Programming Note

Today is one of those days where I actually have to put on my suit and tie and be a lawyer out in front of a court and God and everyone, so there won’t be any content at least until this afternoon and quite possibly at all depending on how good or bad court goes for me.

Not that even a bad day in court — and they’re all pretty bad — will make this a bad day. This evening I’m taking the kids to their first ever baseball game: the Columbus Clippers vs. the Indianapolis Indians in the Clippers’ new home ballpark. Not sure how I feel about that park yet. On the one hand it was publicly financed, so I should be angry about it, but on the other hand, the team itself is owned by the public — the Franklin County, Ohio government — so at least indirectly the team paid for it itself. Hmmm.

Either way, I am looking forward to seeing what my kids make of live baseball. Odds favor demands to go home not long after the hot dogs are consumed and that weird seal that the Clippers call a mascot scares the tuna salad out of them. Which is fine. Neither Rome nor my baseball habit was built in a day, so I can’t expect my kids to be into it instantly. Besides, on Saturday I’m going to Cincinnati for the Reds-Braves, this time without the kids, so there’s going to be much baseball regardless.

Maybe see you later this afternoon, but if not, have a swell weekend.

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  1. Jeremy said...

    So when is the proper age for a first ballgame? My son will be 3 this October. I’ve had no desire to take him to a game yet because he would have no interest and it wouldn’t be fair to him or me. This year I’m thinking he might have fun for half-an-hour, but not beyond that. So is it worth it? What do ya’ll think is the proper age?

  2. GWR said...

    Jeremy, that all depend son your expectations I guess. My son is 4. I have been taking him to games for 2 years. It just takes some effort to keep him happy and wanting to stay for most of the game but sometimes its works and sometimes it doesn’t.

    I am finally making the ‘bigger’ jump this fall… taking him to his first Metallica concert!!

  3. Adam said...

    My son is 15 and we started at low minor league games at 4 (I believe our first was in Sparta, NJ at an independent game).  When he was 6, we went to Yankee Stadium for the first time.  One of my great thrills was holding his hand as we walked through the tunnel to our seats.  I’ve been going to Yankee games since I was seven, and in that instant, I had the joy of seeing it again like I did when I was a kid.  It’s a magical moment; it wipes away steroids and and salary caps, sponsorships and seating plans. Since then, we’ve gone once every year (who could afford more?) and believe it or not, it now costs much, much less.  I used to have a rule that there was only food allowed 1) upon arrival; 2) after the bottom of the third; 3) after the bottom of the sixth; 4) upon departure. He never needed incentive to stay; and now he’s good with a hot dog and a soda and a scorecard.  So there’s a bell curve of expense that peaks at about 9 and goes down from there. But I envy you guys with little kids. It’s worth every $6 hot dog (but maybe not the $8 beer).

  4. Joao said...

    So even when the team is owned by the public, you still havem qualms about a publicly funded facility? Isn’t that overly dogmatic position.  I mean, do you object to publicly funded parks? Or publicly funded museums?

  5. Sara K said...

    I’m about seven kinds of jealous, but not so jealous that I won’t be demanding a detailed recap of the whole marvelous experience.  Can you post pics in this space?  Anyway, have a blast!

  6. Jim said...

    I say they’re never too young to start.  I took my daughter to her first game when she was two, at old Memorial Stadium in Baltimore.  The game went 12 innings.  The only time she cried was when the game was over and I told her we had to go home.

  7. Craig Calcaterra said...

    Jeremy: my son will be 4 in July and my daughter is 5 now. She’s definitely old enough and patient enough. He’s really borderline, and all things being equal I’d probably wait longer, but we got an invite from the dad of two of Carlo and Anna’s playmates, so we figure it may not be too bad. I’m really only banking on an hour there max, which is fine with me. They’re very caught up with the idea that “daddy likes baseball” right now, so I think they want to see what the fuss is about.

    Sara:  I think I can do some pics here. Assuming I get a good one or two I’ll post them along with a recap.

    Joao:  My primary issue with public funding is that it is a means by which the general public provide the business location for a profit making enterprise. Parks and museums aren’t (generally) profit-making centers for private enterprise like ballparks are, ergo the difference.

    In the case of Huntington Park and the Clippers, I’d prefer that the operating budget/profits derrived from the Clippers were used to build the park as opposed to general county revenues.  Short of that—and realizing that because the team is county owned that public funds would go towards it—I took specific issue with the means by which bidding happened on the park (very political, many unnecessary expenses) and while it is a very nice park, I am not satisfied that the it should have been built where it was built given the avilability of cheaper land in areas that could have used the development more.

    But no, compared to MLB public financing deals, my objections are not as strenuous.

  8. Joao said...

    Yes, I understand where you are coming from (re: public funding for profit-making enterprises), so there was no need for the first part of your response.  As for the third part of your response (about the specific bidding and location issues), that wasn’t in your original post.  Knowing your additional qualms, I now have no qualms with your qualms.

  9. GBSimons said...

    Have a great time, Craig.  I remember taking my two daughters to a game in St. Louis when they were about four and three.  Some food and a foam finger for each of them allowed us to stay for about three innings.  It didn’t help that my wife was ill and back at the hotel, so I was on my own.  Still, it was a good time, and I’m quite glad we went.  Plus, we visited the Gateway Arch before the game.

    I was just in Columbus for business (Granville, actually), but didn’t have time to get down to a game.  But I will be watching the Braves-Cardinals series starting Monday, with my parents flying in for the game and to celebrate my Dad’s birthday.

  10. gotowarmissagnes said...

    One of the happiest days of my life was when State College got a minor league team.  I share a season ticket plan right behind the dugout and my son, 8, loves his baseball collection.  Our rule was always that we had to stay in the seats through inning 6, then they could hit the “Fun Zone”.  I’d watch the next few innings from the left field corner, and we’d be back in our seats for any late inning excitement and the fireworks.

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