Archives For Franchise Anniversary

Girls of Summer Series

Friday night was the kind of night that every baseball fan dreams about. After a brief bout of showers about 20 minutes prior to the 7:05 p.m. first pitch, the clouds parted and it was as if God declared, “Let there be light…and a gentle breeze…and a crack of the bat…and soft serve ice cream…and, finally, toss in a good-hearted heckler to top things off.”

Werner Park and the Omaha Storm Chasers did not disappoint. Despite the home team falling to the visiting New Orleans Baby Cakes 13-2, my daughter and I got to experience everything I hoped we would.

 

Heidi and Jaycee

To start the night off, former MLB catcher and first basemen, Mike Sweeney, signed autographs and gave an interview that was broadcast for fans to watch on the stadium’s big screen during pregame warmups. Two things he said that really resonated with me:

First, he quoted Pope Benedict XVI by saying,

“The world promises you comfort, but you were not made for comfort. You were made for greatness.”

What a wonderful statement for children and adults alike to hear from a Hall of Famer!

Secondly, he spoke about an unwritten rule that he has for the Little League players he coaches. If one of his players gets plunked by a pitch in a game, that player’s mom or dad needs to buy him ice cream. If that same player doesn’t cry after getting plunked, that ice cream better have toppings. If the parents don’t oblige by that rule within 24 hours, they aren’t allowed to come to the next game. (Incidentally, I have a rule that my softball girls will earn a pack of gum anytime they get hit by a pitch and don’t fuss about it. Glad to know I’m on the right track!)

Autograph signing

Mike Sweeney bobble head

Sweeney played his first 13 seasons in the Majors with the Kansas City Royals, so it was really cool to see him make a return visit to Werner Park, home of the club’s Triple-A Affiliate.

Speaking of Werner Park, what a place to be with a nine-year old kid! I could go on and on about all of the amenities the place has to offer, but let me just summarize everything by saying…I MADE IT 8.5 INNINGS BEFORE MY DAUGHTER WAS READY TO LEAVE!

Below are some highlights from the Centris Family Fun Zone, a special area of the park specially built for young fans.

Rock Wall

 

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Needless to say, we’re looking forward to catching another game on May 25 versus Round Rock. And because the next game will be a Friday night home game, all fans will be able to watch the skies light up as part of a post-game fireworks show.

The Omaha Storm Chasers approached me and other mom bloggers to provide sponsored content to raise awareness of their organization. I would like to thank Marketing & Promotions Coordinator, Andrew Asbury, for giving me this opportunity.

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I am on my second summer coaching my daughter and her teammates in fast pitch softball. Although summer is the season when the actual league and tournament games occur, there are several months of off-season practice that go into this commitment as well.

After spending so much concentrated time together, I can say with utmost certainty that I am learning as much about how to play the game as they are – because I am experiencing it all over again through the eyes of 9-, 10-, and 11-year-olds.

A sport (or really any endeavor) that involves 3/4 of the year HAS to be enjoyable for kids and adults alike in order to stick with it.

Parents tend to view the duration of their kid’s playing days as a sign of success – the longer their son or daughter competes from the time they are toddlers until the time they are young adults, the better.

For an athlete, the length of their playing days has everything to do with talent, drive, and (I’d argue most importantly) an innate love of the game. The older one becomes, the higher levels of competition they’ll inevitably face, the bigger the stage gets on which they’ll play, the harder it will be to mentally and physically stay in the game.

I’d argue then that the greatest sign of success is an athlete playing the game they love for as long as they can.

My family and I live in Nebraska in a suburb that is adjacent to Omaha, the state’s largest city. While Omaha doesn’t boast a professional baseball team, it does host the Omaha Storm Chasers – a minor league team and Triple-A affiliate of the Kansas City Royals.

These players who don the blue and gold jerseys are hardworking men who are pursuing their passion every time they step foot on the field. I’d imagine that game time is one of their most favorite times.

My daughter and her teammates are just starting to understand that the time you invest in practice really can pay off in games, little by little. There is no fanfare in taking batting practice or hitting off the tee indoors when it’s freezing outside. It’s rarely fun to take grounders or work on cut-off throws when the peak of summer temps are weighing you down.

I think every young athlete should be given the chance to watch an older athlete in order to dream about possibilities ahead. To remind them that hard work CAN pay off.

In order to help celebrate the franchise’s 50th season, I am looking forward to spending two nights with my daughter at the Omaha Storm Chasers’ family-friendly stadium, Werner Park. Tonight will be game 1, followed by game 2 on May 25. I couldn’t think of a better way to celebrate Mother’s Day than with my budding ball player.

I hope you enjoy reading about the memories we’ll be sharing together.

The Omaha Storm Chasers approached me and other mom bloggers to provide sponsored content to raise awareness of their organization. I would like to thank Marketing & Promotions Coordinator, Andrew Asbury, for giving me this opportunity.