Boys of summer

  • Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Three times Iíve failed my parents and every April Iím reminded of this deep disappointment. Iíve given them three grandsons, but much to their chagrin, not one of them plays baseball. Despite the early gifts of sporty Teddy Bears wearing a Yankees ball cap and pinstripe uniform, autographed baseballs, picture books about Babe Ruth and Ty Cobb, and yes, even a trip to the halls of Cooperstown, no such luck. It wasnít for lack of trying. Our youngest son who showed some promise early on kept tackling the first and second basemen, more out of boredom than sport, so it was suggested to us that perhaps this was not his game. Indeed.

All is forgiven now because even though they donít play baseball, they all love going to the spring training games. Ticket prices are within reason, so families can attend together and are still able to pay their mortgage at the end of the month, the weather is milder and because there isnít as much pressure on the players yet, it feels much more like watching a bunch of guys playing baseball together than a bunch of guys going to work. The boys of summer are hard to resist with the vendors barking ďPeanuts! Peanuts!Ē and action close enough you donít even need the instant replay to be able to see. Itís a fun experience, and best of all it can be ours-- we donít even have to travel down to Florida to enjoy it.

Our own Myrtle Beach Pelicans, Class A-Advanced affiliate of the Texas Rangers are just right up the road and have a packed schedule for the 2014 season. Their Opening Day group featured some players who were ranked in Baseball Americaís Top 30 prospectsóand the Pelicans are lucky enough to have six of them! Theyíve just started their season and with April and May ticket prices starting at just $8 itís well worth the drive. Promotions throughout the spring include Circus Night, Autograph Night, Beach Party Night and discounted food and drink deals.

A great family event coming up was probably just the ticket I needed years ago, and I bet I would have not only happy parents, but bats and gloves and baseballs around instead of stinky soccer socks, lacrosse pads and an ample supply of flat tennis balls that my dogs fight over. Sunday, April 6 at Pelicans vs. the Salem Red Sox, was Baseball Kit Giveaway Night and the first 1000 kids under 15 got a hat, titanium necklace, eye black, compression sleeve, trading pin & a Digital Academy membership! Before the game, fans are invited on the field for pre-game catch, and after the game kids 12 and under can run the bases. On Monday, April 21 in a game against the Wilmington Blue Rocks, everyone who brings an approved donation for the Backpack Buddies program gets in Ĺ price admission! These donations help to support students in need all over Georgetown and Horry counties. And finally, if you attend the May 14 game against the Winston Salem Dash, there is a pre-game player sessions where kids can meet up with their favorite players and talk to them while they sign autographsóand get this, hot dogs for only a quarter. Thatís right, just .25 cents. So purchase a ticket online in advance (because the price goes up a dollar if you wait and buy it at the stadium) for as low as $8, and then you still have enough to buy six hotdogs! But you have to save the last .50 cents to buy the Georgetown Times, so you can plan your next adventure! Go coastalóroot, root, root for the home teamóthe Myrtle Beach Pelicans! And for heavenís sake yíall, donít let the tourists have all the fun!

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