WHILE a cool, rainy afternoon might keep most baseball fans home, around 4,600 students from across the province braved the less-than-ideal conditions to watch the Goldeyes take on the Kansas City T-Bones on Thursday afternoon and soak in the ballpark atmosphere.
It was the second of the club's two School Day matinee games this season, the excitable young crowd brought plenty of energy to Canwest Park, waving blue Goldeyes flags, dancing to the music between innings and enthusiastically obliging every scoreboard request to "MAKE SOME NOISE" or "GET LOUD" -- possibly to the chagrin of some season ticket holders.
"It's pretty cool to come with friends," said 11-year-old Logan Sigvaldson of Arborg, Man., taking in the game despite "not really" knowing many of the players.
"It's really a terrific environment," added his father Scott, chowing down on some pulled pork.
He was certainly not the only one ringing the registers at the ballpark's ever-popular concession stands.
"This will be the busiest day of the year," said Norm Lambert, during a rare free moment working the mini-donuts stand. "It doesn't matter if it's raining or hot, they're going to eat."
A quick walk across the concourse proved him right. Lines doubled back two or three times at Goldie's Grill; Robin's donut racks looked dangerously sparse by the end of the first inning.
Despite the eclectic selection of snacks available at the park, the classics still reigned supreme.
"Popcorn and cotton candy" were the preferred choice of 11-year-old Kaitlin Nichol.
"Hot dogs and peanuts," responded her friend Brittany Gallichon, who wore a T-shirt from Girls Baseball Day -- a recent Baseball Canada clinic -- that read "You Wish You Could Throw Like a Girl".
Not only were the food vendors making a killing, The Dugout, the team's souvenir store, was packing them in.
"We're much busier for these games," said retail manager Megan Tucker, "hands down." Plenty of allowances were being spent on foam fingers and mini-bats, especially.
"It's great, and the kids are really well behaved," said Tucker.
Beyond all of the distractions, from fries to noisemakers to recliner races, Gallichon was excited just to watch the team
"They're just amazing at baseball," she said.