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Take Me Out to the Ball Game -- JetHawks or Dodgers

Big show or easy-go, good times and new memories await at the baseball stadium

Posted: May 7, 2009 12:07 p.m.
Updated: May 8, 2009 10:13 a.m.

At a JetHawks game you can relax on a grassy knoll and watch the action.

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There's something about baseball season that speaks of a gentler pace, warm evenings and good times that linger. It speaks of memories and barbecues, dads and kids, buddies and heroes.

And any baseball memory that was made in a big-time stadium will always be larger than life - whether it was the foul ball you caught with your pop's help, or the good times you had popping peanuts with your girls.

Well, it's baseball season again, and living in the SCV puts you right in the middle of the action. You can easily head south to see a Dodger game, or north to catch the Lancaster JetHawks.

Both experiences are made-for-memories and both combine all of the classic baseball elements from hot dogs to the seventh inning sing-along. So take your dad, take your buddies, take your kids or the whole Cub Scout pack. Just get out to the old ball game!

More than 125 million fans have visited Dodger Stadium since it opened in 1962 in Chavez Ravine, and the ball park still shines like a new penny. It is awe-inspiring in and of itself, and the vistas around it renowned. Generations of Dodger faithful have enjoyed some of their most-favorite afternoons and evenings here.

Attending a game at Dodger Stadium is enjoying the "big show." It's Major League Baseball at its finest. The stadium has hosted eight World Series, and the Dodgers have won four World Championships, eight National League pennants and nine National League Western Division crowns.

Every year there are new heroes, but names like Don Drysdale, Sandy Koufax and Steve Garvey (and don't forget Vin Scully) will always be Dodger-legendary.

Even in these times, a game at Dodger stadium can be one of the best entertainment buys around. There is a full range of ticket prices and, while you can go up into the hundreds of dollars for a dugout seat, infield reserve seats are only $28 and the top deck seats are only $9.

Of course you could go fat-and-broke with all the food options. Joining the traditional Dodger Dog are Canter's Deli, Mrs. Beasley's, Ruby's Diner, the Dodger Blue Bar and Camacho's Cantina. There is also Panda Express, Gordon Biersch and California Pizza Kitchen.

While any game at Dodger Stadium is a fun family experience, there are evenings with fireworks and many promotions throughout the season where you and your kids can get free goodies or enjoy special activities.

For example, after tonight's game with the Giants, there will be fireworks. On Saturday Girl Scouts in uniform will parade around the warning track before the game. On Sunday (Mother's Day), dodger players will use pink bats and, before the game, hand out roses to mothers.

Charles Steinberg, Dodger executive vice president/creative and communications, said, "The McCourts (the owners) have made a family atmosphere at Dodger Stadium a priority. We want children to fall in love with baseball, and we want adults to remember where and when and why and how they fell in love, and for them to fall in love again. Dodger Stadium provides some of the greatest days in the lives of so many families. That has to be our emphasis."

The stadium built for the Lancaster JetHawks, now called Clear Channel Stadium, opened in 1996 and has seen more than two million fans during that time. The JetHawks are the Class A affiliate of the Major League Houston Astros and play in the 10-team California League, against teams based in California cities from Lake Elsinore to Stockton.

Though the JetHawks play top-quality professional baseball, the experience is quite different from Major League Baseball at Dodger Stadium. For one thing, the stadium is much more intimate, and with a smaller crowd, much easier to get into and out of.

Tickets are definitely a bargain, ranging from $6 to $12. (Of course, you could always reserve a luxury box for a whole lot more.)

"JetHawks baseball is the best family entertainment value in the Antelope Valley," said Derek Sharp, JetHawks assistant general manager.

The food options at the JetHawks' stadium include all the standard baseball game fare, such as soda, hot dogs, burgers, fries, shakes and beer. But it is the emphasis on good times that really sells the JetHawk experience.

With the oversized hawk mascot, Kaboom, making friends around the park, there are also cheerleaders making appearances, and rocking music playing between innings. There is a party deck for the beer crowd and folks can picnic on the grassy knoll.

There are special barbecue packages and packages (with food) where youth sports teams get to take the field before the game and hear their names announced. There are birthday party packages that include a visit with Kaboom and cake for the whole party.

Special promotions occur throughout the season. For example, tonight there will be fireworks after the game and Saturday, to "Go Green," the first 1,000 fans through the gate will receive a recycled content T-shirt. On Sunday there will be "special mom's day fun all day long."

So, whether it's the big leagues with the Dodgers or big fun with the JetHawks, spring and summer are baseball season. It's time to get on out to the park.


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