Armed with a video camera and three 35mm still cameras, we packed the family up and headed for a most excellent adventure at Bank One Ballpark. There we would receive tickets to tonight’s game against the Texas Rangers. More importantly to the kids, they would get an opportunity to meet D. Baxter, the Arizona Diamondbacks mascot. This was all part of the prize package Trina had won as part of the “guess the mascot” contest. The children could hardly wait to get to the ballpark. Come to think of it, neither could I. Of course my excitement had little or nothing to do with the mascot. I was just glad to be back at the ballpark and sitting in my seats to watch a game. As always, we were at the game early so that we could watch batting practice. The kids all lined up against the wall in left field and hoped to catch a ball. I have to admit, I was a bit nervous having to manage all five kids and protect them from an errant fly ball. We came out without a problem and were even able to get three balls while watching the Diamondbacks warm up. Before the game began, Trina and I divvied up the kids for seating arrangements. As we were deciding who would sit with whom, I had a sense of deja vu. This was the exact exercise I went through on the playground as a kid when we picked teams for baseball. And as always, I ended up with the last pick and chose the girl. Fortunately, my kids are better baseball players or fans than then girls we were stuck with on the playground. Trina sat on the first base side in section 112 row 10 while I was in section 133 row 16. We were almost exactly across from each other and spent half the game passing hand signals back and forth. I have determined we have much more complex signals than Brian Butterfield, the Diamondbacks third base coach. In the third inning, Baxter came down and hung with the kids and Trina. They were able to get several pictures and had a wonderful time. Dakota managed to stay awake the whole game and told me over and over about his visit with Baxter all the way home. Ok, maybe this mascot thing won’t be so bad. Just don’t make me do the wave.


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