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

Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Other Pro Sports

I am still anxiously awaiting the start of baseball season. Its right here, its about to happen, but its just not here yet. I should be getting my needed 1st game of the summer in soon. For what its worth, I am interested in some of the other pro sports teams in the area. Now would be a good time to bring those teams up....

Pikeville and Owensboro both had pro basketball teams in town this year!! This is very exciting, and I hope each town has residents showing up to support their team. I am hearing rumors about possible other cities that may get pro basketball teams. I wasn't able to keep up with the Pikeville team, but I did check up on the Owensboro team whenever I could.

I tried to get down to a Bisons game on a couple of occasions, but bad weather prevented it. I heard the team was exciting, I know they had a former UK player, a former Globe Trotter manager, and a legendary mascot. AND, I just read that they won their leagues championship!

I really hope my old town of Owensboro gets out to support this team if they last in the area. I hope people get their buddies together for a game. I hope businesses buy some season tickets. I hope they buy a t-shirt while they are at the game.

I remember growing up Owensboro. It was not cool to cheer for the local team, you wanted to wear the Major League team's shirt. When you grow up or live in a town like Owensboro (a bigger city among smaller towns, but in no way a major city) you want to act like you have a big city connection. I've been there, I've felt that way.

And, in defense of people living in and complaining about Owensboro.... The town, like any other town, has it's issues. I don't want to get in to the job market, or issues with large abandoned buildings here, but towns like that do lack in some areas.

But... they have things going for them that are so over looked. The town is oozing with history. There are some scenic drives that I really miss. There are a couple of notable college sports teams in the area (Wesleyan seems to be the talk of the town when I am home these days). They have the amateur baseball KIT League Oilers too!

Back to sports though. Pro basketball seems like a good fit for the Boro too though. I hope it lasts.

I know its in Indiana, but not too far from Owensboro Evansville seemed to get a lot of support for their new hockey team, the Ice Men. Evansville is a good sports town, and they should do well with this team.

The Arena Football season starts about the same time as Baseball season. I went to several Horsemen's games last year and had a great time. I know the main arena League cancelled their season, but Arena 2 did not. Jared Lorenzen is with the Horsemen this year, which is just too cool. Downtown Lexington is a favorite area of mine too. Going to a Horemen's game is very convenient.

I do wish they would get their act together with their web site though. It hasn't been updated lately, and the season has started. There is no game recap or box score or anything. Unless I missed it, the local paper over looked their first game too. This is inexcusable for a team that really only plays a handful of games each year. I was going to contact them through their web site to address this. When you click on their contact link, it says, "Contact info coming soon!". I am excited about this team, and I plan on supporting them, but this is discouraging.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Opening day in Kentucky

I am fidgeting right now in need of some baseball. Yeah, I can catch some spring training stuff on TV, but I am really in need of hitting some games in the lower levels. I have some road trips planned already.
Last I checked, there are still standing room tickets available for the Bowling Green Hot Rods home and franchise opener. This should be exciting. I won't be able to make that game, but I am hoping to get down there soon. This is already an exciting team on several levels. They will switch leagues next season, so their 1st season will be their only one in the SAL. Bowling Green is a great area too. The Bowling Green area is centrally located. Its a pretty easy drive from almost anywhere in the state. I could see a family making a nice 1 day vacation out of a trip to the area now. Get up early, drive to Mammoth Cave, take a tour or do some hiking in the park. Don't forget a trip through Big Mike's Fun house a couple of miles from the park. They could swing by the mall or the Corvette Museum, and hit a game in the evening before driving back home. That sounds like a great economical 1 day vacation for a family to me!
At this moment, it looks like the Louisville Bats still have opening day tickets left too. Seeing the Bats is similar to going to a game in the Majors. Their stadium is cozy. Great skyline view, and it is in one of those cool old train station settings. I think the park is over shadowed sometimes by some of the other Louisville events and sights. It is amazing and should be a stop while in Louisville. They have some cool promotions this year too. 1964 is going to be there one night!
The Legends are my home team, and seeing a game is always fun. They have a ton of promotions too. I have been out there several times where they have had unannounced promotions. There is a very good vibe going on here. The park feels more like a AA park then a single A park too. The park should be full opening day, but there should be tickets still available.
The Florence Freedom start their season a little later. They do have some exhibition games planned before their season gets going. This park is so relaxed. I love seeing green over an outfield wall. Belle is about the coolest mascot around. The Freedom are probably the most underrated baseball experience in the area. Check out their new web site too. It is the best online representation of a team I have seen.
Don't forget the other cool baseball teams right outside of the state. In Ohio, the Columbus Clippers are now an Indians affiliate, and they are playing in a new stadium for the 1st time in a zillion years! The Dayton Dragons put on a spectacular show, but good luck scoring tickets to any game there.
In Indiana, the Evansville Otters will continue playing in one of the oldest pro-ballparks. I am planning on catching the Indianapolis Indians in the next few weeks. Indianapolis, in my opinion, is one of the nicest, cleanest major cities. I love their downtown mall area.
In Tennessee, the Smokies will be managed by Ryne Sandberg! How often can you see a current Hall of Famer at a park? Every night in Knoxville! Memphis will host the parent club, the Cardinals for 2 exhibition games before their season gets going.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Lexington's Max Sapp

I don't know about anyone else, but I am getting antsy waiting for the baseball season to start up. I was hoping to catch Owensboro's pro basketball team, or Evansville (Indiana)'s new pro hockey team. I thought this would hold me over until April and some baseball. I caught a bad cold though, and couldn't make the trip to Western Kentucky. I am still hoping to catch those teams though, and I am excited for those areas and their getting some pro sports in their areas. I was reading some sad news at MiLB.com today though.

I am sure any fan of minor league ball in the state has heard about Max Sapp's situation. The Astros top pick in 2006 has had some health problems. You can read about it on that web site, hopefully the Legends will put something up too, but he has viral meningitis and had a seizure last night, which was not his first.

I am not a fan of speculation or of cliches in this area, but Max is a great guy, and Lexington has benefited from his presence the last couple of years. I always love getting the players to sign cards for me at the games, and Max seems flattered to be asked. I have seen some guys batting around .200 snub collectors at the low A parks. I hope they enjoy their big league attitudes while they can. I never saw the Astros number 1 pick in '06 do that. He is a guy who enjoys being there, talking to fans, and playing the game.