We spent the evening last night "root, root, rooting" for the home team. It was a new experience for us as this is the first year for the Blue Wahoos, a Double-A affiliate of the Cincinnati Reds. Not that it mattered to me that the team was new...I don't follow baseball so all the players would have been new to me even if they had played here for several years.
The "new" I wanted to see was the stadium. And it's pretty awesome. It's not big...only seats 5,000...but that's good because everyone is close to the action. And let's face it, I'm not the only one who doesn't follow baseball. In this community, 10,000 people will show up for a high school football game but a professional baseball team won't draw that nearly that crowd. The town is, however, filling up the stadium at this point in time. Ticket prices are reasonable...less than $10...so we saw plenty of families out enjoying America's favorite past time.
Our friend Hiram had been given four tickets in connection with a golf tournament hosted by the course and they were for the party deck. As you can see, it's along the right field line...not exactly the best spot for catching action at the plate but we had an excellent vantage point when the right fielder had to make a play on a deep fly ball at the warning track and throw to second to keep the runner from advancing.
Seating in this area is tables and chairs instead of stadium seats which is kind of nice as you can move them around for a better view. And it's called the party deck because they serve free food. Well, free is probably a misnomer as whoever reserved the deck clearly paid for it but the wristband that comes with the ticket allows you to eat and drink with no cash outlay. Wayne snapped this photo of Hiram chowing down on a giant hamburger, potato salad, and fruit with cookies and brownies in the background. Why is that photo-worthy? The four of us went out to dinner before we went to the ballpark. That's Hiram, what can I say.
Bonnie and I, on the other hand, just chilled. We watched a little baseball but did a whole lot more people-watching. And, of course, carried on a good bit of conversation. It was a perfect evening for being outside.
I wish I'd thought to go take a photo from this angle before darkness descended as the ballpark is right down on the water. It's one element in a larger community park that is basically a giant square of land protruding out into Pensacola Bay. That means not only lovely breezes coming in off the water to keep you cool but also a spectacular view. Last night one of the big oil platform repair ships was docked out on beyond that light pole and with all the lights twinkling on it's many cranes and derricks, it was really pretty.
That guy on second base in the photo above made it home when the batter hit the ball over the left field fence, one of two home runs we saw last night. Unfortunately, the Blue Wahoos were in white and they only saw home plate when they came to bat. Still, it was a fun night out. I didn't have any peanuts or crackerjacks but I'm ready to go again.