I’m not sure if it was Arthur’s first Major League Baseball game. I know it was his first visit to PNC Park in Pittsburgh the home of the Pirates.
We had a bit of an adventure to actually get to the stadium. (In 500 Feet Your Destination Will Be On The Right. . .Some Flying May Be Required.) As we finally parked, it was a short two block walk to the stadium.
As we planned the trip to the game, Arthur asked about tickets.
Have you bought the tickets yet?
It’s a Tuesday night game. There will be no problem getting seats.
If the parking lots were any indication, there were going to be even more seats available than I thought. Most of the ticket booth windows were closed. I walked to the main ticket window and sure enough, had no trouble getting seats. We picked seats on the 3rd baseline, on the 300 level. They were probably more than we needed to pay at $19 per seat, but the ticket seller assured us they were great seats.
We entered PNC Park and it hit me.
It always hits me.
I’ve never played baseball, but I’ve been attending games since I was 13 years old and my dad took me to the old Kingdome in Seattle to watch the Mariners play.
Walking into the stadium, even before you see the field, is a full body experience. PNC Park, is a “retro” stadium. Build less than 20 years ago, but designed to look much older.
We had skipped dinner with the anticipation of eating at the ball park. I could smell the burgers and dogs. I had the Italian sausage with onions and peppers.
Even though it was a sparce crowd, we could hear the organ (Yeah, it’s a high-tech soundtrack, but it sounded like an organ.) We heard the mumble of the PA announcer grow louder as we made our way toward the inclined ramps leading to the upper levels.
I stopped and bought a Pirates cap, a tradition I follow at every new stadium I visit. I opted for the old “pillbox” style, popular many years ago. It’s polyester, but feels like wool.
We wound our way up the first set of ramps, as we rounded a piller, there it was. An emerald field with a rust colored infield.
I turned to see that Arthur had stopped and was simply staring. And it was quite a sight.
Yeah, that view never gets old
We made our way to our seats. They were as good as the ticket seller had promised, with a great view of the field and a view of the river and city skyline on the other side of it.
It didn’t matter that we weren’t fans of either team. It didn’t matter that the Pirates were leading their division or that the Chicago White Sox were in the celler in theirs. It didn’t matter that we didn’t arrive until the fourth inning or that we had to leave in the eighth to make the three hour drive back to Columbus and our business meeting the following day.
We simply sat and soaked in the experience of being at the ballpark on an early summer night. The weather was perfect, the Italian sausage was delicious, the atmosphere was magic.
What a night out for baseball.
(Oh, the Pirates shut out the White Sox. I think the it was 4 or 5 to 0. Honestly, I wasn’t pay that much attention to the score.)
Rodney M Bliss is an author, columnist and IT Consultant. His blog updates every weekday. He lives in Pleasant Grove, UT with his lovely wife, thirteen children and grandchildren.
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