Take Me Out to the Ballgame is embodied in a wonderful, family-themed time at PK Park. We’ll get back to talking about playing the game later.
It was a Saturday afternoon game and who the Ducks were playing didn’t matter, because we were there to enjoy ourselves win, lose or draw. However, don’t get too excited — we do care and a Duck loss makes the drive home a bit longer.
The skies were a bright-but-overcast gray and rain threatening as we parked the car, unloaded the football stuff — you know: seat cushions, those plastic rain coats that shed the liquid sunshine for which the state of Oregon is famous, a granddaughter (age 10), my loving and understanding wife and a special treat in the person of our school-teaching daughter, up from the Houston area.
I know we can’t fool you Duck fans, so I must admit to hearing a murmur of concern from the ladies relative to recently acquired hair sets, but to their credit it was minimal and they were really buying into the idea of enjoying this outing. Olivia (the granddaughter) was, as kids that age will, displaying her youthful enthusiasm that always adds a degree of fun to any occasion.
Our seats were in the grandstands behind home plate and near cover should a rain cloud decide to join us, but fortunately the cover was not needed this day. Ducks are waterfowl and we were in Oregon, thus cooler temperatures and the presence of a little water was to be expected. Oregonians are really bright people and come to games played outdoors prepared to enjoy marginal weather should Mother Nature decide that sunshine will not be the designated weather for game day.
The Ducks have one of the finest college baseball facilities in the entire country and maybe the best on the west coast. The stadium is relatively new, clean and well designed for fan comfort, and as you bring your family into the stadium, they will be impressed with the dramatic color of the green grass of the field, which is punctuated by the bright whiteness of the bases against the sand-beige of the infield base path dirt.
An inside secret, BTW, is that the dirt on the field is not real soil. It is an artificial substance of modern chemistry lab concoction designed to promote water drainage, should a hapless rainstorm get lost and accidentally dampen the Duck playing field. Oh — and the green looking field cover, which many mistake for grass, doesn’t need mowing either.
Our granddaughter came forth with a loud “Wow” when she saw the field for the first time, because adding to the beauty of the stadium are trees beyond the outfield wall, which produce a pleasant, colorful backdrop to the graceful symmetry of the PK Park playing field.
Our day was in March and the sky was a typical late-winter gray, but the beauty of the Park was not diminished. It took on a characteristic singularly associated with a gray sky kind of day.
One could bring the family to the park on a bright sunny afternoon with those big, white puffy clouds floating in an azure blue sky and P.K. Park would present an altogether different personality, a different visual experience altogther; however, each is best described as unique, not better in either circumstance.
Bring the family to a game on a week day or a weekend! It will be a treat for everyone, and the kids get to run the base paths after the game. Our granddaughter loved the Techno Chicken and our Houston friends tell us the teaching daughter hasn’t stopped talking about the experience.
Don’t bother with cooking , as everyone can be fed at the ballpark. They have a Clam Chowder that is to die for, and everyone will enjoy those Ballpark Hotdogs. However, we do need to warn Mom and Dad that those dogs will tighten your jeans.
Forget that, wash them down with a pop for the young ones and an adult beverage for the taller folks. They have some of those craft beers that we all enjoy. What a great family outing and wonderful experience for everyone, and by the way, you’ll see some great college baseball.
The Duck “boys of summer” sport a 12-4 record at this early point in the season. They open a 3-game series with the USC Trojans Friday, March 14, at 6:00 pm.
So until next time we see you at the Ball Park,
Gar says, “Take two and hit deep to right!”
Top Photo courtesy GoDucks.com
Gar is a businessman, writer, father of 4 very successful children and an enthusiastic life long Duck follower. He remembers being a fair country boy athlete and spent a summer playing baseball in the Dodger organization. Playing is using the term loosely as he remembers primarily being asked to carry the equipment to the bus. He has spent 20 years assisting FEMA in providing Housing for disaster victims.
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