Vintage Baseball Themed Surprise 80th Birthday

As promised, here are pictures from the vintage baseball themed surprise 80th birthday I helped out with last week.  Meet the man of honor, “grandpa:”

I say grandpa in quotes because he is not my grandpa; he is my friend Krysten’s grandpa.  However, he comes to all our softball and football games so he has kind of adopted us, and we are happy to call him grandpa!  The party started off on the right foot with invitations that looked like vintage baseball tickets.  {They were so much fun to design!}

{EDIT:  Upon popular demand, these tickets are now available for sale in my Etsy shop, customized with your information in a printable file:}

The guests anxiously awaited his arrival.  “Grandma” is in the white and the other guys are grandpa’s softball buddies.  {Yes, he is 80 and he still plays competitive softball!}

Even with the long walk up to the pavilion, he had no idea that there was a surprise party awaiting him!  He was told he was coming to watch Krysten’s softball game, and he was so caught up in trying to find the field that didn’t exist that he didn’t notice the people hiding in the pavilion!

The day was SO windy, so it took about ten times as long to set everything up.  We definitely cut it close to the arrival of the guests, but it was worth it!  Tables were decked out with green tableclothes and lots of yummy snacks.  Vintage baseball logos were scattered about the tables.  {There are free printables here!}

Peanuts, popcorn, and Dubble Bubble.  Does it get any better than this?

Well, yeah, it does.  A smorgasbord of hot dog and kielbasa toppings were available for guests to get creative!

I went with the standard kielbasa with peppers and onions.  I should have been more adventurous like this guy!

Chips, pretzels, and TONS of watermelon rounded out the meal…

And of course there was an ample supply of ice cold glass bottle Coke…

Favors were boxes of Cracker Jacks displayed in a vintage Coke crate.  {This crate and a vintage baseball bat were the spoils of a local outdoor antique show a few weeks ago near my house.}

Krysten taught me all her apple pie making secrets {she’s kind of a pro}.  This is the first pie I’ve ever helped make, and it was delicious!

There were about ten different pies to choose from in a pie buffet…

Served with cool whip and home plate shaped napkins, of course.

There was a great display of grandpa’s life.  I love the one of him and grandma leaning on the car; they look like movie stars!

Krysten made a photo guestbook with a bunch of old team pictures.  Everyone had fun writing a note to grandpa.

She also made an awesome photo timeline…

And a poster with some fun facts about grandpa’s birth year…

This is a photo of grandpa with his baseball team when he was in the service…

They also sent a letter to the great Al Kaline, one of grandpa’s favorite players, to invite him to the party.  He was kind enough to send a happy birthday letter to grandpa which was framed and displayed!

A photobooth was set up with a piece of green plywood and ivy to look like the Green Monster…

People had fun getting a little goofy and trying to catch the baseball!


Everyone had fun playing “bags” or “cornhole” with baseball themed beanbags…

We also had fun just relaxing in the nice Michigan weather!

Later on in the night, we played a game of softball.  It was great to see grandpa and all his kids/grand-kids/friends playing together.

Grandpa gives the best hitting advice; he can make anyone a superstar hitter!

In case you are wondering, I was crushing the ball that day for some reason.  Why can’t I hit that well during league play?!

Krysten looks lonely playing first base slash right field all by herself…

We did not plan to match, but we of course had to wear our vintage Tigers jerseys…

The party was so much fun.  Krysten put so much work into the party planning, and everything turned out perfectly.  Everyone had an awesome time, and most importantly Grandpa had a super special day to honor him.   I’m so glad I got to be a part of it! 🙂

Stay tuned later this week; Krysten was nice enough to write up a how-to for how she made her vintage bunting!

{I’m linking up to Stephanie Lynn’s Sunday Showcase Party and the CSI Project’s Picnics and Parties Challenge…}

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26 Responses to Vintage Baseball Themed Surprise 80th Birthday

  1. Krysten says:

    Thank you Amanda soooo much for all your help planning, creating and setting up for the party!! I couldn’t have done it without you!!

  2. Katy says:

    So sorry we burnt your first ever apple pie 😦
    Thanks for all your help and for helping me take pictures.

  3. Patricia says:

    What a wonderful thing to do. The party looks like it was so much fun. All the special touches really added to it. Several years ago we had a surprise 80th birthday party for my Dad. He said it was the only time in his life anyone had ever been able to surprise him. (What I still haven’t told him is that I pulled it together in less than 3 months. There wasn’t time for people to spill the beans!)

  4. Amanda – I love all the details to this party – You have done a fantastic job! Super cute theme. Thanks so much for linking to the Sunday Showcase Party. I am a little behind commenting – but I have featured this Monday. Hope you are having a wonderful week ~ Stephanie Lynn

  5. Amazing… My family loves baseball I’m keeping this in mind for a future event love it!!!

  6. Kay Pflueger says:

    This is too cool. It brought tears to my eyes… my dad was a huge Chicago Cubs fan and he would have loved a party like this. Thanks for sharing!

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  8. Jami says:

    So adorable. I love the catching the ball photo opp! The Cutest.

  9. Alma says:

    hi was just wondering , where you had the invitations done?

  10. Tammy Jackson Rogers says:

    We are planning my dad a 80th party next month. He knows about it, but doesn’t know all the details. He is an Atlanta Braves fan, played baseball in his younger years. Will definitely copy alot of your ideals. Thanks for sharing!!!

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  12. That was clever. I’ll be stopping back.

  13. Morgan Thurman says:

    Love all the creative ideas you have!! I was wondering exactly how you cut the napkins? Did you just use scissors? Did you have some type of template?

  14. Pingback: An MLB All-Star Cookout | Share Holiday Stories & Find Gift Basket Ideas from Hickory Farms

  15. CASIE Worden says:

    I love the napkins!!
    Did you order them from sone where or make them yourself? If you made them yourself, how did you do that? If yu ordered them from somewhere, where did you order them from?
    Thanks in advance.

  16. Lynnell says:

    Hello, I’m wondering how you made the baseball shaped bean bags?? Super cute party! I’m planning to throw a Yankees party this summer.

  17. Brittany says:

    Cute ideas! How did you make the home plate napkins?

  18. Pingback: 24 Baseball Birthday Party Ideas

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