I’ve never been the world’s biggest baseball fan. There are too many games to follow and each one seems to go on for an interminable length. But having moved to Texas recently, when my wife asked if I wanted to go to a Rangers game I thought it might be a good idea. Actually, it happened to be a corporate event tie-in thing with her company. We would be paying a flat ticket price and sitting in the “All you can eat” section of Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Could they have given it a more appealing name? I couldn’t see the stadium level over my head but I’m pretty sure there must have been a giant LCD screen hanging from it which read: “Hey baseball fans, come and watch the fat folks eat!”
We took our son, not a voracious eater himself and left our daughter with my sister-in-law. She was tired (both of them were, really). The whole experience was pretty cool. The particular section we found ourselves in is attached to a restaurant with, as its name implies, an all-you-can-eat buffet. So it wasn’t anything fancy but for the cost of the ticket you know I was going to get my hot dog’s worth. The spread consisted of boxes of popcorn, large tubs of peanuts (in shell), hot dogs, chicken sandwiches, and as much soda as you could legitimately consume. I grabbed four hot dogs as we proceeded to our seats. Then I remembered that my wife and son might want one…
Our darling son, all of three years-old, really seemed taken by the action on the field. I even showed him the proper way to place his hand over his heart during the national anthem. And yet after the first inning, with a temperature still over 100 degrees, we opted to watch from inside the feeding trough, um, restaurant. Eventually my wife was stricken with the idea to tour the stadium. We headed for the exit, three more dogs in hand. And a beer. I don’t drink beer but at the ballpark I must. We wandered around the entire main level, encircling the bowl that is the stadium. We stopped along the way for souvenirs and ice cream.
Finally we came back to our seats. After all that it was only the fourth inning. Little man was getting sleepy so we once again headed for the exit, through the restaurant, grabbing a few more franks on the way. Who are you to judge me?! We stopped to pick up a pretzel for my sister-in-law, her one request of remuneration for babysitting. While waiting in line a couple of guys in front of us turned around, looked at my son, and said “You look like you could use this.” I looked up to see them offering us a signed baseball they had gotten by taking the actual, official tour of the stadium earlier in the day. Nice gesture. Very classy. On our way out of the stadium (yes, dammit, I grabbed some more hot dogs) we stopped to get our promotional item. Oddly, it was a football carrying the Rangers logo on it.
The picture below, however, sums up the night perfectly.