Take me out to the ballgame

25 Sep 2011 | Cpl. Dengrier Baez

Hot dogs, a cold drink, a baseball mitt and your favorite team’s jersey are all you need to enjoy a few hours of fun on the weekend. The folks at Marine Corps Community Services have the rest covered.

Barracks Marines can enjoy a regular season game of baseball, football, basketball and even soccer if tickets are available. MCCS often offers these tickets to major sporting events in D.C.

This fall, I took advantage of some free tickets to go see a Washington Nationals baseball game on a hot Sunday. Although I’m not a fan of the local team, I grabbed my glove and baseball cap and headed to the ballpark.

If you’re not a fan of the home team, there’s always a chance your favorite team will play here so be on the lookout for tickets. But I think an afternoon of baseball, or any other sport for that matter, is one well spent.

Luckily for me and the other Marines here, the journey is only a few short blocks. To avoid parking hassle, which I recommend, drivers should opt to use the metro system if available.

My seats were in the upper level by center field and there also wasn’t any cover from the sun. It was a bit uncomfortable, but nothing some sunscreen and a baseball cap couldn’t cure.

It was definitely a family atmosphere, though toddlers and infants might not have the tolerance to endure a two-to-three-hour event like this one. When taking children, I would ask MCCS if the event is child-friendly before acquiring the tickets.

Keeping my family in mind, I noticed the team’s merchandise was priced the same as any other team across the league but food and beverages were a bit expensive. My suggestion is to eat at a decent-priced food establishment before the game to save money for snacks and souvenirs for friends and family.

I sat through the whole game and enjoyed a cold drink and a pretzel. To my surprise, the home team came out on top after three back-to-back homeruns were smacked into the stands by the Nats’ players in one of the latter innings.

Besides a good game, I enjoyed the different activities like the president’s run, in which members of the Nats staff dressed in cartoonish costumes of Abraham Lincoln, Thomas Jefferson and George Washington and raced around the field.

The ballgame was dedicated to the victims of 9/11 and military service members. It hit home and by the expressions of some fellow leathernecks in the same section, I could see the sentiment was mutual.

Next time MCCS has tickets, take advantage of the opportunity and get yourself and a buddy out to enjoy a game. Even if it’s not your favorite team, get out there to enjoy an afternoon at the ballpark or sports arena of your choosing.

If that’s not what you’re looking for, you should check with the Barracks family readiness officer and MCCS for other activities. MCCS has events ranging from volunteering to concerts, all available to you and your fellow Marines.