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Taking a Kid to the Park

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In my household, the pressure to be a Dodger fan is tremendous. One older brother lives and breathes the Blue. My mother has a partial season ticket plan. Another older brother is a fence-sitter, living near Anaheim and enjoying the good baseball played there this decade but happy as a pig in slop at the Ravine. My younger was a lefty outfielder who hit near .500 for a season in the La Mirada Little League but didn't give two shits about baseball and quit when practice got boring around the age of 12.

Most of the grandkids have been apathetic about ball but my younger brother's son, now 6, has dove into fandom. Taunting me about the Dodgers last year, he now lives closer to Angel Stadium and told me he wanted to go to a game. I had never been to a game with a kid before and asked CUPIE what to expect.

"Be ready to spend a lot of money"

First my nephew has a blue sweater. Left that in the trunk. While in line with his $34 Angels sweater (sized a little big so he can wear it for maybe the rest of the season), he obsesses over a foam finger. $6. Cool. Hot Dog and a drinks for us with the corn-on-the-cob and chip = $31. Then two ice creams at Ruby's = $13. And the funny thing here is that i felt like I spent a lot of the game saying "NO" to his requests for stuff.

But seeing this kid go crazy for the Angels - scream "WAKE UP HILLENBRAND" at the top of his lungs - to have him say "Uncle Mat, you're right, Vladimir Guerrero IS the best player in baseball," stuff like that would be under-priced at a million bucks.

He asked me if he should give his old Dodger Foam finger to his other Uncle or his grandma. The guy behind us told him to burn it. HE turns to me, "I don't think my mom will let me burn it, but I could give it to you and YOU could burn it..."

(Note the "Rally Cap" of a seasoned veteran in the "AFTER" photo)

By the end of the game he pointed out that the Angels scored 5 runs when he put his cap on inside-out, rally style, reminded me that Orlando Cabrera was not actor Orlando Bloom but WAS #18, and asked to have his picture taken next to a wall-mural of Shea Hillenbrand - because the constant barrages of "WAKE UP HILLENBRAND" had produced results in the 8th inning. We didn't find any murals of Shea Katrina (weirdly, there were many of Justin Speier), nor of Kendry Morales, who my nephew plans to write a thank you letter to for driving in the 10th run and getting us all wings.

Before he falls asleep in his carseat in the back of my car, he informs me that his "yelling energy" is all gone.

His mom was (not) thrilled with a 6 year old returning to the house with news that they were going to Hooters tomorrow!