’t find your hot dog and sno cone downtown head to the closest Little League field!

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