When we took our daughter to see the Harrisburg Senators at Metro Bank Park there was a bit of uncertainty involved. Maybe more than just a bit. We were looking for something that she would enjoy and that might catch her attention. You see, she is autistic. She tends to be wary of anyone not in her immediate family and prefers quiet surroundings. A lot of effort has been expended in hopes of increasing her interactions with other people and we held a lot of hope that having a team to root for would bring that out.
For quite a bit of the game she really wanted to be anywhere else but at the ballpark. It was too hot; it was too light; it was too noisy; and it was still too hot. We held out and paid a visit to the team store where she and mom picked up some Senators gear. We also picked up a baseball since we were at a ballgame. We grabbed some hot dogs at the stand and managed to last through the game.
We had walked down from our seats to an area over by the dugout since she wanted to talk to a player. Unfortunately they had already headed into the clubhouse and she was beginning to get upset. A young boy walked over and told us “…the players come out and sign stuff after the game over by the locker room. I can show you where that is if you would like.”
Shortly after one of the players, Sean Nicol (#8), came out and was signing autographs for the people outside the locker room. He noticed our daughter standing back away from everyone else with her baseball in her hand. He came over to her and asked he if she would like him to sign her ball for her. She nodded yet, looking a bit unsure of what she had just agreed to and handed over her baseball. It was signed and handed back to her and he spent a few minutes talking with her, said see you later and walked toward the parking lot. She came over and said “he was really nice.” And with that we headed to the parking lot as well.
In the parking lot she spied another person she felt was one of the players and asked if she could ask him to sign her baseball. With a nod from mom she walked over and began to talk with Steven Souza, Jr. Turns out he was from Washington state, very close to where we had just moved from. The two of them hit it off splendidly.
So began our journey along the road of professional baseball. We have really enjoyed the people we have met so far and I hope to capture some of that here.
Baseball is therapy.