Steamboat Springs Hot dogs, peanuts and baseball were a summer tradition in the Russell household when I was growing up in Denver.
At least once or twice each summer, almost always on the Fourth of July, my dad would test fate by packing up the family and dragging us all out to the ballpark to watch the Denver Bears one of several minor league teams that played in Colorado's capital city before the arrival of the Rockies.
I'm still not sure why my dad did it.
After the first couple of innings, my sister and I would almost always lose interest in what was happening on the field, and my poor dad would be stuck with two whining kids for the final six or seven innings of the game.
That was if he was lucky.
On most holidays at the ballpark, the game would stretch into extra innings and by the time the fireworks (the real reason most kids got excited about watching the Denver Bears back then) rolled around, both my sister and me would be sound asleep.
My dad would wake us up to watch the fireworks, we would give a half-hearted "wow," then drag our weary bodies out of Mile High Stadium through the parking lot and back to the car for a long drive home.
Like I said, it was an annual tradition in our family and something we did as a family year after year.
It's a funny thing, but somewhere between the first inning nachos and the time the cobwebs filled my head I learned to love the game of baseball.
I'm not sure if I liked the minor league fastballs, the major league junk food or just getting to spend some time with my mom, dad and sister at the ballpark.
But there was something about going to a baseball game in the summer that I really liked.
While I always loved watching the game of baseball, it also became clear when I was a child that I would never grow up to become a major league baseball player.
That had something to do with my lack of natural talent when it came to fielding, throwing and hitting a baseball.
However, I can still rekindle my childhood dreams each summer on the diamond thanks to adult recreational softball leagues and I am not alone.
Here in Steamboat adult recreational leagues allow hundreds of adults the chance to play the games they fell in love with as children.
Sure, at times some of the people who take part in the leagues take the game way too seriously and end up acting like children.
But for the most part adult soccer and softball leagues are a chance to have a little fun in the summer.
Over the next couple of weeks teams will start practicing and playing games at Howelsen Hill.
For many the league will be a chance to get out and have some fun with friends.
But for others playing in the adult leagues is as much a tradition here in Steamboat as hot dogs, peanuts and baseball games were when I was a kid.