Take Me Out to the Ballgame
The baseball season's been underway for a month and a half, but I don't consider it official until I actually get out to the ballpark to see the Phillies for the first time.
Tonight was the night, and why not? With a game-time temperature of 80 degrees, low humidity, a comfortable breeze, and the first place Milwaukee Brewers in town, it was the perfect occasion for my season debut. Apparently, 41,000 other people had the same idea, too, perhaps because it was also Dollar Dog Night (hot dogs for $1) and College Night (lots of rowdy, drunk students).
I always enjoy a night (or day) at the ballpark. Citizens Bank Park, which opened in 2004, is extremely accessible. There are plenty of great places for fans in wheelchairs and their companions to sit, and when fans in front of such seating areas stand up to cheer, they don't block the view of those in wheelchairs. The stadium also has several family (unisex) restrooms, which makes it more convenient when I have a female nurse with me.
With accessibility concerns out of the way, it means less aggravation and more time eating, criticizing manager Charlie Manuel's moves, yelling at umpires, and oh yes, cheering for the Fightin' Phils!
Getting out to games at night is not the easiest thing for me. I must arrange for my nurse to come in later and leave later, which affects my mother's schedule. And then there is a big rush to get ready. I need to remember things like preparing my evening medications to take with me and changing my ventilator battery so that it doesn't die before I get home (Yes, it's always nice to be able to breathe; it really adds to the experience!)
In the end, though, it's always well worth it, especially when the Phillies win. I couldn't have scripted the ending any better tonight: two outs in the bottom of ninth, tie score, when catcher Carlos Ruiz hits a dramatic home run. Game over. Phils win!!!