Who wants to take their son or daughter to Orioles opening day?

March 12, 2010 | Drew Forrester

Who wants to go to opening day at Camden Yards?

The Orioles actually open the season in Tampa Bay on April 6, but return home on Friday, April 9  (3:05 pm) to host the Toronto Blue Jays in the club’s 2010 home opener.

Anyone want to go?

I’m planning on going.

And I’d like to take 16 of you with me.

Here’s the deal, as quickly as I can summarize it.  Settle in, it’s going to take longer than it should.  Doesn’t it always?

About a month ago, I purchased 18 tickets to opening day.

I bought them with my own money.  I have the receipts to prove it.

The seats are in Section 308 (upper deck) and all 18 are roughly together.  None of the seats are separated, meaning they’re perfect for “groups of two”.

Here’s where you come in.

I’m taking my nearly-3-year-old son, Ethan, to his first major league game that day.  He’s crazy about basketball (“Daddy, can we play basketball hoops?” he asks me every night) and he owns his own golf bag, clubs, putter and hits plastic – and real – golf balls all over the house.  On April 9, 2010, I’m going to introduce him to Orioles baseball.

And I’m looking for eight other “parent/child” teams to attend the game with Ethan and I.

The only catch:  It MUST be your son or daughter’s first-ever Orioles game. (Full disclosure: Ethan’s been to an Ironbirds game, although he was only one year old at the time.  He wouldn’t remember it, obviously.)

I’m willing to take 16 of you with me.  There’s no charge for the tickets.  This is my gift to you and your child.  I bought the tickets myself.  I own them.  No sponsor gave them to me.  Or paid for them.  I bought all of them through TicketMaster about 4 weeks ago.  I have the hard tickets in my possession.

And I’d really like to have a bunch of you join me for your son or daughter’s first-ever Orioles game on April 9. We’ll meet up somewhere around 1pm or so for a snack, a diaper change (if they’re young) and a group photo.  Who knows, we might even shoot some WNSTv that day as well.

I’m looking for 8 “teams of two” to go with Ethan and I on April 9.

I don’t care what the “parent/child combination” is…it can be dad/son, dad/daughter, mom/son or mom/daughter. You are ALL on the honor system here.  Please don’t take advantage of this situation by bringing your child along if it’s not his/her first-ever Orioles game.

But if you’d like to join Ethan and I on April 9, we’d love to have you.

Oh, there IS one more catch.  It’s kind of important, actually.

Usually the kids get the homework assignment when it comes to getting some kind of special treat, right?  “OK, write a 300 word essay on such-and-such” and you’ll get the tickets.”

Not this time.

I want to hear from Mom or Dad on this one.

Write ANYTHING you want about your child or children.  It’s going to get published (or I at least own the right to publish it on the web-site), so please understand that from the start.  I want you to write an essay about your children…tell me about them/him/her…tell me about the thrill of watching them enter the world…tell me how much they’ve enriched your life and your family’s life.

I want you to write an essay and brag about how great your child is/children are…the more you brag and the more you write, the better.

I’ll write my own “Ethan Essay” in the next couple of weeks.  After all, I can’t ask you to do it if I’m not willing to do it too.

I shouldn’t have to mention this, but I think I will, since I’m sure I’ll inevitably have to answer an e-mail or a blog comment about the circumstances surrounding my media credential.  Some of my critics with suspicious minds will wonder, for sure, if I’m putting this “group of first timers” together in an attempt to somehow curry favor with the Orioles in hopes of getting my media credential back that the O’s took from me three years ago.

Here’s the lowdown:  I don’t want the credential in 2010.  I’m not even going to apply for it when the e-mail submission form comes around in a week or two.  I’m instructing the powers-that-be at WNST who fill out the information (I’m no longer allowed to communicate one-on-one with the Orioles, per-their-policy) to NOT include me on the list this year when it comes time to file for season media credentials.

I’ve been lied to by those people again this Spring…OPENLY lied to – with e-mails from the team to prove it…and I understand now that this behavior from them is NEVER, EVER going to change.  They’re incapable of treating me professionally.

So, while I can’t ever enjoy getting lied to professionally, I CAN get excited about doing something fun with Ethan on a personal level.

I’m going to opening day with Ethan – and taking 16 of you with me – and will most certainly enjoy spending the day with my son because it’s the one thing I can still do at the ballpark that no one can stop me from doing.

I don’t want their credential.  I won’t take it, in fact, even if somehow pigs fly and they decide to grace me with a season credential.

I hope that covers the topic that I’m quite certain one or more of my naysayers will bring to the table.

I’m done fighting with the Orioles, professionally, because all they do is lie — and they’re always going to win any “battle” with me because they never tell the truth.

You can read that again for emphasis:  I’m done fighting with the Orioles.  Professionally.  I don’t want their credential.  I don’t want to be around their PR people who create policies and then lie about them.

But I’m a baseball fan – and an Orioles fan – and I love my little boy and I want him to grow up loving baseball the way my Mom and Dad helped me learn the game and love the game.

So I plan on going out to the ballpark A LOT this spring and summer with Ethan.  We’ll do the Dad-Son thing and have a lot of fun.

Oh, I also bought 18 tickets each to the May 18 home game against Kansas City and the June 29 home game against Oakland.  And I’ll take 16 more of you to those two game as well.  I’ll come up with some other distribution/reward method for those games at a later date.

I assume it will be easy to find eight moms or eight dads who want to take their son or daughter to the April 9 game.  Please submit your essay to me at my WNST e-mail address:  drew@wnst.net –  I will contact the eight “winners” no later than April 1st.

By the way, there are still THOUSANDS of tickets available for opening day if you’re interested in buying some yourself.  This isn’t the “old days” where opening day tickets are scarce and only the privileged have access to them.

I bought 18 of them.

Ethan and I look forward to having a great day with 16 of you on April 9.

Get those essays in to me.