This past June we had the wonderful priveledge and honor to design a vintage Yankee’s inspired baseball party for my grandfather’s 85th birthday. Did I mention it was a surprise party for him and also my grandmother, too! Talk about keeping secrets!!!
My grandfather (Dee Dad, as we call him) is a lifelong NY Yankees fan; when he talks about great moments in baseball, he would always recall the old-timers and good ol’ days of the simpler life, when people would get dressed in their Sunday best to go to the ballgame. With that, I decided to create a party with nods to the olden days of baseball.
The invitation was designed in navy pinstripe with a silhouette of a batter knocking one out of the park. Some old-fashioned font styles completed the simple but festive design. I added the batter’s image to the envelopes as well; pretty envelopes are so much more fun and exciting to open, afterall!
With the invitations mailed out, I began to work on all the party details. Of course, I had these wonderful visions of the party being held outdoors on our porch overlooking the pool with navy and white pom poms hanging from above. Cue weather: 1 hour before the party, the skies grew dark and the heavens opened to a downpour! Onto Plan B: indoors with a few friends helping me move the centerpieces into the living and family rooms. (If you remember, my Popsicle Party was a washout as well – I really need to figure out a way to control the weather on party days!)
Peanuts, old baseballs, bats, and mitts were used throughout the decor.
I scored a box of 50 old baseballs and a bat at the flea market for only $7. I created miniature pennants featuring the man of the hour’s initials in his own logo, his number, and some fun baseball phrases (‘Hey Batter Batter’, ‘Swing!’, and ‘Homerun’ to name a few). As guests arrived, they were asked to sign their autograph on a new baseball bat I purchased. The bat full of well wishes now sits proudly in my grandfather’s office at home.
The guest of honor finally arrived, and the surprise was a wonderful success! At that moment, I was able to relax. (I think surprise parties are the most stressful to pull off.)
Guests were encouraged to test their Yankee knowledge at one of 2 quizzes while enjoying traditional ballgame fare of hot dogs, sausage sandwiches, burgers and more.
Dee Dad’s great-grandkids dressed in matching jerseys in honor of the occasion (even the daughter of a diehard NY Mets fan!)
The 7th inning stretch consisted of a cake that was prepared by the very talented Elyse of Joy & Cake (& By Little Hands); my aunt would not believe that the baseballs were edible – until the kids dug into them!
Peanuts, popcorn, and pretzels – staple food of ballgames, were all available for guests to help themselves. For me, no trip to a game is complete without an ice cream sundae in one of those helmet cups! Imagine my delight, when I found the official Yankee cups online and in stock!!!!
Guests traveled back to their homefield with individual boxes of Cracker Jacks and a tag that read, “Ed’s 85th Grandslam,” tied with navy striped baker’s twine.
The party was a homerun, and Dee Dad was able to celebrate with his entire family and friends; in his words, “the best gift of all!”