Thursday, November 6, 2014

Bowling Green Park - Bowling Green, KY - Midwest League

Posted by William Lee Coleman III | Thursday, November 6, 2014 | Category: | 0 comments

Bowling Green Park, home of the Bowling Green Hot Rods, is located in downtown Bowling Green, Kentucky. The Hot Rods are the Low A affiliate of the Tampa Rays in the Midwest. During a recent family vacation to Mammoth Cave National Park, I set aside a day to watch a minor league game at Bowling Green Park. 
On the night that I visited, the Hot Rods were playing the Great Lake Loons. I could write a long winded post about how ground-breaking this stadium is, but that would be stretching the truth somewhat. The exterior is fairly bland and the backdrop is boring inside the stadium. The weather that night was miserable. My camera lens fogged up due to the humidity and I spent $15.00 on water before the first pitch. I never did find that signature ballpark food item that I am always seeking.

The stadium's greatest asset is its location. It fits very nice into its downtown surroundings and there doesn't seem to be a bad seat. Management has done a great job keeping up the appearance of the stadium, 
For a Low A stadium, autographs can be difficult to get. It was nice that both teams enter and exit the field from the outfield, but if you do not have someone helping you, you are going to miss a lot of players on both teams. There is zero access to the visiting teams bullpen and once the players are in their dugout, they are really going to have to make an effort to accommodate your request.

The night I went was a Firework Night and I asked Keon Wong if he could sign after the game. He explained to me on fireworks night all of  the players have to leave the stadium before the fireworks start or they are stuck until the firework display truck leaves, which can be a more than an hour later. After the game, the Hot Rod players literally galloped back to their locker room and some of the Loons players chose to stay in the dugout until after the fireworks and I got their autographs there.

I'm thinking about a return trip next year to this ballpark and a visit to a different cave system. 

Saturday, June 14, 2014

Zephyr Field - New Orleans, LA - Pacific Coast League

Posted by William Lee Coleman III | Saturday, June 14, 2014 | Category: | 3 comments

With this ballpark trip, I decided to drive to New Orleans and try to to get Javier Beaz on some cards.  The history of the Zephyrs is vast and my cliff note version of baseball involving the Zephyrs goes like this:  The Miami Marlins are entering their 6th season of affiliation with the New Orleans Zephyrs and the Zephyrs arrived in New Orleans from Denver in 1993. During there time in New Orleans, the Zeps have been affiliated with the Brewers, Astros, and the Nationals while playing in the Pacific Coast League. Maestri Field for four years and then moved to Zephyr Field in 1997. I decided to switch my writing format to appeal more to the person just going to watch a game with me commenting on the pictures.

Random Tidbit:  The Zephres mascot, Boudreaux D. Nutria, is a hybrid creation including the features of a bear, dog, manatee, and walrus. Try explaining that to a four year old.

Stadium Grade: B

Good concessions and simple layout. If I have to watch AAA baseball, I prefer a stadium like this.

The most interesting thing about the stadiums location is how close it is to the Saints and Pelicans practice facilities.

Zephyr Field is a 10,000 seat stadium

This place serves some awesome BBQ Nachos.

The highlight of the stadium is the concessions.

Concourse offers a lot of walking space

Distractions like this in stadiums annoy me.

Gift Shop was closed on my visit

There is a lot of green space behind the stadium.

Its a very simple stadium.

I never actually seen anybody swimming in the pool on any of my visits.

I had locals tell me they call the stadium the "The Shrine On Airline"

Nothing wrong with a good functioning scoreboard.

Sadly, the concourse is not a wraparound concourse.

The background to Zephyr stadium gets boring very quickly.

The best view in the stadium.

Zephyr Field offers a ton of shade.

View from my seat.

No surprise to see a party shack in New Orleans.

I heckled Christian Villanueva for the last two innings of the game.

These arrived minutes before gates opened for a craw-fish boil that was being hosted on the party deck.

The highlight of the trip was Iowa Cubs pitcher Chris Rusin throwing a no-hitter. This was my first no-hitter in person and I got Mr. Rusin to sign my ticket stub.

This stadium is a easy drive from my house that I should add it into my monthly stadium rotation but the trip is very boring to do alone. The addition of Biloxi next year in the Southern League should make this trip more routine. I could not take a lot of pictures due to some of the seating sections being blocked off due to the School Day promotions.  I will be back later on this season with the intention being to take more pictures and get a second round of BBQ Nachos.

Saturday, December 7, 2013

Time Warner Cable Field - Grand Chute, Wisconsin - Midwest League

Posted by William Lee Coleman III | Saturday, December 7, 2013 | Category: | 8 comments

     I thought these photos were lost but better late then never. Time Warner Cable Field at Fox Cities Stadium is the home of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers.. The Rattlers are the Midwest League ( Low A Level)  affiliate of the Milwaukee Brewers. The stadium is located in Grand Chute, Wisconsin. The stadium opened in 1995, under went a name change in 2007, and finally a major renovation in 2012. My visit came about towards the end of the renovation and I enjoyed the simplicity of the stadium. 

Stadium Rating: 4 

This stadium was a mess on the outside.

I had no clue until I arrived that this stadium was under renovation.

I do not see the relationship between the Brewers and Wisconsin Timer Rattlers ending anytime soon.

The Main Entrance and it is always nice when gates open an hour and half before game time.

Autographing: 5

It took awhile for the locals to warm up to me graphing on their turf. It helped that I called Brandon Drury over.

I sat behind Ryan Gibbard and had him sign cards in between innings.

Hard to believe that this field was covered in snow two weeks prior to my visit. This was the warmest day on my trip.

Pricing: 3 

The food was very expensive in this stadium and disappointing. They did have a souvenir cup.

 This was also the largest crowd from my trip.

The stadium featured a ton of bleacher seating which I dislike. 

Probably the worse seat in the house when your sitting down.

 Baseball Atmosphere: 5

With the way this stadiums draws, I expect the berm to be replaced with more seating sections in the future. The crowd on my visit rivaled many crowds I seen inside Double A stadiums. The attendance was 4,934.

View from the outfield concourse. 

Sadly, the outfield concourse ends midway out in center field.

The most absurd thing in the park: The Super Ropes: Beach Area.

The coolest thing I saw on my trip. 

Each bullpen player got the loot in between innings.

 They were getting an easy $3.00 to $5.00  an inning.


The stadium does feature a boring backdrop.

There really isn't much to this stadium.

The biggest drawback to this stadium is the concourse. Its too narrow.

Its going to cost you $18.00 for this view. The seats are padded !

Last year at the time of my visit, this view was not possible.

The best seat in the house in my opinion.

 After exploring the stadium, I watched the last three innings from my $12.00 box seat.

This is how you do a team autograph signing. I had enough time to go thru the line several times. Mitch Haniger left early only to return the last five minutes of the signing. Clint Coulter wouldn't sign the one card I had.

Apparently, they do these signings every Sunday after the game.

The biggest part of the renovation was the addition of the second level behind home plate.