Take Dad out to the ballgame – Guest Post by Patti Lalley

Major league baseball, America’s favorite summer sport, is in full swing. But if you can’t score some great Nationals tickets, there’s another option: watching teams play with wooden bats in the Cal Ripken, Sr. Collegiate Baseball League. Family fun and watching baseball played in its original form by college stars can be found at ballparks just a few blocks from home. And according to the Gazette, the talent in the Ripken League has never been better.
The Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts and the Bethesda Big Train are great local teams in the Ripken league. Both are non-profit organizations incorporated in Maryland with the goal of assisting local youth baseball organizations and improving baseball fields in the downcounty area. Many players played in the league before signing to the majors, such as John Maine and Mark Teixeira.

The Thunderbolts and Big Train’s games feature lots of fun activities for kids. For example, in past years the Thunderbolts have featured races around the bases between innings by kids selected from the stands. At Big Train games mascot Homer the Dog walks through the stands greeting kids. And this Sunday, in honor of Father’s Day, dads and their kids are allowed onto The Big Train’s Povich Field for special games of catch at 7pm.

The Silver Spring-Takoma Thunderbolts
Montgomery Blair High School Baseball Stadium
51 University Boulevard East
Silver Spring, MD
Admission is $5 for adults, $2 for children under 18.
Free for kids under 5 and youth baseball and softball players in uniform
Game schedule

Home games begin at 7pm Mon-Sat, 6pm on Sunday, gates & concession open 1 hour prior

The Bethesda Big Train
Shirley Povich Field
10600 Westlake Drive in Cabin John Regional Park in Bethesda
Admission is $7 for adults, $3 per game for children under 18.
Free for kids under 5 and youth baseball and softball players in uniform
Game schedule
Home games begin at 7:30, gates & concession open at 6


Patti Lalley is a native Silver Spring-er and mom to a 5 year old son entering kindergarten in Fall 2008. Her interests include finding fun local activities for elementary school-aged kids.

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