Thursday, March 26, 2009
It's spring time which only means one thing - baseball season is about to start! America's favorite sport may not be as big in the Philippines as basketball but in Sagada, baseball is a favorite past-time too - at least for children in elementary and high school.
While neighborhoods around the US organize baseball leagues for children, and children compete in well trimmed fields, use new equipment, and play in their snappy uniforms, children in Sagada play with equal passion though with definitely less resources. There are only a few baseball bats and actual baseballs, but that doesn't stop the regular Sagada kid from being resourceful. Bats can be any tree branch that can be swung comfortably and as for balls, we've used anything from tennis balls, to old socks compacted as hard as possible. We didn't need any well-trimmed field back then. We could play in any field as long as it allowed us to bat and run. We used markers to determine where the bases are; and it doesn't have to be 4 bases and 9 players per team. Such pure love for the game has paid results for Sagada teams outside of the town. Sagada little league teams have competed and done well in regional and national competitions.
Last summer, I asked my eldest to write about our visit to the US Cellular Field (see photo above) - the stadium of the Chicago White Sox baseball team. We were there as part of our company's summer outing. Our tickets allowed us to move between the different levels of the stadium. Here's what my then 9-year old wrote for a family journal:
It was September 28th and my dad and I were going to the Sox Game. This was the first baseball game my dad and I watched together. First, we went to my dad’s friend’s house as they were going to the game with us. We then drove to the train station since we were going to ride a train to the US Cellular Field, home of the Chicago White Sox. Inside the train, my dad and his friends took pictures of us. I also got to take pictures. It took us a while to get to the stadium.
When we were there, the stadium looked huge. Then we went inside. We went to the lowest part of the stadium. We went there because my dad’s company paid for the tickets. The place we went wasn’t boring since there was a buffet and we were close to the players.
When the game began there were fireworks. Wow! Fireworks on the middle of the day? I thought that was cool! I was cheering my lungs out. Then I got bit bored so my dad and I went to the upper level. We also heard that there was something for kids at that place. When we got up it almost looked like a mall. Then while we were walking we saw some games for kids. The first game that I tried was that I have to race this cardboard that has a picture of a baseball player in it and moves. I ran faster than the baseball player. I also got to hit a ball, catch one, and pitch one.
When the 9th inning started my dad and I went back down. Soon we were cheering for the Sox team again. People were shouting like crazy. Finally, as the 9th inning ended the Chicago White Sox won. Their score was 5 to 1. They won against the Cleveland Indians, the team they played against. It was a great game since the team we were cheering for won.
We left after the game. When we went outside, one of my dad’s officemates was giving bags of candy to the people who works in his office. I was glad they gave candy since I am going to share some to my brothers. We went back to the train station as we were going home. It was kind of crowded at first, but people were starting to get off. It was a great experience for my dad and I to go to a baseball game.
Photos Below: Left - My son at a batting cage; Right - Enjoying the baseball atmosphere