Saturday, July 25, 2009

Day 67: Sand Ballpark

You know you think too much about baseball when you decide that you should make a sand ballpark. By the way it would be me that thinks too much about baseball and came up with the idea that to make a sand ballpark while at the beach today. I was going to make it all on my own, but as soon as I mentioned my idea Dad got involved with his way better sand building skills and make the sand part of the ballpark while I came up with the ideas and collected the shells. Mik stayed on his own and built a sand mountain and when he got tired of Dad washed him off and he sat in my beach chair where he mischievously filled my sandals with sand and literally turned them into SANDals. I did not mind, though, as at least it kept him entertained and not complaining about wanting to leave while we finished the sand ballpark.

The end result of an hour or so of ballpark building with sand and shells can be seem above. Dad named our ballpark Curly W Stadium. Personally I just call it Sand Ballpark. By the way I am not sure if he was think Curly W for the Nats only or it also had to do with W being the initial of our last name. It is not perfect, but it turned out really cool if you ask me. Below are photos of some of the interesting features of our ballpark.

The above photo shows the curly shell I found to be the ballpark's flag. The flag was placed on top of the part behind home plate. Now that I think about maybe that is part of what Dad was thinking with the Curly W name. I am sure he will comment soon and clear it up about why he named it Curly W Stadium.

The shade for the upper sections of Sand Ballpark was created with large pieces of shells.

I came up with the idea of using some of the sand dollars we found to make the batter's eye background. Dad placed them standing up in the bleacher section in line with home plate.

The infield features small white shells at first, second, and third base, a larger white shell for the pitcher's mound, and a reddish brown shell as home plate.

I placed little shells all around the stadium to mark the first row of seating. The rest of the rows are finger line marks Dad made in the sand stands.

Out behind the outfield I placed my Dr. Pepper bottle. Several Major League ballparks have giant Coca Cola bottles, so it seemed like a cool idea to have a giant bottle scale size for our ballpark. Do not worry I did not litter, as I only put it there for the photo and then threw it away in the trashcan on the way back to the car. Crazy thinker that Dad is thought I was going to leave it when I was adding it to the ballpark at the end.

Lastly, the coolest feature and most important feature of our ballpark. The number 42 recognized as retired. For those that do not know 42 was Jackie Robinson's number and it is retired throughout Major League Baseball, so pretty much all of the stadiums clearly have a number 42 marker somewhere. Our 42 is etched onto one of the sand dollars we found. It is also the one piece of our ballpark I kept to take home as a reminder of the ballpark we created while visiting the 30 Major League Ballparks this summer.

Day 67: Mik Collecting Shells

We got to the campground in St. Petersburg and set up camp a few hours ago. Now we are a few miles down the road at the beach. Mik has actually been excited today since I told him we would go to the beach this evening. He is such a beach boy. It is nice to see him actually enjoying himself on this trip for once.

Kj’s Baseball Collection: Astros

The souvenir ball selection at the Astros was not that great. They had several designs, but they were all way too busy with very few even being the team colors. I just settled for the simple white ball with the Astros logo on one side. I was really hoping for a Minute Maid Park one, though, because I love the park’s logo with the orange fruit looking baseball.

Mik’s Mini Bat Collection: Minute Maid Park

When we got to the Team Shop before the Astros game Mik just wanted to sit and play his game, so he did not even go in to choose his bat. I found the orange one with the Minute Maid Park logo and thought it was cool so I got it for him. Then he complained because it did not have an Astros logo on it. He said he would have preferred the natural one with the Astros logo, but did not care enough to make me go back and get him a second mini bat, which I was entirely willing to do if he had asked and not just whined about the choice I made for him.

Mik’s Food Scrapbook: Minute Maid Park

At the Astros game Mik tried the chicken tenders and fries. He was not impressed with the chicken tenders and did not even finish them. The fries were better, but not that great either.

I had a strawberry smoothie at the game and Mik tried some of it. He thought it was really good.

Kj’s Baseball Collection: Nolan Ryan Exhibit Center

At the Nolan Ryan Exhibit Center I got a ball that has a blue strip and a white strip. On the blue strip it says Nolan Ryan Exhibit Center Alvin, Texas. On the white strip it has an image of Nolan Ryan pitching along with the number 34.

Day 67: Blue Angel Statue

The rest area we stopped at around 1am for Dad to sleep at was another Welcome Center one. This time it was in Florida. They have a cool large Blue Angel plane statue there. Now we are in the state of the final two ballparks of the trip. Still 7 hours until we get to campground, though.