Staff Writer Adam Sheinhaus attended the season opener against Seton Hall University on Friday. He documented his experience here:
The crack of the bat, the cheering of a crowd and the smell of peanuts and hot dogs arrived at Boshamer Stadium for the first time this season this weekend.
As a lifelong baseball fan, I was thrilled to attend my first college baseball game as a student. Although temperatures struggled to climb out of the 30s, fans still came out in force to the stadium. Why so many fans braved the elements quickly became clear: Carolina baseball games are something special.
One of the great nuances of Carolina Baseball is that it brings together people from all walks of life. Richard Hutchinson said he had been going to the games for 50 years. In that time, he has witnessed 8 ACC championships, 6 ACC tournament championships, 26 NCAA tournament appearances and 9 College World Series appearances. Laurie Allen and her two children, Olivia and Thomas, got to miss a little school to see the Heels take the field for the first time.
Olivia and Thomas both agreed that seeing home runs was the best part of the game. Even the students braved the cold to see the team for the first time this year.
Junior Nick Bertrand said his favorite part of the games are “normally the weather, getting outside, watching some baseball. My friends (are) coming in a little bit, hanging out with everybody, watching some baseball, it’s always fun.”
When I sat down and the game got underway, I began to understand why the games are special to so many fans. It’s the fans themselves and the atmosphere they create. Early in the game, the opposing pitcher threw to first several times in an attempt to pick off a runner. One fan got a little restless, and she yelled in a thick southern accent, “Honey! You’re wasting your time!”
Even the Seton Hall fan beside me laughed. When there was a pause in the game, a man stood up and screamed “Tar!” to which the rest of the stadium responded “Heels!”
When the Heels smacked two home runs, everyone stood up and cheered, hoping for a free t-shirt to be thrown to them out of the press box.
Food and baseball go hand in hand. “Take Me Out to the Ball Game,” traditionally sung during the seventh inning stretch, even includes the lyrics “buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks.”
Hot dogs might as well be included in the song, as they are known as the quintessential ballpark food.
When my dad and I would go to baseball games, he always had a hot dog in his hand. When I saw that the bucket list item involved me eating a hot dog, I chuckled a bit. At the end of the third inning, I bought a hot dog and sat back down.
By this time, my friends had arrived. It really was a perfect way to spend a Friday afternoon — talking with friends, taking in a Carolina Baseball game, and eating the best hot dog I’ve had in a long time. Hot dogs always taste best fresh off the grill at baseball games. The atmosphere was so great that I came back to watch the Heels play in two more games on Saturday — sweeping the series with Seton Hall 3-0.
The most important question, though, is how do you like your hot dog?
For me, it's ketchup and a side of Carolina baseball.
To get the day's news and headlines in your inbox each morning, sign up for our email newsletters.