Take Me Out to the Ballgame!

image via www.sluggermuseum.com
Most people associate Kentucky with basketball, bourbon, and horses, but did you know that professional baseball has been played in Louisville since 1876 and includes such famous names as Honus Wagner and Louisville native Pee Wee Reese?  I'll bet most of you have at least driven by the Louisville Slugger Museum (you can't miss the giant bat out front).  The Louisville Slugger is used by over 60% of current Major League Baseball players, and over the company's 120 year plus history, it has produced over 100 million bats.  The Louisville Bats, the AAA minor league baseball affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds, play at Louisville Slugger Field downtown; Hillerich & Bradsby, the makers of the Louisville Slugger baseball bat, purchased the naming rights for the stadium.

First row, first kid on the left:  That's me
I grew up with a dad who was a huge fan of both the Cincinnati Reds and the St. Louis Cardinals; we took a trip every summer to see one of those teams play.  I survived one year of softball, but after that dad let me off the hook.  I'm no athlete, y'all.  I also married a baseball fanatic, and we lived in Atlanta for almost 10 years; I mortified him on a regular basis by bringing a book to read during Braves games.  It's not that I dislike baseball, but who the hell came up with it lasting nine innings?!?  Once the kids were born, I rarely attended games.  It is frowned upon to feed your kids a lot of ballpark junk food and let them run wild at the game while you ignore them and read a novel.  Robert recently played his first season of little league (tee ball) and summed it up thusly:  I almost fell asleep out on the field.  I'm with you, kid.

image via www.wikipedia.com

My department recently had an outing to a Louisville Bats game and, despite my misgivings (a nanny with the stomach flu, a toddler in the early stages of potty training), I knew it was important to go, career-wise.  The main entrance to Slugger Field incorporates a restored 19th century train depot; the construction was completed in 2000 and cost around $39 million.  It's easy to get to and parking is a breeze. It is a beautiful ballpark, and there really isn't a bad seat to be had.  Beyond the right field fence there is a family friendly area with a wide lawn and a carousel (only $1 per ride).  We had a blast.  I do recommend finding a way to sit in a company suite, though.  Having a contained (and shaded) place for the kids to sit and an air-conditioned room to which to escape made the game a lot more fun for me.  I didn't even miss having a book to read.

Robert explains the finer points of the game to Kate; "Pigget" attends his first game.