Last summer I took in my first game *ever* at Nat Bailey Stadium. Being a born and raised local that might come as a surprise although our little ballpark, neatly tucked away just south of downtown near Queen Elizabeth Park is lesser-known that I realized.
It all starts with White Spot, really. Home of the Triple O burger and carhop combos, the first drive in restaurants in Canada were opened up by Nat Bailey in Vancouver, in 1928 [wiki]. He then became part owner of the Vancouver Mounties baseball club who were in the Pacific Coast League until 1970. In 1978 the Vancouver Canadians came alive as a Northwest League expansion [wiki] and today at 7:05pm we have their 22nd Opening Day.
I was never into baseball as a kid, around here it’s all hockey. Actually, I never even went to a hockey game until my late teens either. I think my dad enjoyed taking us on the kinds of outings where we all could get lost in the woods for hours, and learn about local history, rather than dole out hundreds of bucks to take 3 kids to a local sporting event. Not that I’m complaining at all.
The fact that our boys play single A ball could be a factor when it comes to popularity, but when you have a sporting event outdoors, a sunny nooner or evening game, views of the city, hot dogs and beer, classification doesn’t really matter. The team is affiliated with the Oakland A’s and we even made a point of going to their game against Boise last summer, as the Hawks are a part of the Chicago Cubs food chain.
Tonight we’re heading out to the Nat for the Home Opener, complete with hat giveaways and fireworks following the game. Honestly, for the price you cannot beat these tickets. $8 will get you general admission and to have prime festival seats you can upgrade by paying a whopping… $12. You can buy tickets on the website and pick them up at the box office, and you have to check out their “theme nights” this summer including: Mullet Madness, Prom Night, Christmas in June, Canada Day at the Nat Fireworks, Vegas Night, Ladies Night, Mexico Night, Hawaii Day and many many more.