The weather is simply perfect so it is time to leave NYC and head out to Long Island and hit the beach. We have planned a couple of ‘days out’ at Robert Moses State Park, not far from where I grew up. It is on the western end of Fire Island and is five miles of beach and surf, dunes and sea. But first, we are off to see the Ducks…
The Long Island Ducks is a professional baseball team based on Long Island. C1 had grand plans to go to a Boston Red Sox game, as that was the team C1 was randomly assigned to last season. It was the first time C1 ever played ANYTHING other than football (soccer), and although it got a bit confusing when also learning cricket at school, C1 LOVED baseball…and now loves the Sox..and not the Yankees…or even the Mets. But we are in New York. Oh dear.
My family is now pretty evenly split between Yankee and Mets fans but that was not always the case. I grew up with one grandfather working at Yankee Stadium during his retirement, and with another grandfather who I could not even speak to during a Yankee game, unless it was to ask what the count was…(balls and strikes people!!!).
So, it is clear where my loyalty lies. Right? (Sorry M!) But maybe it is time for a change and afterall, I should probably support my own kid’s choices as well right? Anyway, after a weekend of New York Post headlines and debates on every tv and radio channel surrounding the Bronx Bomber’s 3rd baseman, Alex Rodriguez, I don’t think I’m the only one reconsidering my team.
Incase you missed it (I did!), and for those of us normally in the UK, A-Rod is expected to be hit with a 214 game suspension for his involvement in an age defying clinic, some sort of performance enhancing drug lab in Florida…now defunct. Age defying? Really?!? Geesh…why can’t these guys just be good and really good and naturally good – but what do I know. You would have thought a $29 million salary (!!!) would have at least bought him some common sense, but I digress.
So, leaving drugs and dirty deeds behind in the dugout, we are at Bethpage Ballpark enjoying the Ducks and their silly mascot Crackerjack on a dry, ZERO humidity, gorgeous summer evening.
I am explaining most of the rules to C1 and even Mom looks surprised that I know a thing or two. I think both my grandfathers would be particularly proud as I explain during the 6th inning, when the Yorks’ (yes that is the opposing team!) 3rd baseman (no scandal on him that I know of), advances to homebase to score a run AFTER the batter hits a fly ball and is out. Got that?!?
But I think we still may need a few more games to get it right. C1 keeps referring to the ‘field’ (or even ‘ballpark’) as the ‘pitch’. After the 7th inning stretch, we sing ‘Take Me Out to the Ballgame’ and my kids do not know a single word. Ooops.
C2 hears… ‘buy me some peanuts and crackerjack’…and then asks, ‘how much is Quackerjack?’ and can we take him home. Hmmm…
We stay for 9 innings over 3 hours. C1 and C2 enjoyed every minute of it and on a night like tonight, so did I. It is not Yankee Standium and it is not Fenway Park, but for $11 a ticket and a fantastic 7-6 win to the Ducks, I think we have found our new team. All I need to do now is persuade Sky Sports to screen Duck games.
$7 for bottle or draft
(Drink 2 and spend more than cost of the game)
Finish before 7th inning as no more alcohol served
Go home chanting
‘For it’s 1- 2- 3 strikes you’re out at the ol’ ball game!’