Pharos04

First MLB Game Memories

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So today I got to finally do what most dad's hope to be able to do with their young son.  I got to take him to his first MLB game. I wanted to wait until he was at least 6 years old so the memories for him would remain with him forever.  Or at least stay prominent.  It's the simple joy I got to have of being able to walk him up the ramp and stairs at Fenway Park and have him take that memorable look across the field and see  the Monster on the other side of the field, players out doing warmups.  That lasting image that can create a deep memory forever.  The game going into Extra Innings and being won with a Grand Slam certainly helps!

 

I was flooded with memories of my first game with my Dad back in 1989.  My dad took me to a Red Sox Old-Timer's Game that included Yastrzemski as part of the ceremonies. My dad wanted me to be able to see Yaz on the field as he grew up watching Yaz play. 

 

I find it incredible how the game of baseball can reach across generations.  I got to take my son to his first Sox game, my father took me, his father took him, and we think my grandfather was taken by my great-grandfather to a game at Braves field to watch the then-Boston Braves play. 

 

I wanted to know how many of you remember enough details of your first game and if it created a lasting memory and even a life-long love of the game that you sometimes think about whenever you watch a game.

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My first Padres game was probably around the time Tom Werner bought the team changed the brown to navy blue. Don't remember too much else.

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First game was an A's game when I was 6. I remember giving the bird to a Brewers fan after the game. A drunk adult pestering a little kid. He got what he deserved. ?

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My dad’s company had a box at Camden Yards, so me, my parents, and one of my dad’s friends all went to see the O’s play the Mariners. I forget most of it other than that.

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My dad took my brother and me to a Reds game in 1978, but I don't remember the date or opponent. I remember it was a mid-week night game and after the game we we're walking across a bridge connecting the stadium with the downtown garages and during the walk I recall seeing and meeting area TV host Bob Braun.

 

I do recall that we went that Reds game before we ever went to a Bengals game (the first NFL game was 9/16/79 Po Patriots@Bengals).

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I went to a Phillies-Giants game in San Francisco. I wanna say it was in 1999, but I'm not entirely sure as I don't even remember going to the game itself. Although it was at a time were my grandfather was the GM of the Giants, that doesn't really give me specific details. But according to my parents, it happened.

 

The earliest game I attended that I actually remember was in Arizona during the late summer, in the season where the Diamondbacks won the World Series. They played a navy blue team if I recall, but I mean, that could've been anybody.

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1 hour ago, Dolphins Dynasty said:

I went to a Phillies-Giants game in San Francisco. I wanna say it was in 1999, but I'm not entirely sure as I don't even remember going to the game itself. Although it was at a time were my grandfather was the GM of the Giants, that doesn't really give me specific details. But according to my parents, it happened.

 

The earliest game I attended that I actually remember was in Arizona during the late summer, in the season where the Diamondbacks won the World Series. They played a navy blue team if I recall, but I mean, that could've been anybody.

Is your grandfather Bob Quinn?

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My first memories of an MLB game were the early 90s and I assume I was around 6-7 years old.  It was somewhere in the upper deck of old Tiger Stadium with my dad.  I also remember going to another Tigers game there around the same time but sitting in CF outfield bleachers.

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First game I went to was Mets vs. Astros in 1999 and was a good matchup and a good game. Piazza hit a dinger, Astros won in 10 innings off I think a Bagwell hit. Sat in the Shea Stadium Loge seats so there was a lot of tilting the head during fly balls because of the ceiling there

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I was a Yankee fan as a kid. My mother was actually a bigger baseball fan than my father was. My father had liked the Dodgers and he eventually sort of adopted the Mets. He'd watch games; but he didn't really care much about baseball.

 

By contrast, my mother's stories of Joe D., Yogi, Rizzuto, Mantle, Reynolds, Raschi, etc. made me gravitate towards the Yankees. I loved Munson, Murcer, Stottlemyre, Roy White. I caught the end of the Lean Years, enough that I was able to feel the sense of joy when the Yankees returned to greatness and lived up to the legacy of the teams that I had heard so much about.

 

But, because we lived in Queens, and because the milk cartons offered coupons for free Met tickets, I wound up going to Met games first, starting in 1972. Sadly, my parents never took me to the original Yankee Stadium; my first Yankee games were at Shea Stadium starting in 1974.

 

My first games ever were in August of 1972, first against the Braves, then against the Reds.

 

I went to several Met and Yankee games at Shea in those years. I didn't care much about the Mets; but I was collecting baseball cards and was familiar with players from both leagues, so I enjoyed going. I remember seeing Benny Ayala hitting a home run in his first career at-bat in 1974.

 

But my biggest moment at a Met game came in 1975. From the baseball cards I had developed an interest in older players; and, after the retirement of Willie Mays (my favourite Met), the older player I liked most was Willie McCovey. When we had accumulated enough milk-carton coupons for free tickets, my parents let my brother and me select the game. On account of McCovey I selected a game against the Padres, and persuaded my brother to go along with this selection. 

 

In an early uni-related moment, I took a brown crayon and wrote on a t-shirt "Padres 44" on the front and "McCovey 44" on the back; and I wore it to the game. Imagine my disappointment when I found that Stretch wasn't in the starting line-up that day.

 

But McCovey came up as a pinch-hitter — and he hit a pinch-hit grand slam! The whole stadium went quiet as the Mets lost the lead; but there was one little fat kid in his marked-up t-shirt shouting and jumping up and down.

 

I was aware of attracting angry stares from the people around me. But my attitude was that those stupid Met fans could go jump in a lake; I had come to see McCovey.

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First Phillies game was 1991 against the Giants; Retrosheet tells me it was July 13. I remember me not knowing how to keep score; I've learned since!

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1981: Twins vs. Brewers at Metropolitan Stadium (The Old Met).  My dad thought I might be a bit too young but he figured it would be my last chance to see outdoor baseball for a while, as the Metrodome was due to open next year.  I don't remember too many details:

  • We were probably five or so rows behind the third base dugout.
  • I remember John Castino, my favorite player, talking to someone right in front of that dugout.  I thought that was pretty cool.
    • Castino was a good infielder who had bad back injury problems.  His career was cut short.
  • The opponent was the Brewers* and I was wondering why there were so many Brewers fans, not understanding how close we were to Wisconsin.
  • I was also confused why so many people were booing Cecil Cooper (Coooooooop).
  • At some point, "Thank God I'm A Country Boy" was played.
  • The Twins lost.

*I'm glad it was the Brewers because I've now seen Twins vs. Brewers in five ballparks.

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1998, Braves vs. Mets at Shea Stadium. My neighbors were gigantic Mets fans and were hoping to convert me from my Yankees fandom by having my first major league be at Shea (obviously they failed miserably).

 

John Smoltz wound up pitching a shutout, and the Braves hit four solo homers to win 4-0. 

 

Went to my first Yankees game the next week, and saw a rare loss by that 1998 team. Didn't really ave my first memorable moment at an ML game until the next year, when Ricky Ledee hit a walk-off homer against the Indians.

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1985: Cubs vs. Expos at Wrigley. I was technically a White Sox fan at the age of 6, but I rarely saw their games because we didn't have cable (Note to out-of-towners: this is the root of Chicago's Cubs-Sox fandom divide becoming 75/25,) and my parents didn't care about sports at all. Fortunately, I had a whole bunch of much older cousins who did. We sat either in the bleacher or in the seats just on the other side of the left field foul pole, and I was mesmerized by the giant scoreboard. I thought I remembered the score as being 8-7 Expos, and that somebody hit a grand slam. Hey, my brain still works sometimes!

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May 25, 1993 -- Los Angeles Dodgers vs. San Diego Padres at Dodger Stadium.

 

I was 11 years old, I was excited because I idolized Tony Gwynn as a kid -- like most fat kids. But, this was right before the Padres traded off McGriff and Sheffield. The Dodgers won in the 10th of a walk off single or something. It was an exciting game -- the Dodgers won 10-9!

 

I also remember the crowd cheering when the Knicks-Bulls playoff game was announced and the Knicks went up 2-0 against the Bulls. 

 

Other than that -- that was pretty much my whole memory. 

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August 10, 1987 at County Stadium.  Brewers and Rangers.  Went 12 innings with the Brewers finally pulling it off.

I remember thinking how cool the scoreboard was... easily the biggest screen I'd ever seen in my life.  I also remember rooting for the Italian Sausage in the sausage race, back when it was just blips on the videoboard and not actual people in costume (that wouldn't happen until a few years later).  

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Thank God Ferdinand Cesarano is around to keep from feeling too old.  ?

 

My first game was in either 1973 or 1974 (probably '74) at Memorial Stadium.  There was a pregame bullpen party where you could meet some of the players and have pictures taken.  A picture of me with Jesse Jefferson (if memory serves me) is still in my basement somewhere.

 

After we made it to our seats, my mother took pictures of some of the players during BP and/or as they walked to the bullpen before the game started.  Those are also in my basement somewhere.

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2 hours ago, NicDB said:

August 10, 1987 at County Stadium.  Brewers and Rangers.  Went 12 innings with the Brewers finally pulling it off.

I remember thinking how cool the scoreboard was... easily the biggest screen I'd ever seen in my life.  I also remember rooting for the Italian Sausage in the sausage race, back when it was just blips on the videoboard and not actual people in costume (that wouldn't happen until a few years later).  

Watch out for the two-fisted slobber.

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My first MLB game was a Reds game in 1990 against the Pirates. I don't remember it all that well. 

 

The first game I really distinctly remember was this one in 1994 at Jacobs Field between the Indians and White Sox: https://www.baseball-reference.com/boxes/CLE/CLE199407220.shtml

 

Memories from that game:

- It was a slugfest and I remember my dad telling me the White Sox were good and the Indians needed to win to catch them in the standings, none of us knowing it was futile and wouldn't mean anything in less than a month. 

- Jacobs Field was brand new, but that really didn't mean anything to six year old me. 

- I got an Indians hat and a souvenir baseball. This game really should've cemented me as an Indians fan, but the Reds were already my team because they had the coolest baseball player of all time for a six year old kid in Barry Larkin. I remember not really caring who won or lost. The Indians were, and still are, just another team to me, despite my family's roots in Northeastern Ohio.  

- I went with my dad, uncle, and grandfather. My grandfather, who couldn't have given less of a :censored: about sports, was mostly there to babysit me. He has since passed away. My dad no longer talks to that brother of his who is now agoraphobic and rarely leaves his house. 

- my uncle played "moundball" with the guys sitting behind us. I have not seen anyone play moundball at a baseball game since. 

- By my count there were 5 Hall of Famers on the field that day: Jim Thome, Jack Morris, and Eddie Murray for the Indians. Frank Thomas and Tim Raines for the White Sox. Future Hall of Famer Manny Ramirez did not appear in the game, but appeared in 91 games with the team that season. Not sure if he was there that night or not. I don't know how many MLB games feature five or more future hall of famers, but I doubt it's very many. 

- Other notable players: Kenny Lofton (who I believed to be the fastest person ever at the time), Omar Vizquel, Julio Franco (old, even then), Ozzie Guillen, Robin Ventura, Sandy Alomar, Albert Belle (Notable because this game took place a few days after Belle's suspension for Bat Gate ended. I remember not liking him because my dad said he was a cheater).

 

 

As far as first games go you could do a lot worse. 

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54 minutes ago, OnWis97 said:

Watch out for the two-fisted slobber.

 

 

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