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.


Russ Amaral
VP – Operations
Arizona Diamondbacks
Ph: 602/462-6677

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.


About Karen Joy

I'm a partially-homeschooling mother of six -- 3 boys ages 19, 17 and 15 years old, and three girls: 11, 8, and 3. I like birding, reading, writing, organic gardening, singing, playing guitar, hiking, the outdoors, and books. I very casually lead a very large group of homeschooling families in the Phoenix area. I have a dear hubby who designs homes for a local home builder and who is the worship pastor of our church. I live in the desert, which I used to hate, but now appreciate.

Posted on June 26, 2008, in Allergies, Arizona, Baseball, Celiac Disease, Medical Stuff, Sports Stuff, The Kids. Bookmark the permalink. 9 Comments.

  1. Not that I would ever support the D-backs or encourage anyone else to do so, but that’s still very cool.

  2. Yeah, what Steve said. (AL: Go Tigers!! NL: Go Cubbies!!) Very cool! What a neat thing! See? God cares about people and the things that interest us.

    Thanks for the info on the peanut oil. I had no idea, and I’m glad to know in case I ever know someone with a peanut allergy. I’d hate to inadvertently kill them. 8-|

  3. That’s so awesome, Karen!!!

    You know something that’s funny though – I’m reading along and I get close to the end and I’m tearing up just thinking how cool that is and then I read your sentence that says, “Seriously, I started to tear up.” That just cracked me up. 🙂 We moms are so good at the tears aren’t we. 😉

  4. Steve ~ The – ahem – NL Rookie of the Year doesn’t seem to be producing much in his sophomore season, does he? You must be a true fan, to support the Rockies this year. Wait. Maybe you’re not; you didn’t even acknowledge the Rockies; you just bashed the Diamondbacks. Hmmm…

    Esther ~ I was a Cubs fan before the D’backs came to town, 10 years ago. I’m from a part of Illinois where, whether you’re a Cubs fan or a Cardinals fan has split families. As for the peanut thing, people really do die from it, but most who have such a severe allergy carry EpiPens and Benedryl, like we do. Still, though, there are so many scary *surprise! There’s a peanut!* stories that it’s sobering.

    MLBAH ~ Before my hubby and I got married, he lived with a family (long story) for two years. A few years ago, the wife of that family remarked to me, “When you and Martin got married, I was just a little worried, because you seemed so cold and emotionless. Since you’ve had kids, you cry at everything!!” Hehehe. I don’t think I was quite cold before, but having kids has definitely increased my tear-flow!!!!!! It’s a good thing, I think. 🙂

  5. Alisa McCormick

    Hi there! I am a new reader. My husband has Celiac disease so that is how I came upon your blog. I love reading it! The Nationals stadium up here in Washington, DC serves gluten free pretzels (and beer!). Not the best, but it is so nice that my hubby can feel ‘normal’ and eat a pretzel and have a beer at a baseball game.

  6. HI Karen, wanted to make sure you got my email. I have met with a wonderful person at the D-backs and we sat down and spoke about an peanut free zone. It is official. September 13th’s game has a dedicated suite that is peanut free. Please join us- I would love to meet you.
    You can contact me for questions or call Kelly Bemish directly at the D-backs and she will help you get your tickets. 602-462-4224
    See you there:)

  7. Hi, Dawn!! NO WAY!!! I’ve already left a message on Kelly’s voice mail.

    Even better, it’s on a day that works for Read Your Way to the Ballpark, so the whole family can go — probably my hubbby will sit with my other two boys in the normal RYWttB seats and I’ll go into the suite with my son Wesley. Woo hoo!!!

  8. Karen,
    For the record, the Rockies are, um, rebuilding this year. Yeah, that’s it…

  1. Pingback: Diamondbacks Peanut-Free Night!!!!!!!!! « Only Sometimes Clever

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