I was heading down Power Plant Parkway in Hampton to get my Mother-in-Law some steamed crabs at our favorite spot, Martin’s Seafood on Kecoughtan Road. I glanced to the right when I got to Pembrooke Avenue, what did I see and smell?
America’s favorite pastime in my town and I didn’t even know! It just does something to me to hear the umpire say, “Play Ball!”
Wow…I had stumbled across one of the Hampton Roads’ hidden gems. The Peninsula War Memorial stadium.
And what a beautiful sight it was. Cars lined the highway and filled every field and yard around it. Kids with gloves hoping to catch foul balls and smoke from the BBQ pit and hot dogs on the grill.
Sounds like heaven huh? And you’re right it was as close to it as you could get that day.
My son and I whipped into the parking lot and jumped out and headed straight for the gate, which took debit cards in this no cash world. This was the biggest blessing of all, because I never have any.
We grabbed a program, a hot dog and sat right behind home plate so I could let my son hear those gloves popping. He started imitating players and pretending to swing for the fences. I knew right then that he loved it, but he is not even two yet so that lasted about three minutes and then we were off to the races.
We walked every inch of that stadium, which turned out to be the true star of the show once I read the history that has played out over the years in those gates. It was the home of the Brooklyn Dodgers and the minor league home of the Cincinnati Reds.
Today was a win for everyone. Although we only stayed for four innings, my son had and experience that he will never forget. I got to soak in the history of Peninsula War Memorial and the Peninsula Pilots gained two new fans for life.
Now let me get these crabs home before my wife kills me. This our little secret. Baseball was not on my checklist! I just hope my won’t won’t get home and holla ” Batter Up,” because this would be my third strike!
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