Last summer I took my young son to his first major league baseball game. He was
very excited at the prospect. He had watched games on TV with me, he read box
scores and standings on his baby Blackberry, he exchanged instant messages
about his favorite stars with friends, he listened to commentaries on his iPod,
and he even had a Walkman to listen to games while bicycling.
He came outside, in his Cincinnati Reds shirt and cap, and stood at the ready
next to my Ferrari 365GTB (which does not have any cup holders).
Clipped to his belt were a Walkman, an iPod, a Blackberry, and a cell phone
with a TV screen. It was like being at the repeater forum at the Dayton
"Eric" (not his real name), I said, "put all those gadgets back in your room
and get your baseball glove instead. And don't forget the bubble gum."
"But Dad" (not my real name) he cried, I can't watch a ball game without all my
connections! I won't know what's going on!"
"Eric," I said to him, "you and I play pitch and catch all the time. Now we are
going to watch big boys do the same thing and you will learn a lot by watching
them. You don't need all those electronic gadgets because you'll be surrounded
in the stands by other boys like you, and by grown-ups, too. Not to mention you
have eyes and ears. Everybody will be talking, and cheering, and drinking cups
of beer that cost ten dollars.
"Going to a baseball game is like life: the most important thing is showing
up," I said.
"Uh, OK," Eric said," but can I at least use my handheld calculator to keep a
"Yes, but don't ask Dad to fix it if it breaks. You are operating unassisted."
Jim Cain, K1TN/9
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