The Time I… went to my first professional baseball game


Angelina Padilla-Tompkins

Busch Stadium in St. Louis, MO.

My boyfriend and I traveled from Washington, Illinois to St. Louis, Missouri to see the Chicago Cubs play the St. Louis Cardinals on Aug. 3rd, 2022. This would be the first baseball game I saw in-person, also the first professional sport I got to see in-person. Little did we know the stress it was about to cause. 

Picture this: it was a Wednesday and I would be moving back to DeKalb and into my first apartment that Friday. This was going to be the last big event we did before gearing up for the school year. 

We had a three-hour drive ahead of us, so we left home around 11 a.m. to get to Alton, Illinois (where my boyfriend is from, and where his grandpa still resides) by 2 p.m. We wanted to have time to drop our bags off at his grandpa’s, eat and relax for a minute before heading into the city. 

The drive gave us clear skies – but once we reached Alton, thick gray clouds loomed over the rest of our evening. 

When we stopped at a local sandwich shop for dinner, our eyes were glued to the weather reports. The meteorologist only told us what we didn’t want to hear; thunderstorms were on their way. 

Moments later, we heard the faint sound of water trickling against the roof. The noise started to build louder and louder and louder until there was a loud BANG! And a bright flash of light through the windows. The power flickered for a minute. It was then that we figured the game would not happen that night. But, the dedicated fan that my boyfriend is, thought, “Let’s go to the stadium anyway! Just in case.” 

We were fortunate enough to find a nice parking garage just a couple blocks away from Busch Stadium for only $10! We parked and followed a surprisingly decent amount of people into the stadium. 

We walked around for a while, stopping in all the shops. I got a cool new red Tervis cup that had a sugar skull decorated with the cardinals logo on it, and my boyfriend purchased a light blue Cardinals baseball cap and Yadier Molina’s pin, which has since been placed on the hat. 

We waited for at least an hour before the news broke that the game had been postponed until noon the next day. That was not what we wanted to hear. 

I was beginning to grow increasingly stressed. I mean, I was getting ready to move and still had packing to do. We decided to stay anyway. We drove all that way and might as well stay for the game. 

The drive back was filled with conversations about rationalizing the choice to stay, and ultimately we were glad we did. 

The sun was out the next afternoon. You would never have even known it had stormed the night before. 

We purchased sodas and a nacho bowl that came in a plastic souvenir red baseball hat and quickly found our seats. 

There were lots more people there this time, and the energy was electrifying. The game itself was about as interesting as a baseball game can get; but in the end, the Cardinals won and we had a great time.