July 18, 2018
By: Kristi Fulkerson
I’ve been to countless IronPigs games over the years, most of them while on the job. This weekend I was able to enjoy the afternoon alongside some fellow SECTV employees but as a fan — and for the first time expose my toddler to the excitement at Coca-Cola Park! He’s a busy 2-year-old and has recently become a huge sports enthusiast with baseball emerging as the favorite. Our play time at home often consists of a pitcher (mommy or daddy) vs. batter (Graham) battle for hours at a time and he almost aways wins. When we switch positions, he claps excitedly whenever I make contact but boos me when I miss. (I really hope he doesn’t do that to his classmates at daycare!). On Sunday, Graham was loving every minute of the baseball action at CCP — the bats and the balls, the players, music, and mascots — he was not a fan of the random fireworks (courtesy 4 home runs) but luckily he has a short memory. After the game, we were able to run the bases (which I’m not even sure Graham knew was a part of baseball) and could not have had more fun! I suppose that’s the goal of IronPigs GM Kurt Landes who was at first base high-fiving each child as they passed by, hence the organization's dedication to the fan experience! 
For me, it was a nice reminder to take a step back and enjoy sports for fun — not just for work! There’s something to be said for showing up at game time (not 4 hours before), with no plans (and no notes or a microphone) - just my husband, little man, and me. Sure, we still found a way on TV (thanks to our TV2 game crew!) but it was one of my many “mom” moments over the past two years where I feel like I gained a new perspective. Trying to find a balance between working and being a mom has always been a challenge for me so it was neat to be able to devote my whole attention to his first game experience. 

In addition to taking in his first Triple-A baseball game, Graham also scored a new lady friend. As part of SECTV Day at the ballpark, a few co-workers were also there cheering on the home team. Fellow reporter Erica Rose, a proud mommy of three, joined the fun with her new family of five. My little guy and her daughter Audrey quickly became friends and were the cutest couple the rest of the afternoon (pictures below). Graham also got a lesson in baseball strategy thanks to our newest TV2 team member, Dan Fremuth. Turns out, he knows more than just hockey. All in all it was a great day for my IronPigs first-timer.

Since the IronPigs won 8-0 and are 1-0 when Graham is in attendance, I guess we’ll have to go back soon! And at least if we’re AT a game, my pitching arm can take a break :)