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

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

Captains and Legends

Sometimes you have a strange moment of realization. You realize that something you have appreciated will end. It might not be that big of a deal. You still get the same amount of sleep when you go to bed that night, but you are sad to hear about it anyway.

Every morning I check the Lexington Herald Leader to see what they had to say about the previous night's Legends game. They do a nice job of giving a brief description of the game. I do wish they would cover the Horsemen a bit more thoroughly, but I am very happy with their Legends coverage in general.

I noticed a note at the end of their few paragraphs concerning Saturdays game against the Captains, which was the last game of the series against Lake County.

The Herald Leader noted that this would be the last game ever between the Captains and the Legends in Lexington.

The Captains switch leagues next year.

This isn't that big of a deal in general. In fact, I doubt many people care.

I have mentioned here before though that we used to see the Captains a lot when we lived in the Cleveland area. They were our team. In fact, even when they play the Legends now, we are a little conflicted about who to cheer for. Its one of those situations where we want both teams to win.

I guess I can admit too that, when we would see the Legends play the Captains in Lake County, we always cheered for the Captains. The Legends seemed a little cocky back then.

It has been a bit of a treat seeing the Captains play in Lexington. They have a great park near Cleveland- Skipper, Captain Tony and the Lighthouse are missed by us.

The Legends are my team now, and it is strange being a fan of one team for a while, and cheering them on against another team that you used to cheer for.

I am sure we will catch a game in northern Ohio maybe every other year or so. We aren't in that area a lot, but we have found ourselves there a time or two since we moved. That will be nice, but we will miss seeing them at least a few times a year. I think we might even miss that conflicted allegiance feeling too.

Monday, July 20, 2009

Huntington Park, Columbus Ohio

I finally made it to the new Huntington Park in Columbus. Again, I was unable to catch a game here, but I was able to stop by and look around on a trip through the area.

The Columbus Clippers organization has always been top notch. I always felt that they promoted their team and baseball in general well. I have never had a bad experience with these guys.

While passing through the area recently, we stopped by. The Clippers staff was great. They were very friendly about letting me walk around the place and hit the gift shop.

This is a beautiful park. In fact, it is really hard to say just how perfect it is. The skyline view of the city is amazing. The park feels modern and traditional. I am really just going to have to put some pictures up on this one.

The Coop was great too. 70 years of history is hard to replace. I do recall hearing some rumors that a soccer team or race cars might try to move in to the old Cooper Stadium. We will see. It does break my heart when old parks become vacant parks.

This is a great one though. I am itching to catch a game here.

The gift shop was clean and nice. They did have a great selection of shirts and novelties, including some very cool retro shirts. Items were a bit pricier than what I am used to at the low A and indy league gift shops.

Their program was $2 and looked great. 4 baseball cards were included in the program! I was excited to add another Trevor Crowe card to my collection!

Looking through their program, and having seen this team earlier in the year (I did see the Clippers play the Mud Hens in Toledo before they had a chance to play their 1st game at Huntington) I am really excited to see so many players that were former Lake County Captains. When we lived in Cleveland, the Captains were our team. We had partial season tickets, and went as often as we could. Frank Hermann, Chuck Lofgren, Niuman Romero and Trevor Crowe come to mind. All nice guys that I saw at the A level, and it is so exciting seeing that they have come this far.

I am trying to figure out a time that I can get up there to see a game. With Easton, Cosi, their arena area, the Columbus Zoo, and Short North, Columbus has a lot going for it. With this towns desire to improve and to make itself better, it reminds me of Pittsburgh in a lot of ways.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009


I have had most of my recent travel and game plans cancelled because of the weather. I just haven't done a lot lately. I am making plans though! I did hit a rain delayed Lexington Legends game Friday, and the next night I went to a Florence Freedom game, also rain delayed.

Florence is such an underrated area. There is a lot going on right there that I have talked about before. Their walking tacos and sliders for $1 are about the best ballpark deal around.

I've noticed at the last few Freedom games they ask all former and active military guys to stand for a moment of recognition. Pure class. Every team around should be doing that.

The Horsemen did well too. I love this Arena football team. It does seem like they are getting more support. Their on field host Steve is funny as heck.

Monday, July 6, 2009

Appalachian Power Park

I have seen the West Virginia Power play the Lexington Legends and the Lake County Captains at their home parks several times. This was my first trip to the area and I was very excited about catching a game at Appalachian Power Park.

I guess I should start out by saying that my game was rained out. I did not get to see a game here.

I was still able to get a great look at the park. I have travelled around to a lot of baseball locations and facilities, and I must say, the guys running the Power's home operation get an A+. I can think of a couple of parks where the staff seemed annoyed that someone actually wanted to spend some money in their gift shop. They had no clue about baseball, their particular team, etc.

The staff at Appalachian Power Park seemed to take a lot of pride in their facility. They seemed happy to let me come in and check things out.

The gift shop was small and crammed, but well stocked. I was very impressed to see signed game used caps (I would love to see more teams selling signed game used gear). They had a fun selection of shirts and other items including some retro style stuff from the older Charleston team. The guy running the store seemed very knowledgeable about the team, the park, etc. We talked about the recent draft, and the South Atlantic League in general.

The staff was very kind about letting me walk around the park and take pictures. I truly felt like I had the place to myself, and the other staff did not seem to mind my being there. I pretty much walked all around.

This might be one of the most unique parks I have come across. In fact, it is very hard to describe. It just went up in 05, but it has the feel of a park much older. Not that it looks worn out, but it seems more mature. It kind of feels a little outdated in a charming way.

Hypothetically, lets say I had no knowledge of this park before coming to it. Lets say someone showed it to me, and asked me to guess its origins. I would guess that some thoughtful baseball purists had a hand in it, several decades ago. I would assume no modern company could have thought this up. I would probably also wrongly guess that the downtown area was build around the park. The park just feels natural here, and it feels like it has been woven into the downtown area for a lot longer than it really has.

It is open and accessible. There would be plenty of places outside the fence of the park to look in on a game. All of the seating is close, and near the field.

Some of the park is built in to buildings that already were up in this downtown area. It sort of reminds me of the Louisville AAA park in that way. I think this really adds to a park, and the area near it.

There were a lot of banners up showing former players from the area who have made it. I really like this feature at a minor league park. I know Pawtucket and Indianapolis do this a lot, and it looks cool.

The park is really cool, but the only draw back is there is not a lot of stuff going on in Charleston. It is a nice town, but.... They do have a great 3 story mall. There is a movie theater close too. Free parking seemed scarce, with pay to park garage space around the mall. I do think charging to to park while you shop at a mall is bold.

We even picked up a pamphlet about things to do in Charleston. Most suggestions required a 30 minute or so drive out of town. Huntington is close. I do want to check out Pt. Pleasant and the Moth Man museum sometime. Marshall University is around here. But there just isn't a lot really going on in this area. I will take a book on my next trip here.

Speaking of books, this park is bursting with character. Even at its young age, a lot of love has gone in to it. I would really enjoy a book about this park. It is young, but a book is justified even at this point.

Let me make it clear though, I will make another trip here. The ball park alone has a cool feel, and I was there without a game going on! I can only image how fun it must be with a game!