Oh, say does that star-spangled banner yet wave
O’er the land of the free — and the home of the brave!
There are not very many nights during the spring and summer that cannot be filled with the excitement of baseball and or softball in the Norfolk area. These two sports are not just one of America’s great pastimes, but a staple in our community. Every year the baseball and softball season brings families together, people out into the community, and thousands of visitors. This brings in extra revenue for our gas stations, restaurants, and hotels. The service industry sees a huge increase during games and major tournaments. All of the teams, games, and visitors help our community in many different ways.
Do you remember the joy and excitement that was brought to your heart as your favorite ball player made their first home run or when the umpires argued over a play at a major game you were watching? This is the excitement every parent feels every time they see their child take the field. It’s the moment that all of the planning, saving, packing, traveling, practicing, and investing — pays off. This is the simple happiness that people live for as parents. There is a great pride that comes with sitting on those bleachers game after game, yelling till your throat is sore, and braving the elements for your favorite team.
There’s something about the bleachers, the lights, and the smell of freshly popped popcorn that takes a person away from their troubles and back to the days of memories, youth and simpler times. It’s the support of one’s friends, families, and those that just came to watch. Sometimes sitting next to a stranger and sharing in a story or a memory from one’s own youthful days of playing ball. There’s a kindness amongst the players and their families that’s inviting to newcomers which would explain the lack of seating and parking at games. Don’t be discouraged by the amount of spectators because no matter how full the bleachers are, there’s always room for one more.
Whether you live in our community or are just here to visit, make sure you get the opportunity to take in the smell of fresh popcorn, glare of the lights, and the excitement of parents as they watch their favorite players take the fields. Games can be watched at Liberty Bell Field, Ta-Ha-Zouka Ball Fields and The YMCA in Norfolk, Memorial Park in Madison, Gilman Park in Pierce, and Battle Creek Municipal Park in Battle Creek. If your child is interested in being part of one of the great teams around, there is no age too young or old for this great adventure and America’s favorite pastimes.