Take me out to the ballgame… next year
Continuing my trend of interrupting my own posts with tangental information, I must say it’s no fun to watch SportsCenter on ESPN when your team is on a losing skid. 😦 The only consolation that the Diamondbacks are in the National League West division, all of whom are skidding worse than us. So, though we now are barely over .500 for our winning percentage, none of the rest of the teams in the NL West have a winning record at all, so we still lead our division.
I receive e-mails from a non-profit organization called Kids With Food Allergies. Wesley has celiac disease, which means he can’t have wheat, rye, barley or oats. It’s not an allergy; it’s an autoimmune disorder. But, he’s also anaphylaxic to peanuts, meaning that he literally stops breathing in the presence of peanuts and peanut products. (He has other food allergies, too, but none so severe as peanuts.)
One of the ways we’ve had to alter our lives to accomodate this severe allergy is to stop taking him to baseball games. I’ve considered taking him, because if the stadium’s roof is open, it might be OK; it would practically be like being outside, with a continuous flow of fresh air, which would greatly minimize the chance of Wes reacting the peanuts around him. Peanut products (like peanut butter) are actually more problematic than peanuts themselves, because grinding the peanuts releases oil into the atmosphere — peanut oil is very volatile — and it’s the oil that has the most adverse effect on Wes. But, it’s too risky. He had a severe reaction once, sitting in a recliner where my Uncle Glenn eats peanuts in the shell every night, even though there were no peanuts present when Wes was sitting in the chair… Ever been to a baseball game? The stands are absolutely littered with spent shells; it’s practically de rigueur to just chuck ’em on the floor. And, even though I’m sure they clean the stadium after every game, I’m sure no one’s scrubbed the seats down with hot, soapy water to get all the peanut oil off. So, we just haven’t risked it.
Fortunately, Wesley is the least-sports-fan in our house. Even Audrey will watch baseball (or any sport) for longer than Wes, and at 2 years old, she even cheers at the right spots. 🙂 But, it’s just plain fun to go to a game, even if you’re not a huge fan. And, it’s no fun to sit at home while everyone else gets to go to the game…
A couple of days ago, my KFA e-newsletter mentioned that a couple of MLB teams have designated peanut-free sections in one or more games per season. Particularly, they mentioned the Padres and the Twins. Seriously, it was enough to make me start dreaming of a trip to San Diego, just so we could all go, as a family, to a game.
So, I sent an e-mail to the Diamondbacks organization:
Hello. Every one in our family are huge D’backs fans; we watch all the games on TV, and we attend as many games as we can. So far, we’ve been to two this season, including the one where my son, Grant, was a KidKaster. However, we are no longer able to attend games as a whole family, since my 6yo son was diagnosed with anaphylaxis to peanuts, about 2 years ago. This means that he literally stops breathing in the presence of peanuts and peanut products. All three of my sons have won D’backs tickets through the Glendale Library’s Read Your Way to the Ballpark program, but my son Wesley won’t be able to attend a game, same as last year. There are at least a couple other MLB teams which designate sections or skyboxes, etc., for one or more games per season to be peanut-free. This is usually done in conjunction with a recognized non-profit that manages severe food allergies. Here’s a link to info for peanut-free Padres game: http://sandiego.padres.mlb.com/sd/ticketing/groups/peanut_free.jsp and similarly, for Twins games: http://www.minnesotafoodallergy.org/#twins It would be fabulous if the D’backs would consider something like this, so that our family could, once again, attend games as a whole family. Thank you very much.
Today, after returning home from swim lessons and errands, there was this e-mail waiting for me:
Hi Karen, thank you for taking the time to write in with your comments and suggestions about peanut free zones at Chase Field. Your timing is pretty interesting because we just started talking about this a couple of weeks ago, and we are going to continue talking and meeting about this in preparation for the 2009 season. We’re in the process of gathering info from the various clubs out there who have done it before, as well as gathering info from the medical profession to learn more about this issue. Once done, we will put together a logistical plan of action so that we can advertise this for next season.
Please hold on to my address and phone and please feel free to contact me during the off-season for more information.
VP – Operations
Woo hoo!!! I called the boys over and let them all read the e-mail. Everyone was excited at the prospect, even though it’s not until next year. Seriously, I started to tear up. With Wesley’s multitudinous dietary restrictions, it not only affects what he can and can’t eat, it affects where he/we can go, and what we can do. It’ll be fantastic just to be able to attend a game as a family. I can’t wait.