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Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Vacation Baseball

I’ve drifted off a little in some other directions! I was gone for 2 weeks and came home to everything still busy!

I don’t mind busy, not too much. Okay, I do wish I could get that magical week where the world sleeps while I catch up. I’ve just always wanted that week occasionally. Maybe I overfill my life-plate. It would explain a lot of things.

Yesterday, Rina and Tori turned 17 years old. It was their last birthday as kids! I’ll flash just a little bravado here. They were born into a world with no World Series and as their childhood completes, the team of the city in which they were born will be the World Series Champions. Come on! You have to admit that there is a great storybook ending with that!

While we’re talking baseball, we saw a bunch of it on our trip. Vacationing during the last month of the Minor League season is pretty cool. We saw a total of 7 games on our trip, which included a double header in Batavia due to a rainout the day before.

That first night in Batavia we got in a bit late because we hadn’t realized there had been a rainout and it was a double header. We may not have seen the first pitch, but the game went into extra innings, so it was like it started all over! It was the Batavia Muckdogs against the visiting Mahoning Valley Scrappers in the new York-Penn League. Batavia won the first game3-2 in extra innings, so our home-team-wins-in-the-second-half streak was still alive. Since we’d seen the Clinton Lumber Kings drop both ends of a double header in the first half, the home team winning both didn’t seem like much of a stretch.

Yeah, notsomuch. The streak ended with game 2. After a collision in the outfield left one player being carried off in a golf cart in a lot of pain, things just got collectively worse for the Muckdogs. They lost game 2 11-3.

Next game was six days later and the start of a streak of our own stretch of four games four nights in a row! We moved up from A-Ball to AAA for an International League game. It was the Rochester Red Wings at the Buffalo Bisons. The Bisons won 3-1

On Monday, August 29, we went to Jamestown, NY, back in the NY-Penn League. That picture of me is at the seats! It’s an old park and installing wheelchair seating meant they put in a ramp and set up the areas right at field level for chairs and companions. Close enough to smell the dirt hear the spits and get a close up view of just everything. VERY cool seats! See, if you know where to go, the chair isn’t a handicap, it’s a bonus!

It was the Jamestown Jammers hosting the Auburn Doubledays. We were right next the Doubledays dugout. The Jammers were down by three going into the bottom of the ninth. Rally time? You bet rally Time!

Okay, it was one of those rallies that is more excitement from capitalizing on mistakes than sheer skill, but it was still fun to watch in a “can’t believe my eyes” kind of way. The Doubledays just kind of had a meltdown in the ninth! Walks, errors and wild pitches were how the Jammers tied it up, a walk off single is how it ended.

Tuesday was the Pawtucket Red Sox at the Rochester Red Wings. Now, with the exceptions of The Mud Hens and the Lansing Lugnuts, I cheer for the home team at Minor League ball. I consider the Hens and Nuts to be MY home teams, so I'll cheer for them on the road too. David however was cheering for Pawtucket all the way. Okay, so I cheered for the Bats, AAA Reds, when we saw them, but we were in Louisville. It was still cheering for the home team. I guess I do get it though. Had we seen a Connecticut Tigers game, even if it wasn’t in Connecticut, it would have been hard for me to not cheer for a baseball farm team called the Tigers

Kevin Youkilis

We got to see Kevin Youkilis and JD Drew with Pawtucket for rehab after the DL. THAT was cool! David had gone to a Mud Hens game versus Pawtucket and cheered against the Hens once when Nomar Garciaparra was rehabbing. It’s a disturbing pattern, stalking injured Red Sox.

There were lots of complaints from us in Rochester. It started with traffic that was an uncontrolled and crowded mess. Then there were the flip down companion seats for the wheelchair rows. When the seats were flipped down, the wheelchairs no longer fit in the wheelchair spaces! For ballpark dinner we had barbecue form Big Red Barbecue. The service was poor, the food was worse! Maybe having had barbecued pork at the Reds game that was Montgomery Inn barbecue thoroughly spoiled me to begin with, but this was just the worst barbecue! It came with coleslaw made with old almost rotten tasting cabbage and “baked beans” that were refried beans with barbecue sauce on them. Yuck! Meal time was saved in Rochester by Labatt’s beer and Dippin Dots. Okay, not the healthiest meal, but, I generally travel with plenty of veggies, fruit and whole grains for snacking.

To David’s chagrin, the Red Wings won 8-6

For the last game of our four day tear, we repeated day two in a different park. We went to Auburn to see the Jamestown Jammers visit the Doubledays!


Okay, more beer is because it seems like every brewery in the US and Canada advertises at the stadium in Auburn! Our cup holders were sponsored by Molson!

You’d think that since the Jammers won at home, they’d return the gesture, not tonight. The Jammers won 3-2. Fortunately they have enough beer to keep the fans in the beer garden entertained.

At the end of the trip we spent a couple nights in New Jersey. Our friend Maria was close by, in Delaware. We called her, hoping she might join us for dinner on Saturday. She was leaving for her vacation on Saturday morning. I didn’t think we’d see her, but when we checked in to the hotel, Maria surprised us. She lives on the other side of the bridge from our hotel! We had brief visit, but one on one, well, one on two, time with friends is always a good visit!

Maria told us about the Carolina League’s team in Wilmington. She said it was a good time and told us about Mr. Celery. Legend is that the celery costume was left from another event and someone from the Wilmington Blue Rocks’ staff put the costume on and ran onto the field dancing when the home team scored. So began the phenomenon!

You can buy Mr. Celery everything at the team store, even a plush Mr. Celery! Along with my Blue Rocks shirt, I came home with a Mr. Celey shirt, a Mr.Celery button, keychain and of course, a plush. I love stuffed celery!

It was my first visit to Delaware and the ultimate first trip to any state is one where you see baseball!

The game was fun, it was just fun. They have incredible mascots that just milk it with their between innings performances. The visiting Fredrick Keys played along. The mascots didn’t give them a choice!

The Blue Rocks, energized by Mr. Celery, won the game 3-2.

We had a great baseball part of the trip!


Edna B said...

Great photos! Is it legal to have this much fun??? lol. Sometimes I miss the days gone by when we were younger and chased around after things that interested us. But I do have lots of wonderful memories of those days.

I agree about the piping water from flood zones to drier areas. I've been harping about this for years. A lot of these flood disasters could probably have been prevented if only we had a piping system in place.

Some folks are in a big hurry to drill more wells in Alaska, which of course would mean more oil piplines. Unfortunately, we don't get to use this oil for ourselves. However, I think we should instead be spending the money on "water pipelines".

If we can't keep our own people warm in the cold weather, we don't need to be supplying the fuel to other countries. Therefore, we don't need any more oil wells. Sorry, this is not my nice-nice day.

I'd better close here before I really get going. You have a wonderful day. Hugs,s Edna

p.s. At the hospital, I'm known as Tootsie's "Mama Bear". I check anyone who gives Tootsie her shots. The first time has to be in front of me so I can watch how they do it. I make sure they don't spring strangers on her. I never leave her there. If I have to, I make several trips in the same day. My Tootsie does not like me to leave her behind. One time the neurosurgeon came out to ask me if I was trying to intimidate her techs. I told her, "no ma'am, I'm just very picky about my little girl's care." She laughed and said "Ok."

seamhead gypsy said...

Even though my brother shored like a freight train every night, one of the best vacations I had was 6 minor league ball games in 6 nights in 6 different cities. And that was over ten years ago. Started in Akron, to Mahoning Valley, to Hagerstown, to Harrisburg, to Altoona, to Erie. We felt like scouts!

Glad you and DSP had a great time on your baseball scouting trip!