Right now in Adelaide, if you drive past the ETSA building on the corner of Anzac Hwy and Richmond Road you might notice a banner with the words ETSA Adelaide Bite and a picture of a baseball picture. Or you might not. It is baseball after all and it's completely not on the radar of most Australian families.
My kids notice it. They also start singing, word perfect, take me out to the ball game. It's kind of surreal.
12 months ago they knew nothing about baseball. 12 months ago we went to a game as a family for the first time. 12 months later we've forgotten about AFL and the kids don't know much about cricket. Baseball is the game they want to play in the backyard. Derek Jeter is number one in Miss J's eyes.
Why baseball then? I'm not completely sure other than Steven and I both enjoy baseball. I remember taking an interest in it back at school around the time Major League was released. I had a bit of a crush on Charlie Sheen. Turns out he really was a wild thing. I've always been happy to sit and watch it. I even played softball on and off over the years. I'm pretty crap at it, but it's fun. At the end of the day the main reasons for going were for some family time and to support the ABL in it's first season.
Now the boy show up as the Birthday Party poster boy for the Adelaide Bite. Ask him what he wants to be when he grows up, a baseball player - specifically for the Adelaide Bite but he'd settle for a call up from the Yankees. He's going to be a batter. I don't mind, as long as he's not a geologist it's all good.
In the last year we have been to a large number of ABL games, including the Perth Vs Adelaide final in Perth. 5 New York Yankees games (in Baltimore, NYC and Anaheim)...yes Rick, the post about Yankee Stadium i coming, I have actually started editing the photos...and a 3 night visit to the small town of Altoona, Pennsylvania to watch the Curve.
The ABL season started last week. There are six teams in the competition (Adelaide, Brisbane, Canberra, Melbourne, Perth and Sydney). Here are six good reasons why you should go along to a game or two this season. Take the whole family, make it a date night or head there with a group of friends.
The ABL have done a brilliant job of making the games fun for the whole family. There are between innings activities and games for the kids. Lots of fun and laughs. It's affordable too.
The players are totally accessible, I'm not sure if it's true at each ground, but in Adelaide they sign autographs and chat to people after the games. It's a great role model thing.
Hot dogs and cold beer on a warm summer evening. Need I say more?
Baseball is a game of mental toughness. Whilst the rules are pretty straight forward the tactics of the game are fascinating. I've added sports psychologist to my list of dream jobs after watching a years worth of baseball.
They let you keep any balls you manage to catch. Unless it was Derek Jeter's 3000th hit. We have a growing collection.
The atmosphere is fantastic. The music is great. If it's a close game the tension gets a bit electric. The traditions are fun, and many have been upheld in this new Australian League. It feels safe and family oriented. We love it.
Have you been to an ABL game? Are you going to give one a go this season?