My Father’s Day gift was a trip to see the Mets beat up the Angels at Citi Field. The sons provided the tickets for our left field seats — the dad drove, made the food, paid for various things. I wouldn’t have it any other way.
We didn’t expect much tailgating, and we couldn’t have been more wrong. Everybody was camped out behind their cars partying before the game. Unlike the boozy anything goes orgies you see in NFL parking lots, people were tame and well behaved, more church picnic than Animal House. That’s baseball for you.
And the biggest impression of my first trip to Citi Field? Look at all these kids! We were surrounded not by the loutish, drunken New York sports fans you hear so much about, but families enjoying a night together. I guess the obnoxious and overbearing people are mostly at Yankee games.
It can be tricky taking small children to a baseball game because the pace is slow and the action sporadic. I remember sitting in Shea Stadium with my father years ago and being as interested in the planes passing on their way to LaGuardia as the action on the field. The nice thing about baseball is you can daydream a bit and still not miss anything.
It did me good to see the families at the game. And then driving home last night, with my two sons sleeping in the car, I truly felt like I was one with an American pastime. Not the one one the field, the one in the stands.