I’ve reignited my boyhood love of baseball in the last few years as I’ve taught my son to love the game. We started out watching the Cincinnati Reds on the weekends, and have decided that we can watch baseball a whole lot closer to home. So we anointed ourselves fans of the Indianapolis Indians and have been following them since last year.
Last Saturday (May 2), my 6-year-old son and I visited Victory Field in downtown Indianapolis for our first ever father-son baseball game. We sat out in the Ivy Tech Lawn area behind left field (cost is $9 for adults, $8 for kids under 14).
It was the first game of a surprise double-header against the Rochester Red Wings, since Friday’s game was rained out. We sat on the grass with a crowd that slowly grew as the afternoon went on (the game was originally scheduled for 7:00, but had been rescheduled at 5:30, which caught a lot of people off guard, so we had a huge section of the lawn to ourselves). We kept hoping that someone would hit a home run our way, but there were none to be had that day.
We wandered the area behind center field, enjoyed some of the games and contests, and said hello to people we had never met. My son even got me to enter a couple of contests to see if we can win more Indians tickets (no luck so far though).
Unfortunately, the Indians lost that first game of the double-header (1-5). Even more unfortunately, we had to leave before the second game. Even more unfortunately than that (for us), the Indians won that game (3-2), so we missed it entirely, but caught it on the radio that evening.
I’ve been to both major league and minor league ball games over the years, and there’s just something special about minor league games. Fans of minor league teams are there for baseball. They love the game, they love the team, and they’re there, whether the team is winning or not (which is a good thing, because right now our Indians are 11 – 15, which puts them 2.5 games back in the INT West, behind Louisville and Toledo, but ahead of Columbus). Don’t get me wrong, fans of the majors love their baseball too, but there’s just that sense of community in the minors. These are our Indians, this is our stadium.