Thursday, April 23, 2009
Indianapolis Indians, Indiana
Indianapolis has quickly become one of my favorite towns to visit. If you stay downtown, you are a brief walk from just about anything. Indianapolis is a nice city that seems to take pride in keeping itself up. The downtown area is especially well maintained and kept up.
The Indians play at Victory Field. Victory Field is a short walk from most attractions (we walked to the park from our hotel). It is a very nice AAA park, with lots of lawn area, and nice, affordable seats close to the action.
The staff was great too. Friendly and helpful, but not difficult. I didn't see anyone hassled for standing in an isle for more than a few seconds. The staff was nice and casual.
I would imagine that the park usually has a great city skyline view, but there is some construction going on across the street affecting the view at the moment.
The Indians have a well stocked gift shop. It did seem a bit small for AAA, but it had the usual jerseys, shirts, cards, etc. They had postcards too, which I wish more parks stocked. In general, I would say their merch was a little more expensive than at other parks.
I was pretty excited to see Tom Gorzelanny pitch on this night. I had seen him pitch for the parent team Pirates before, and I always liked him. As a fan of the minors, I love catching guys playing for different teams in a system. I hope he is with the big club soon though.
Andrew McCutchen is another fun guy in the Pirates organization. I have seen him play at every level and it has been great. Like Gorzelanny, he is a nice guy too. I always see him chatting with fans and signing autographs before games. I've had the privilege of talking to him a couple of times, and he seems humble. I think just about anyone who has seen him play or talked to him is in his corner.
The Indianapolis Indians are a bit of a confusing team. I don't get their logo at all. It might be the most unbaseball logo around. I love their mascot, but I prefer the big, warm and fuzzy muppets. I know my purist friends like to act like they hate them, but I think deep down, they want to hug them. They secretly enjoy them too. I can't explain the Indians red, short haired critter mascot.
Probably the most confusing part of the Indians is their name. Think about this scenario. The Indianapolis Indians are playing the Cleveland Indians affiliate, the Columbus Clippers. Try explaining that the AAA Pirates, the Indians, are playing the AAA Indians to a friend that does not know how the minor league systems work. I mean, I like the fact that the AAA teams do not take the name of the parent team (except for that arrogant Pawtucket team!) but carrying the name of a former parent club is just too much.
I really like this park, and I look forward to my next trip there. The only bad thing about going to see a game in Indy is that there is so much else to do in this town.