The Story Of Skippy’s First Baseball Outing


Skippy, my grandson, will celebrate his first birthday in two weeks, so his parents decided to take him to a baseball game. Because they live in Kansas City, it was the Royals versus somebody. The “somebody” just happened to be the Red Sox and, since Skippy’s dad hails from the Boston area, it was his home team.

(Actually, Greg is from New Hampshire, but they are evidently too small to warrant a Major League Baseball team of their own. I think it may prohibited by the U.S. Constitution: “No teams allowed where the stadium will be larger than the state itself.” If New Hampshire ever rebels and gets a team, I would like to suggest this name and motto: “The Maple Syrup Runners: We Chase You Down then Stick it to You.”)

At any rate, last Sunday saw Skippy all decked out in his Red Sox regalia. Where my daughter found a Red Sox baseball uniform in his size, I will never know, but he was cute right down to his red knee socks.

Now one would think it might be a bad idea to take a 1-year-old to a stadium that seats nearly 38,000 — and where people even well over 2 feet tall risk getting moshed. But they forgot one thing — Skippy hadn’t had his nap. You don’t mess with babies who haven’t had a nap. They’re testy.

As Skippy approached, oncoming traffic took one look at his face and aisles cleared. Whole sections gave up their seats. I think they may have shown him on that giant TV screen as an example of what the Red Sox would be doing later — crying uncontrollably. But an hour later, Skippy was peacefully asleep thanks to the calm, quiet atmosphere of the game (the very reason I do not favor baseball).

When he awoke, he was a new man.

He had just learned to clap so, every time the fans clapped, he did too, Unfortunately, most of this clapping was being done by Royals fans (who eventually won 4-3), so Skippy had to rely on his engaging smile to win over nearby Red Soxers. And he did — well, except for the people in front of him. Did you know that if you squash a water bottle really hard, all the water comes squirting out the top before your mom can stop you? So much fun!

And there was even more fun to be had. They have a neat tradition at the Royals’ Kauffman Stadium — after the game, all the kids are invited to come down and run the bases. It was kind of a long haul for a person who has only been walking for about a month, but mom and dad helped him out and, when he finally toddled across home plate, he was handed a certificate with his name on it as an “Official Royals Fan.” Skippy wanted to scrunch that certificate into pulp immediately, but his parents are keeping it — he gets to choose his own team someday, and it just might be the Royals. Besides, he likes to scrunch everything into pulp.

An exhausting three hours later, the worn, weary, whipped Red Sox gang was home, where both parents wanted to go immediately to bed, but Skippy wanted to run around for a couple of hours and look for things to scrunch up. It was a typical family “night out.” And memories are made of these.