Collin was 5 (maybe 6) when he first watched the Braves play. It was on T.V., but it is the first professional game he remembers watching. The Braves won. He has been an avid fan ever since.
When we lived in Milwaukee we went to games pretty frequently. Attending a game was easy then, if we woke up one Saturday morning and felt like spending the day at the stadium we got dressed, headed down to Miller Park, and bought tickets.
Since leaving Milwaukee attending games requires a little more planning; mostly due to the travel involved. We've made it an annual tradition to attend a game, usually in July, with Collin's cousin, Jenny, and her family. This year, because of the pending arrival of Baby Kono II, we won't be able to go to our usual game. We are all a little sad.
I receive email update alerts for the Brewers, Braves, and Cubs; I'm not exactly sure what made me click through a ticketing update in April - I mean we weren't going to be able to attend a game this year - but I did. When I saw that the Braves were going to be in town for a series in May, the day before Collin's 30th birthday, I knew instantly what I had to do.
I emailed his Mom, asked if it'd be okay if he didn't work that day and, if it was, would they also like to come with us?
Being big baseball fans themselves you can imagine their answer. I ordered the tickets right away and somehow managed to keep it a surprise until less than a week before his birthday.
To complete the occasion I ordered Collin a new Braves shirt and, of course, an outfit for Keaton, his very first Braves gear. Collin was thrilled.
The day of the game was chilly and looked like rain so the roof was closed. It felt odd, I think I've only ever gone to one other game with it closed, but at that moment, when we had a toddler with us, I was very thankful for the dome.
It was a Wednesday afternoon game so the stadium wasn't completely filled, but it was full of energy none the less. This was the third game of the series and the Braves had won the first two, so we were hopeful that they'd pull it off again. It feels odd cheering for a team other than the Brewers while in Miller Park, but for the Braves Collin (and, even, myself) will make an exception.
This wasn't Keaton's first game, but it was his first Braves game, and he had an excellent time. Cheering and clapping with Papa & Busha, making friends with the guys behind us (They were a group of old high school friends, probably around 70 yrs old, and they loved Keats. They kept giving him high fives and telling us how great of a kid he was, saying we're probably hoping for another one just like him.), eating stadium dogs and drinking (lots!) of lemonade.
It might have been overcast, but the day was perfect. And to top it off, the Braves won!
* Pictures taken by my Blackberry because guess who's camera battery was dead??