Today is opening day for the Huntsville Stars, Huntsville’s minor league team since 1985, which means another season for baseball fans to enjoy America’s favorite past time right here in our own hometown. As exciting as that is, it’s bittersweet for those of us who’ve made taking in a game at The Joe part of our summer routine since this is also the Stars last season in Huntsville before they move to Biloxi, Mississippi.
I admit to being utterly clueless about the political, personal, or economic reasons for the Stars departure. Quite frankly, I don’t feel particularly invested in the Stars, per se, but I will miss having this inexpensive activity as an option for family fun after this summer. Growing up in a small town, I lived almost two hours away from the nearest professional baseball option which meant going to see live games was a rare treat. My husband and I were “late to the game” as it were, in that we only discovered how family-friendly the Stars games were in 2012 after a neighbor began selling us on the virtues of minor league baseball. She had a long list of reasons but I’ll only share the highlights.
Fun for the Whole Family
- General Admission: Except for skybox and season tickets, seating is general admission which is perfect for families with little ones who aren’t great at sitting still or who get easily bored. Tired of watching the game from these seats? Let’s move over there and sit up high! Oh, is that too far away? Let’s go over there and get right next to the third baseman so you can see better.
- Mascots: What child doesn’t love a mascot? Since these games (and attendance) are smaller, your child’s chances of seeing, talking to, and getting their picture taken with a mascot is pretty high. Plus, most of the time Homer the Polecat isn’t the only character you’ll find running around the stadium.
- The Running of the Bases: After each and every game, children are encouraged to line up and run the bases (Mom Tip: If you have any plans to exit early, do so BEFORE the game is over because your little one is sure to want to do this if they see everyone else doing it!).
- Fireworks: In addition to tonight’s game, there will also be great fireworks shows after the games on May 30, June 14 and July 4.
- Discounts: We’ve attended a whole lot of games over the last two summers and I don’t believe we’ve ever paid full price for tickets. This year you can buy discounted tickets with your Redstone Federal Credit Union card or with a receipt from Academy Sports or the South Parkway Chick-fil-A. Most importantly to you as a reader/follower of RCM…on home game days we’ll be tweeting and posting on Facebook about the Stars and if you show our posts (on your phone or printed out) at the box office you get $4 tickets just for being an RCM fan!
And I haven’t even mentioned the awesome Birthday Party and Youth Sports Team options available. What baseball fan boy or girl wouldn’t love to throw out the first pitch or stand on the field during the national anthem?
For all those reasons and just because we HEART baseball, we plan to enjoy as many games as we can this season and encourage others to do the same. Hopefully, our city’s enthusiasm for the game itself will show and maybe, just maybe, another team will consider heading this way in the not too distant future. In the meantime, you’ll find us rooting for the home team and snacking on peanuts and crackerjack.
*UPDATED 4.11.14: Discounted tickets for both adults and children will be $4 at the box office rather than the previously reported $4/$3 price. Sorry for the confusion.
Rocket City Mom is a website about raising children in and around Huntsville, Alabama. Started in late 2010 by a local mom and newcomer to Huntsville, Rocket City Mom has grown into a thriving community of local parents and now boasts a staff of four, thirteen regular contributors, and tens of thousands of Tennessee Valley readers making it the #1 Parenting Resource in North Alabama.