It's called the great national pastime, and for good reason. Although the origins of the game is still up for debate, it was in 1871 the first professional baseball league was born. By the 1920s, baseball legends like Babe Ruth, truly established the game as an American sport. I like to think at some point in everyone's life, one has played a game of baseball or some version of it. Whether it's a toddler playing t-ball, a company playing softball, or a high school team competing in a baseball championship, it is a fantastic game to play. But as great as it is to play it, nothing feels more American then attending a baseball game.
This past Monday my husband and I decided to go on a double date to the Tri-City ValleyCats baseball game with some good friends. With our son in bed and the babysitter loaded with movies and popcorn, we then drove the thirty to forty minutes to the Joseph L. Bruno Stadium which also happens to be on Hudson Valley Community College campus in Troy. Nicknamed "the Joe," this stadium is one fun and family friendly sport complex. The first thing I notice, before even going to the game, was the free parking. This may not seem like a big deal to some, but I had come prepared with cash to pay five to ten dollars- a typical fee for us when we saw the Jacksonville Suns or the Charleston River Dogs. Once we got our tickets, we were surprise on how much there was to do inside the actually stadium. Besides the standard concession stands, the Joe also had a picnic pavilion, a Tiki Hut, grass seating behind the right field, a play area for children that included a bounce house, and more. One of my favorite spots, even though we had excellent seats, was actually the Top of the Hill Bar and Grill behind the field. Here, it was quiet, had plenty of table seating, and you could see the whole field. Of course we didn't go to just see a stadium; we were there for baseball.
Monday's night game was against Aberdeen Ironbirds. Throughout the entire game, my husband, friends, and I cheered on the ValleyCats like high school cheerleaders. I'm sure people around us thought we had one too many, but we were just purely caught up in the moment. Even though the ValleyCats lost 6-7, it was such a close game and a blast to watch! Even when the teams weren't playing, there were spectator games, air guns shooting t-shirts, free giveaways, and more. We had such an amazing time, we are already planning on returning again with the same couple, and this time with all our children. On top of everything, the night wrapped up with a few fireworks which just made the evening that much more spectacular.
Coming to baseball games, whether it's a minor or major league, is always a great way to spend some time with friends and family. The Joe is a wonderful stadium and the ValleyCats are a great team. Summer is here for a few more months and if you need an idea on how to spend a evening, go see the ValleyCats. You can't beat the ticket prices either. Children under 3 years old, who do not occupy a seat, are free and tickets run from $5-10 in advance or $11-$6 the day of- it's about the same price as a movie ticket. Also, check out their website for when they are doing fireworks and other special promotions- right now they have 2 for Tuesday, Pasta Bar Wednesday, Thirsty Thursday, and Footlong Friday. So why not go out this weekend and "root, root root" for the home team. You can't go wrong when you go to a baseball game- it is, after all, the great national pastime.