The joys of watching baseball

Baseball is a great sport, for both spectators and participants. It’s fun to watch kids play, and at its highest level, Major League Baseball, it is also enjoyable and relaxing to watch a game.

Going to a Major League Baseball park, where the full plethora of activities around a ball game are an integral part of the experience, is a great way to spend part of a summer day.

With all that in mind, we decided to go to Seattle Wednesday to see the third game in the series between the Mariners and Toronto Blue Jays. The main reason for the trip was to see Langley sensation Brett Lawrie, who was recently called up by the Blue Jays and is turning heads wherever he goes. His hitting has been terrific, and his style of play is exciting to watch.

Hundreds of people from Langley did the same thing last week.The Mariners drew significantly more fans than usual for a three-game, Monday to Wednesday series, and many of those fans were Canadians. A good number were Langley people — friends of the Lawrie family, fellow ball players and people who are almost as excited about Brett Lawrie’s big league debut as the Lawrie family is.

It was great to see the first two games of the series on TV, but seeing a game in person is so much better. Safeco Field is one of the most beautiful ball parks in MLB (so say many announcers and baseball players.) It is set close to the waterfront, just south of downtown Seattle, and the fresh ocean breeze makes almost every visit there a pleasant one.

Our seats were in the upper deck area, and for three of us, the total ticket cost was $69 (U.S.). That’s a bargain for any big league sport.

It is very possible at Safeco to get close to the field, even if your seats are higher up, and see the players practice. Many Langley people who know Brett Lawrie had the chance to exchange greetings with him in Seattle.

The Blue Jays won two of their three games in Seattle. All three scoring plays on Wednesday were a result of home runs. Unfortunately, Lawrie didn’t get any hits Wednesday, but he homered on Monday and was a factor in the scoring both Monday and Tuesday. He is continuing his great offensive play, with a batting average well above .300. As of Wednesday, he already had nine RBIs in his first 12 games with the Blue Jays.

Lawrie is a product of the Langley Blaze, a team based at McLeod Athletic Park which plays a very exciting brand of baseball. Their games are well worth attending for those who enjoy the sport — and there’s a pretty good chance you will see a future big leaguer in action.

The Blaze season is over for this year, but they will be playing again next spring and I highly recommend taking in a game. My family and I went to a game last year where there was a silent auction to raise funds. We were fortunate enough to obtain a Brett Lawrie-autographed baseball — one that has undoubtedly risen in value in the past few weeks.

On the subject of baseball, Langley’s All-Stars, made up of 11- and 12-year-old players, are now competing in the Little League World Series in Williamsport, Pennsylvania. The series runs until Aug. 28. The whole community of Langley is rooting for them.

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