Baseball is a uniquely American sport. And while other countries have great baseball teams and fans (e.g. Japan, Korea, Mexico, Dominican Republic, Cuba), the best baseball in the world is played in the United States. If you were traveling in Brazil, you’d consider watching a soccer game, so why not do teh same back home?
Pace of the game
We get that baseball on television isn’t exciting to many. But that deliberate pace feels different in a ballpark. It gives families time to talk and listen.
Because the game is slower, you can take younger kids for walks between (or during) innings. Show them how vantage points change. Most baseball parks have playgrounds open during the game, and things for kids to do beforehand. On Sundays, kids get to run the bases after Orioles games.
Kids love ballpark food: popcorn, french fries, cotton candy. No matter what your age, a hot dog tastes better while watching baseball. Additionally, most ballparks are more lenient with outside food than other venues. Our hometown park, Camden Yards, allows outside food and non-alcoholic drinks in sealed plastic bottles. For opening day, we filled a backpack with sodas and old-school subs from Trinacria. Talking with my kids, sitting in the sun, watching a 150 year-old sport, while munching on a prosciutto and mozzarella sub? Sounds good to me.
No, really. Baseball was our first chance to talk about basic statistics with the kids. What is a batting average? What does it mean? How do numbers help predict what happens next? It’s also a good education for life. Kids need to learn that even an amazing batter won’t get on base seven out of ten times.
Baseball knows it needs to position itself as more family friendly. Without promotions, a left field bleacher seat for a Saturday day game is $15; about the same as a movie ticket. This year, kids under nine years of age sit for free, accompanied by their parents at an Orioles game. Most teams have family-friendly packages.