This past school year, Aidan took up baseball. He goes back and forth on all things American. Sometimes he embraces his European self, sometimes the American side. He’s conflicted… ah the life of an expat kid.
So this baseball thing came about because he was tired of only tennis and soccer in Spain and then tennis, soccer and field hockey here in the Netherlands. He wanted more. He wanted choice. He wanted something All American. Baseball.
Baseball in Europe?? I didn’t even think it was an option. It’s a very American game and I’d never seen it anywhere here. Definitely not in Barcelona. Josh asked at work and thankfully, one of his colleagues played minor league ball in the US but was from here so he could vouch that yes, there were leagues here and gave us a few suggestions in our area.
Aidan took to baseball right away. And being a natural athlete doesn’t hurt. His brother even has the bug a bit, though won’t be playing until at least the end of the year. But while he was into playing, he wasn’t really into watching it on tv.
In his defense, I don’t really like to watch many sports on tv and with the 6 hour time difference, many games aren’t on during his waking hours (nor mine!). But last summer when he was home, he took to watching the games with Josh’s dad. This summer was no different. In fact, he was even listening to the games on the radio while we were home and checking stats on his phone. He’s become a baseball fan. He even wanted to name the (soon to arrive) puppy Mookie after Mookie Betts (just a side note here, the puppy will NOT be named Mookie).
Since Aidan was now playing ball in the Netherlands, Josh and I talked about taking him to see a game while we were home in Boston. Unfortunately the week that Josh was in town, the Red Sox were away. So it was up to me (oh darn ;)) to take him. And it couldn’t be just any game, it HAD to be a Red Sox – Yankees game.
Tickets for that rivalry are not easy to come by, but Josh persisted. And paid through the nose. But we were the proud recipients of tickets for the August 11th Red Sox – Yankees game. It ended up being Alex Rodriguez’s last away game before he retired so that made it even better since there was no doubt that Fenway would be boo-ing him even more than usual – just what you need to get your Red Sox fever / spirits going!!
Let’s not forget that it’s also Big Papi’s, David Ortiz, last season. I was so excited that Aidan would get to see Big Papi play. I was a little sad that Liam won’t get to see him but honestly, I don’t think he cares that much – he’s just not quite that into the sport yet. At least not at that level.
With 4 tickets, Aidan and I took Josh’s dad and Aidan’s best friend, Nate, with us to the game. Aidan loves watching the games with Josh’s dad and his best friend also plays ball and was a logical choice for him to take to the game.
Fenway is just a magical place. Maybe it’s because I grew up here. But there is something to be said about Boston fans. Though I will give the Barça fans some credit in Barcelona…but still, Boston fans are the best in the world. How can you not get caught up in the spirit of the game when you are at Fenway????
And what a game! We had great seats on the 3rd baseline and the only downside was that the concession guys didn’t come up as far as we were sitting. I didn’t care so much for me (there were concessions right behind us) but more for the experience for Aidan. But as he hadn’t been to a game before, he didn’t know any different.
He did get to hear the roar of the crowd when they would go wild over a hit by Big Papi. Or listen to the stadium boo at the Yankees players, especially Alex Rodriguez. And let’s not forget belting out Sweet Caroline or doing the wave. It’s all a part of the experience.
And while the Red Sox lost the game (it was soooo close until the 8th!), it was a great game to watch with a lot of suspense in the last 2 innings and such a fun evening to show Aidan a little bit of America’s favorite past-time. Next year we will plan for Josh to visit during a week while they are in town and the 4 of us will go together and make it an annual tradition!