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

Friday, December 31, 2010

Wild Pitches

I had a lot of fun going to games this year. It was, in general, a good baseball year, but I am looking forward to seeing some games again soon!

As the year ends, I have been thinking about some of the parks I visited this past season.

The day we were in August, our game was rained out. Still, the cool staff there stuck around to let us get a look at the park, and they opened the gift shop up for us.

In Asheville, NC we caught a Tourists game an a very good night. Nice crowd and fun staff. The community feel here was very noticeable, as I saw a lot of fans chatting with all of the other fans all over the park. The tourists have one of the funnest vendor personalities in the minors. Tommy Dembinsky is a character and a half. He even took a moment to stop by this blog and comment some.

We saw the Greenville Drive at Fluor Field. The park was perfect. Lots of green. The staff here really impressed me too, as I talked baseball with several of them. The park was upscale yet still very cozy.

We stopped by both of the legendary parks associated with the Durham Bulls. These are must stops on any baseball pilgrimage.

We made it to Knight Stadium to see the Charlotte team play. The park has an outdated feel, but, as newer parks keep getting built, the older ones become more appealing. This park was meant to eventually be transformed into a major league park which really makes it a fun place.

While in Savannah, we swung by the home of the Sand Gnats. VERY cool park with much history. We were given a tour on a non-game day by Chase at the park.

We went to Five County Stadium to see the Carolina Mud Cats. Cool mascot. There was a very small, but enthusiastic crowd there when we visited. The park is covered in netting too. I am not a fan of nets but I understand why parks use them so much.

We saw the indy league Kansas City T-Bones play on a field that can double as a soccer field. GREAT organization with good local support. This is a very fun area too. Kansas City (both of them) are underrated areas.

At the major league level, we saw the Royals and Cardinals at home. We got great seats in Kansas City at a great price. They have a very unusual park, and their Royals Museum is free to visit during games, which is classy! The Cardinals are a great organization in a fun area. With the Arch, the skyline, and a nice downtown area, St. Louis is becoming one of my favorite cities in general.

We visited the Negro League Museum in KC and had fun. I mentioned here that there were a few concerns, curator Raymond Doswell went out of his way to contact me to discuss them. The organization represents a lot of history and they take pride in that. This is another "must see" stop for even the casual baseball fan.

During our Georgia trip, we made it to Royston to see the Ty Cobb Museum. My opinion of Cobb has changed this year. I still think he was a dirty player, who no doubt did some bad things. I do think that his casual attitude in selecting a biographer did some damage to the way he has been viewed in history. After visiting the very nice town of Royston, seeing the hospital that he helped to establish, and reading more material on him than the Al Stump book, I think he was a better person than he gets credit for.

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