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Take Me out to the Ballgame

Young Jake got out of bed very excited. He barely slept the night before. His dad was taking him to Yankee Stadium today. Neither Jake or his father Saul Greenberg knew much about baseball. They knew that the players wore hats and uniforms, but as for the game itself they would try to learn together.

It’s Passover, Jake’s mother Sarah had made him a delicious dish of Matzoh Brei before he left. As she served it she said, "Jake, it’s Passover, I don’t want you to eat anything at the ballgame."

Jake had it all figured out. He knew that kids at ballgames always had Hot Dogs, so he said to his mother, "Don’t worry mom, I’ll throw out the bun!" His father would have to deal with this problem later. But, it did give the parents something to chuckle about.

So Jake was ready. He had on his Derek Jeter Shirt and his new Yankee Yalmuke. Of course he carried his new baseball glove. His mother thought that the glove was a silly looking thing. First of all there was only one. Her son wasn’t Michael Jackson,. He needed two gloves to keep his hands warm. But since this was Jake’s day and he wanted it this, who was she to stand in the way?

So father and son took off together for the Number 4 train. Saul still was confused about the tickets. They were given to him by a co-worker. They said Yankee Stadium Bleachers. Saul was as enthused as his son. Mostly because of the eager look on Jake’s face. Saul also had never seen a baseball game. They didn’t play baseball in Russia where Saul was from.

The train came out from the dark subway to the elevated rail at Yankee Stadium. Father and Son could see the large Stadium and for a second they could see inside the Stadium. Jake thought, "I’ve never seen grass so green."

On the way to the gate, there were vendors selling their wares. "Get your Yankee Bobblehead dolls, here." "You can’t tell your Yankee without a scorecard!" "Yankee Pennants, hey mack, do you want to buy your kid a Yankee Pennant?" So Saul bought the Pennant, The Bobblehead Doll and the Scorecard, along with a Yankee Teddy Bear and a miniature bat. The bill came to $105. It was worth it, he had never seen his son so happy.

There were more people at the Stadium than Jake had ever seen in one place before. He held on to his father’s hand tightly. That wasn’t easy because his hands were full of the treasures his father has purchased.

They passed through the heavy security and entered the Ballpark. They found their seats. They were sitting in what was explained to Saul was the rightfield bleachers. His co-worker had told him that he’d be sitting with "The Bleacher Creatures." They are very enthusiastic fans who like to yell out the player’s names until they are acknowledged. True enough they kept yelled out every name until the player acknowledged them. Jake, of course enthusiastically joined in.

The "Bleacher Creatures" were also famous for their salty language. However, one very large man, in a shirt that said Munson, insisted that his fellow "creatures" not use the language out of respect for Jake. The man, oddly enough was called Tiny. Everybody, except for an occasional slip, listened to Tiny.

Over the loud speaker came a echoing and resounding voice, "Good afternoon everybody and welcome to Yankee Stadium. Now for the starting lineups...." This meant nothing to Saul but Jake got even more excited. They stood for the national anthem. This part Saul fully understood. He was proud of his new homeland.

The game went on. Jake cheered for Jeter.  He cheered for Rodriguez.   Even Saul found himself excited by the atmosphere.  The Yankees wouldn't win this day. It didn’t matter. Jake and Saul won.  Neither Jake nor Saul would ever forget this wonderful father and son event.




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