Don’t think that’s all you get for your ticket price either! The team mascot known as DEWD, an acronym for “Down East Wood Ducks”, is the highlight for many people, young and old in the stands. He is a force to be reckoned with and is good at his job keeping the crowd entertained and posing for lots of selfies with fans. He meanders and sometimes sprints back and forth among the stands and if you’re lucky he will toss you a t-shirt. I love when he climbs over and among the empty seats to get to fans and have fun with them. He likes to tease a bit but, in the end, a little wag of his bill and he’s off to make someone else happy. It takes a very certain person to fill that costume and the Wood Ducks have done a great job finding just right one for theirs. A game would just not be the same without his plucky (see what I did there?) attitude and zest for fun.
If you go to certain Friday games you may be in for a treat, as the stadium hosts local food trucks in addition to their regular concessions and those nights will be capped off by some of the best fireworks I have seen aside from my favorite theme park. Last evening though the air was dense, and the breeze was nil so the smoke from the display impeded the bursts of light from fully being seen. You can’t win them all, but it didn’t put a damper on our night.
In case you were wondering, the Woodies won 7 to 4 against the Keys who are a formidable team. A great game was played and enjoyed by all. Like I said, it’s more than just the game itself. It’s the standing for the national anthem, it’s the 7th inning stretch and the singing of “Take Me Out to The Ballgame”. Its sitting with your grown children and their friends, experiencing the same thing together but individually in our own way. It’s the breeze in your face and the green grass and the sounds of everything and everyone. It’s baseball at it’s best. It’s something you will never truly experience until you do.
I once worked for a lawyer who always asked the question “Do you like baseball” in his jury questionnaire. I asked him why it mattered once. Being young and not understanding his nuances for jury selection. He was a deep lover of the game and he explained to me that, in his opinion, baseball was a metaphor for life and that if people did not like baseball, he wasn’t so sure he wanted them on his jury. That first part about baseball being a metaphor for life has stuck with me for a long time. The lawyer is gone now but his spirit lives on. Baseball is a metaphor for life, indeed. Work hard, play hard, go the distance, support your team and everything is better in the end. Words to live by.
So, before the summer is over, find a place and take your family. Immerse yourself in baseball for just one night. Buy the popcorn, peanuts and hot dogs and yes even the funnel cake fries. Clap and yell and cheer for the home team. Just enjoy the game and be in the moment. Put your phone away and live in the now! You can look at your phone later. You will make memories that will last a lifetime and you might even become a bigger fan of a sport you didn’t know you loved as much as you do.
Let's Be Social!
August 2, 2019
Hi! I'm Noreen, wife, mother of two amazing, almost grown, daughters, content creator, cook, baker and sister in Christ. Welcome to my Kitchen! I hope you stick around, enjoy the recipes and share them with those you love!
google.com, pub-2484077384749308, DIRECT, f08c47fec0942fa0
1 Cup good quality mayonnaise
1 tablespoon granulated sugar
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1/2 teaspoon celery seed
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon cracked black pepper
The summer evening begins when the grounds crew comes out to roll back the tarp covering the diamond. Even this is fun to watch! The breeze is cool and is helped along by the massive fans under the stadium roof. Close your eyes, hear the crowd, the smells of popcorn and peanuts and the occasional waft of local brew fill the air. A trip down to the concession stand brings back soft pretzels with cheese, French fries and Funnel cake fries. Because you cannot go to the ballpark without indulging in some snacks. Lots of people were seen enjoying burgers and yes, hot dogs. Ballpark food has changed a lot since I was a kid when hot dogs and popcorn and peanuts were about all you got. Now you can have everything from a chicken and waffle sandwich to BBQ on a bun.
You may just think baseball is sandwiched in between the singing of the national anthem and the winning crack of the bat. There, my friend, you would be mistaken! Local, minor league ball is a different animal. In between innings you will see the team mascot, engaging in a footrace with the local mascot from the Piggly Wiggly grocery store. Sponsored corn hole, bean bag toss, kids foot race where they wear food related costumes. This time the taco won. Don’t forget the crazy bat race where contestants spin on a bat then run for the finish. Good clean fun, as someone once said.
Nothing says “summer” like baseball. One of the purest, sports around, baseball is as simple as it is complex. It’s a game everyone can understand and follow. It’s a game that can be as exciting as it can be slow and calculated, but in the end, it is all-American. Baseball is something that binds us together in a way, no other sport does. Watching a game on television or listening on the radio or even the internet is fun, but nothing really compares to being there in person. So, let’s go to the ballpark for a night of baseball!
I live in eastern North Carolina, where we are home to many things. The Tryon Palace otherwise known as the “Colonial Capitol”. Fort Macon, the CSS Neuse, Shackleford Banks, the Battleship North Carolina, some of the best down east BBQ you will sink your teeth into and so much more. We are rich in history and people. We are also home to the Down East Wood Ducks baseball team. An A-Advanced Affiliate team to the Texas Rangers. They play in Grainger Stadium in Kinston, NC, where you can sit and enjoy baseball at it’s finest. When I say that, I do not mean a guarantee of a perfect game. I mean the perfect immersive baseball experience, because the game is only part of it.
As a family, we have attended two Wood Ducks games this season. Both were played against the Fredrick Key’s visiting team. Such a fun way to spend an evening! It’s really all about the journey for me. As I sat, last night, in my seat, in the stadium, just behind home plate, I felt this rambling coming on. Something that gave me such a feeling of nostalgia and happiness. A simple time with my girls and their friends and my husband. Surrounded by others who were just happy to be there and watch their team. Even if they weren’t totally into it, baseball has a way of getting you in the spirit of things.
One thing I know is that everything is exciting at the ballpark! The sounds, the smells, the sights, all culminate to turn me into a wide-eyed child inside. I am a people watcher and love to observe those around me. From the grandpa with his excited granddaughter to the right of my husband, watching for the first time while her daddy was trying to explain the game in a way she would understand. To the senior couple to the left and in front of me who seemed to have such a zeal for life and were totally there for the fun. Not one person was unhappy. Everyone was watching and enjoying, and baseball was the common denominator.