A GREAT view of the field at AT&T Park in Chattanooga during their pre-season open house!

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

Washington Wild Things, PA.

The Washington Wild Things play their home games in Washington, PA. This is a great little area. In fact, this would be a nice area to retire. Its a very rural area, but not far from Pittsburgh. Its sort of situated in that West Virginia, Ohio, PA section of the country that is very casual and friendly, and has a lot of charm. My in-laws lived near this area for some time. This area does have a very Kentucky feel to it.
Washington is in the Frontier League. I really enjoy seeing a game in the FL.

The team
Frontier League teams are mostly made up of ball players who have been dropped by affiliated minor league teams, or guys who were not drafted, but they are all still hoping to catch on with affiliated baseball.

The park
The park is pretty much in the parking lot of a mall. If you have been to a Scrappers game in Ohio, the set up is similar. It's not literally in the parking lot, but almost. The team used to have a team shop in the mall which was pretty cool. The area is hilly, and very scenic.
Though the park is right next to a mall, it is facing green. It is next to the interstate too, but it faces a big hill of trees. This is very relaxing. Similar to the Florence Freedom, though you are in an immediately urban area, you feel like you are very secluded.
The park was originally called Falconi Field, but it is now CONSOL Energy Park. The park holds 5,000, but it feels a little smaller to me. Like most parks in the 5,000 range, all seats are good. Also, a lot of locals attend a lot of games. Everyone seems to know each other here. The ushers are friendly. I have always found myself talking ball with the friendly staff.
There is a cool vibe before games too. Players are running laps around the park, batting balls, etc. I once literally bumped in to manager Greg Jelks while purchasing tickets for that nights game. This is a very casual park, and relaxing.

The area
I really like Washington a lot too. With the hilly landscape, it is very photogenic. My wife and I were driving around some back roads and ended up visiting a cemetery. I got some great photos of deer there.
This is a cool mall too. It is your basic shopping mall with a food court, but its not overwhelming. Also, a couple of hotels have recently sprung up next to the park.
Oh, if you are a horror movie fan, the 1st remake of "Night of the Living Dead" was filmed in this area. Of course, the original was filmed not far from here too, along with some sequels.

Why go
If you are in the area, you should see the Wild Things because its pro baseball in a small town. The atmosphere is very pleasant, and your blood pressure is going to drop. A 3 day weekend trip to this are would be great for catching a game here one night, and a Pirates game the next. The Wild Things have a ton of merch too. I have seen several AA teams with less merch. If you like to collect items of minor league teams you see, get ready. Their prices are reasonable too, and they usually have some great sale items.

Why not go
The Pirates are right up the road from here. The Pirates play in the most beautiful park in the Majors. Plus, Pittsburgh is a town that has really shaped up over the last 10 or so years. I would hate to only have 1 day to spend in this area, and have to choose between seeing the Pirates or the Wild Things.

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