Myrtle Beach Pelicans Baseball
America’s favorite pastime is a game that brings everyone together: family, friends, and strangers. I was taught the thrill of baseball in college when I house-sat for avid Philadelphia Phillies fans. They introduced me to the nuances of the game and gave me an appreciation for the game traditions. There is just something about being at the ball field, hearing the park organ, participating in the “wave,” and feeling the energy of the game change with the crack of a bat.
My seven-year-old daughter, Hannah, and I arrived at the field about 30 minutes before the first pitch (unfortunately things came up and the rest of my family and Kelly ended up not being able to accompany us). There were police directing traffic to the overflow parking area which is a great big field next to the stadium. Eight-seat golf carts were positioned to transport people to the field but they weren’t running yet. So after we parked, Hannah and I had about a 5 minute walk to the ticket box office. As we neared it a man approached us and asked if we needed tickets. I started to panic thinking he was a scalper. He politely asked if it was just the two of us and I nodded. He asked if we would like to sit in the front row and handed me his two tickets. “Are you serious?” I asked incredulously (I couldn’t believe our luck!). “See you there” he responded and walked into the stadium. In shock, Hannah and I walked to the gates where they searched my purse and we grabbed a program. The tickets were genuine.
The Myrtle Beach Pelicans were featuring “Wiener Wednesday” which offers $1 hot dogs all game long, a pre-game autograph session, and a post-game Pyrotechnics Fireworks Extravaganza. You can find their schedule and daily promotions at their website. While we stood in line to get our hot dogs, the National Anthem was sung and broadcast on the televisions positioned above the refreshment stands. A hush came over the entire park and even the food attendant in front of us took off his hat and put his hand over his heart. Hannah and I ordered two hot dogs and two Sierra Mists. Cup lids and straws are not permitted at the park, so you have to be careful as you transport your beverages.
With our ballpark food in hand, we made our way to the seating area and found two empty seats waiting for us in the front row on the field, right behind the first base coach. The man who had given us our tickets was seated with his family and nodded humbly as I thanked him again. We sat down and I noticed the score was already 1-0, favoring Winston-Salem Dash, our opponent. By the second inning we also scored a run! At the bottom of the fourth inning, the Pelicans hit a ball to left field and a Dash player “dashed” for it through the outside fence! He lay still for some time, but with the help of his team, was able to get up and walk away. The ball he “caught” was up for debate and the coach of the Dash lit in to the umpire. When that was settled, the umpire encountered the Pelican’s coach who got in his face! One of the Pelicans players held him back and the coach eventually walked off the field. The family behind me applauded him for sticking up for his player and the coach shook his head, disgusted. Our new “friends” sitting around us and I all tried to figure out what the call was. We determined it was an out.
During the game, the nice man who had offered us our seats caught a game ball and gave it to Hannah! I showed Hannah where she could find the recorded speed of the ball and how score was kept. Everyone around us was friendly and contributed to explaining certain aspects of the game when one of us might have missed something. Baseball promotes a camaraderie among strangers that always pleasantly surprises me.
Between innings the Pelicans’ hosted short games for select kids and grown-ups alike (a giant french fry toss, a giant pretzel race , and a kangaroo catch), and the familiar baseball park organ pumped up the crowd with the familiar “Charge!” and “The Adams’ Family” theme. Twice, the Pelicans dog (I think named Dinger Jr., but I am not positive) brought fresh game balls out onto the field in a bucket. They shot t-shirts out into the crowd with an air launcher and we stood up and threw our hands in the air to participate in the “wave” a few times. Between the top and bottom of the seventh inning we all stood up for the Seventh Inning Stretch and sang “Take Me Out to the Ballgame.”
Hannah was petering out after the fifth inning so we walked around the arena. The Pelicans baseball arena offers a playground for children and a children’s amusement zone with inflatables (each one costs $1 to enjoy). Hannah spun a wheel and won a free hot dog and a piece of candy. You could also win Pelicans memorabilia and baseball cards. There were plenty of mascots mingling in the crowd including Splash from the Pelicans, Sharky from Ripley’s Aquarium, a turtle and a squirrel (I’m not sure who they represented)! The stadium has various seating venues which include a Beer Garden, a picnic area, and a beach with sand!
During the eighth inning the park started clearing out the “Thirst Inning Deck” behind left field (a rare view in Minor League Baseball, or so I am told) and the children’s amusement area to prepare for fireworks. Hannah crawled into my lap because she is terrified of the sound of fireworks, but also loves watching them. The Pyrotechnic Fireworks Extravaganza was set to music and was one of the best fireworks shows I have seen in the area! It consisted of spiral fireworks, gold-glittering fireworks, red-white-and-blue bursts, and screamers just to name a few. It lasted about 15-20 minutes.
After the fireworks ended, people who had purchased a bag of tennis balls were allowed to try to pitch them from behind the dugout into kiddie pools positioned on the field. Anyone who made it (the tennis balls were numbered) received a prize. Then to close down the event, all children were invited to run the bases. Hannah decided she just wanted to watch. Maybe next time.
The Myrtle Beach Pelicans are a Class A-Advance affiliate of the Texas Rangers.
Cost: Tickets range from $8-$13; Two “Wiener Wednesday” hot dogs and two regular Sierra Mists=$9; one soft-serve ice cream in a Pelicans helmet=$5.50; other food offered at various prices; One token=$1 for children’s activities.
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