Baseball team has a night at beach
AMSTERDAM Sliding wasn't limited to the baseball diamond or the playground at Shuttleworth Park on Saturday afternoon.
A Night at the Beach promotion by the Amsterdam Mohawks, a summer league baseball team composed of college players, featured three water attractions that were in hot demand for kids escaping temperatures that approached 90 degrees.
The most popular adventure was a 3-foot stretch of balloon that was level with the ground and just a few feet in the air. It was covered from start to finish with a canopy dripping water and emptied into a shallow pool that didn't even reach the knees of the youngest child. Kids were lining up 30 feet from the attraction and then, in pairs of two, sprinting until they leapt and landed on their stomachs on the smooth surface, sliding into the pool.
At least that's what the successful kids were doing; many failed to generate enough steam to slide more than a few feet before dragging their bodies to the end and plopping into the waiting pool.
Regardless of what technique the dozens of kids were using on the rides, they were all having fun and staying cool.
Errol Quinones of Amsterdam had three children taking advantage of the special night and anticipated they would probably be more interested in the rides than the night's game. He said it was a "super" idea and that his kids, ages 8, 10 and 11, had been looking forward to it all day long.
"They couldn't wait," Quinones said. "They woke up this morning and all they could talk about was what time this starts."
They ended up arriving for the start of the pre-game activities about 4 p.m., and he said it was more than likely that his wife would have to take over watching them when the game started at 7 p.m., as they probably wouldn't have run out of steam by then.
And while Quinones didn't share in the relief from the heat, he was just happy to go a game for a change, as his work schedule has only allowed him to see two games this year. His wife, though, has been to a handful of games.
The idea of creating something for the kids to do is in keeping with the ideals of the Mohawks, said the organization's director of operations, Jonathan Kross. He described the experience at one of their games as "interactive" with the fans, with the promotional beach night taking that goal to another level.
"We're just trying to do new things and keep it family-oriented, which is a big focus here," Kross said.
This was the first year of the event, which came a week after the popular ParkFest. He said the team was trying to emulate the success of that event, but with a new tradition.
The Mohawks' next home game is Tuesday at 7:05 p.m., which will be followed by fireworks. More information about the team and a complete schedule is available at www.amsterdammohawks.com.