Take me out to the ballgame



A sun setting at a baseball game last summer

The smell of the sweet cotton candy and salty popcorn drifts all around the bustling place. You can’t just sit in your seat and not crave the mouth-watering goodies that people around you are going nuts for; it’s just not possible. 

The swirling scent drifts from the sizzling hot dog stand, circles about to the ice-cold Dippin’ Dots cart, floats beyond the sugary-sweet elephant ear station, and wafts towards the swirling slushie counter and meets you at your seat. 

The combination of these smells makes up one of my favorite scents in the world and can only be found in one place—the ballpark. 

I’ve grown up around many baseball games at the ballpark since my dad works there, and though I never really watched much baseball the majority of the time, the atmosphere sticks with me like butter on popcorn.

I’ve done it all: running the bases with Crash The River Rascal, played the silly games on the field in between innings, and eaten enough Dippin’ Dots to last me a lifetime—only banana split, of course. 

Even this past year, when the actual games weren’t occurring, I sat on the turf of the baseball field indulging in some delectable Dippin’ Dots while glancing at a movie being shown on a gigantic video board; the spirit was still present. 

I have so many baseballs strewn about my bedroom and in my closet. I’ve acquired them either from catching them myself at the game—which I was very proud of—to finding them under some seats or a player bequeathing it to me. 

Though I didn’t make it to as many games each season as I would like, I always found myself taking in more and more of the surrounding atmosphere that melds with the game. 

The fans are there for diverse reasons. Some come to actually watch the baseball game and have a scoring booklet clenched in their hands, eagerly anticipating the next pitch. “Will it be a home run?” 

Others are there to load up on the outstanding food—nowhere else do the peanuts, hot dogs, and cotton candy taste better. 

And others just make the trip for the antics encompassing them. The theme days and intermittent games throughout the park are never-ending. 

I’d probably classify myself as the people-watcher who likes to eat chicken fries and ballpark desserts and occasionally pays attention to the game going on. I guess you could say I’m a combination of everything; I like to soak it all in. 

I love how, no matter your purpose of being there, there’s always something for everyone at the ballpark. The atmosphere is unique, and it takes all those different aspects to make it what it is.