Thursday, July 24, 2008

Take Me Out to the Ball Game!

The business I work for belongs to the local Building Industry Association of Whatcom County (BIAWC). It is a chapter of the BIA of Washington and in turn, a member of the National Home Builders Association. I rarely see eye to eye with the politics of the organization - in fact my views are pretty much polar opposite - but I really love our local members. They are just great people and whenever I go to an event put on by the BIAWC, it is almost guaranteed to be a good time - I have made some very good friends

Tonight they had a recognition party for everyone who had "recruited" a new member in the past three months. Having recruited the owner of my favorite local coffee stands Cruisin Coffee, I got to go to a Bellingham Bells baseball game and bring three guests.

I took The Shepherd, of course, and my coworker Terry and her friend Pamela came along too - Part of the event was dinner - nothing fancy - just dogs and burgers - potato salad and baked beans - but we had a great time - (even if our team ended up losing)

This was our view of the field.

We were sitting in a special "picnic area" out in left field. Turns out, the company that The Shepherd works for had 'hydroseeded' the hillside where we were sitting last winter - strange coincidence, I thought.

Bellingham has had a myriad of minor league & farm teams. We used to have the "Baby M's" - a Seattle Mariner farm team - Ken Griffey Jr. even played a season in Bellingham.

As you can see, their mascot is a big yellow chicken - - he was having some fun with the Bend players here.

He also did a lot of things with the children - I never did figure out what was happening here, but he seemed to be like the "Pied Piper" and all of the kids in the park were running after him.

As you can see from the pictures above, the attendance in the stands is kind of sparse - It seems like such a natural fit for a family evening out - the tickets are not too expensive and the whole left field area below us is set aside for people who want to bring their own chairs and have a picnic while they watch the game.
These two young ladies were our "hostesses" for the evening - Tari (in the green shirt) is our Membership Director and Diana is the Activities Coordinator. They just do a bang up job and I think the world of them. I am on the membership committee (two years ago our whole committee went to San Antonio, TX for a national Membership Conference.) so I have gotten to know them . Nice, nice gals.

They often have raffles during events - and tonight was no different - they had some pretty cool stuff -

The team members are about 1/2 local/Whatcom County kids and 1/2 kids from around the state. One of their most "illustrious" team members this year was Jake Locker from Ferndale. Jake is the Quarterback for the University of Washington Huskies and an all around good athlete. He excelled in all the sports he played in High School and could have easily as gone to college to play baseball as football. He chose UW football. But he missed playing baseball, so he asked his coaches at the UW if it would be OK if he played summer ball. They OK'd it as long as he didn't play too many games, and that it was understood that he would leave the team when UW football practice started. So, his last game was last week sometime, but we still got to take part in a little bit of "Jake fever" -

Tari & Diana had secured some rather cool Jake Locker souveniers - one of which The Shepherd won during the raffle - an autographed Husky team shirt - with its own certificate of authenticity - is that cool or what? John could see that I liked his prize, so he gave it to me - and I didn't even have to share my chocolates in return!

Maybe some day Jake will be famous, but I don't think it's going to fund my retirement...

Thanks to the BIAWC, Tari & Diana for a really fun evening!


Sharon said...

I had to go back and re-read because I couldn't figure out the connection of your story to the Bureau of Indian Affairs.

Kathy said...

Hey! Ferndale is just up the road from ya'll anyway! Thanks for the post. B-Ball was a BIG thing on Washington Island during the summers. My grandfather even played ball for the local team. Summers were always baseball, hot dogs and BBQs. Thanks for the memories!
Neat shirt! ;-)

vlb5757 said...

While that look like fun, I really would be there just the company and food!