Bank Ben Ballpark – Hey… It Could Happen.
I spent the better part of last night watching “The Sandlot” while intermittently surfing the net for cheesy retro commercials.
Somewhere between Squints putting the moves on Wendy Peffercorn and recalling just how annoying the Domino’s Noid really was, I stumbled upon the old McDonald’s McWorld, “If Kids Ruled the World/ Hey… It Could Happen” series.
While I pondered how cool it would have been to have actually had a chocolate shake-spewing water fountain at my school, I came up with an idea I had to put into action.
MLB opened two new stadiums this year; the new Yankee Stadium and Citi (or whatever bank ends up buying out Citi) Field. What if I had controlled one of those two parks? An utterly outstanding idea if I do say so myself.
So what features would Bank Ben Ballpark have? Glad you asked.
One of the best additions to my park would be the restructuring of batting practice. Before either team hit the cage, we would hold a one-on-one, three innings-three outs per inning, home run derby. The players competing would be voted in by the fans who arrived to the park early, via text message.
My park would steal one of the McWorld ideas and have a chocolate shake drinking fountain, but it would be free for the fans sitting eye-level to the MetLife Blimp.
Since I love ice cream in a way that may be unhealthier than Rosie O’Donnell, we won’t stop with the shake-fountain. There will also be an ice cream truck, complete with, “The Entertainer” squawking from its speakers at a moderate volume, but sans the creepy mustache guy selling the dipped cones. Our truck would have the works: Fudgesicles, ice cream cookie sandwiches, vanilla Carnation cups, Rocket Popsicles and all the rest of your favorite childhood frozen treats.
While we are on the subject of sweets, I might as well mention my park would sell s’mores.” Somemore of what? … I haven’t had anything yet, so how can I have some more of nothing? … You’re KILLING ME Smalls!” It would be a crime not to honor Smalls with the stand’s name. Let’s go with ‘Smalls’ S’more Shack’.
Every Sunday would be ‘Sandlot Sunday’. Come to the park dressed as a recognizable character and receive a free mallow at Smalls’. Come dressed as Wendy Peffercorn, get signed as bat girl.
Out past the bleachers would be the wiffle ball field and batting cage, but both with minor modifications of course.
Adult fans would purchase raffle tickets for the chance to play in a game managed by the actual MLB managers for that day’s game. It would be televised on the jumbo-tron during BP. Scrape your knees sliding into second at your own risk.
The batting cage would be open throughout the game, but only for kids ages 13 and under. The pitcher would be a former MLB legend. Imagine digging in against the likes of Nolan Ryan, Ryan Sandberg or Wade Boggs. How cool would that be?
Many of the recent ballparks have spoofed up their bleacher seating by adding hot tubs (Arizona), sand boxes (San Diego) and the glaring eye-sore of a rising jumbo-apple in centerfield (wait… that was the old Mets park, my apologies). Since my park would naturally be in an all-sun-all-the-time state, I’d do them one better – we would have the beach.
That’s right, the beach.
It would be a full size wave pool, complete with sand, seashells and sunbathers. But would I stop there? Not on your life.
Spilling into the wave pool would be two of the biggest water slides you’ve ever seen. The two monsters would begin up near the field lights and coil around the outside of the stadium, before dropping fans into the middle of my man-made ocean.
Still not enough for you?
How about randomly picking four fans sitting field level to watch the game from the blimp itself? Did I mention it would pick you up at your seats?
Remember those unfortunate souls sitting way up in the free shake-fountain section? We would send four of those lucky fans down to field level to sit in the seats vacated by the blimp seat winners; shakes in hand of course. Need a refill and no longer have the fountain available? No problem, the Wendy Peffercorn bat girl doubles as your personal waitress.
So where should I locate my team? Warm weather is obviously mandatory and California, Florida and Arizona are all adequately covered. Hawaii sounds good to me. Any complaints?
It all sounds too good to be true and as of now it is. But when Bank Ben Ballpark opens its gates (and water slides) in the spring of 2015, I’ll save you a seat. Your first game is on me.
Hey… it could happen.