by Dave Daly
Minor league baseball is like a family magnet. General admission is cheaper than a trip to Village Discount Outlet. Under three is free. Group offerings are available. Otherwise just score a grip of outfield tickets for five bucks a pop. If you go to a Sunday afternoon game at Canal Park, your spawn can take part in a kid stampede out in center field during the fifth inning. Watching 100-plus kids run onto the outfield going hard as they can is priceless. Inevitably the smallest kid tumbles, rolls, bounces to their feet and makes it back to the gate mere seconds before closing.
Yes, Loyal Reader, you’ve surmised it. I’ve bought into the family baseball outing. Why? How? When? Simply, since I became a dad. Baseball lends itself to the dynamic. Parents want to get out of the house with their offspring. In my case, we both enjoy the sport and the kids will by default. Or not. At this point they’re too young to have a say. For the record, our oldest likes baseball. She just can’t figure out where all the ducks are playing. It’s a work in progress. Hi ho.
Young folks are aplenty at Canal Park.
Not into ducklings? Don’t worry. It’s a big enough space to get away from those little energetic ankle-biters. You’ve also got great pregame options. Enjoy an indulgent grilled cheese and tap brew at The Lockview, just down and across the street from the park. Consider grabbing some decadent Thai food right next door at Cilantro. Their mock duck makes my mouth water just thinking about it and no aquatic birds need to be slaughtered for the dish. Once in the park, take your crew to the Tiki Bar in right field. Enjoy watching kiddos drag their parental units toward the blow-up slide as you imbibe and take the game in under a faux palm frond roof.
Feeling that family lifestyle? Make Fowl Territory in left field your destination. This is domestic-baseballin’ to the max. Picnic tables, bathroom and hotdog access abound. Miniaturized baseball helmets full of half-melted ice cream grace the laps of hardened parents prepared with a spoon, stack of napkins and borderline regret. Be the lame dad and don’t buy that shit.
Save some money and a lot of mess. Pack some sliced fruit and other snack hits for the kiddos. They’ll thank you later in life when they aren’t all possessive of worthless junk like plastic ice cream caps from AA ballgames. Our Akron Rubber Ducks readily allow food in for toddler children. Reusable water bottles are welcome too. Fountains abound!
In honor of Tim Tebow’s recent visit to Akron with the Binghamton Rumble Ponies, The Daly Clan made their way down to Canal Park to see your conservative Christian Aunt’s favorite baseball player and shunner of women’s rights in person. Honestly, the Florida Gator fans fawning over their fallen football hero were more interesting than Mr. Tebow. The man can bat though. More important, my 2-month-old son made it through nine innings! His big sister still couldn’t find the ducks.
We’re a little over 50 games into the season and there’s still plenty of time left, so get on down to Canal Park and bring the family. Sit with a random one if you don’t have your own!
Yours in Baseball,
Akron Rubber Ducks June Homestands
Friday 6/1 through Sunday 6/3; Tuesday 6/12 – Thursday 6/14; Tuesday 6/19 – Sunday 6/24; Friday 6/29 – Tuesday 7/3
300 S. Main Street, Akron, OH 44308
For more information on dates, times and tickets visit akronrubberducks.com
207 S. Main Street, Akron, OH 44308
For more information, menu and hours visit thelockview.com
Cilantro Thai and Sushi Restaurant
326 S. Main Street, Akron, OH 44308
For more information, menu and hours visit cilantrothai.com
Fancy D and B-Abe regularly attend Rubber Ducks Games. P-dizz is the premier ball player in the family.