One of the things I really missed while living overseas was baseball. And unlike Diet Coke, Snickers bars and peanut butter, you can't partake in America's Pastime in Paris. Well, maybe if you have satellite television, but I prefer to see the game live. So when a friend offered me a seat in the 16th row just up from first base to watch the Minnesota Twins take on the Seattle Mariners on Saturday, I jumped at the chance. Between the cheering fans, hot dogs and beer, renditions of "Take Me Out to the Ball Game," and game-winning action at home plate, I'm not sure there's a better way to spend a weekend afternoon.
Well, actually, there is something that could have made it better: an outdoor stadium. We won't get ours up here in Minneapolis until 2010, and it's a bit rough to spend time indoors when the weather was as beautiful as it was on Saturday. But it was worth the sacrifice (pun intended) to see my first game of the season. And what a game it was! Tied 6-6 in the bottom of the ninth, the Twins mustered up enough energy and skill to drive home Joe Mauer for the winning run. When the crowd goes wild, the jumbo-tron flashes "Twins Win!," and the players run out of the dugout in celebration, there's an energy in the stadium that just can't be beat.
For all those expats who miss baseball as much as I did, don't worry, it will still be here when you get back.