July 3, 2006

Take "us" out to the ballgame...

This past Saturday night we spent the evening at West End Field in downtown. This is the inaugural season for the Greenville Drive. They are the South Atlantic League affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. That night their opponent just happened to be the West Virginia Power. Since we're both WV natives, we had to root for them. Meanwhile, the other 5,296 people were cheering for the home team. Before the game there was a little hillbilly entertainment to be enjoyed by all. Their music made us feel right at home... just like those WV hills we left three years ago. Before the game Darrin & Payton went down to the field, or as close as they could get I should say. A bat boy gave Payton a practice ball. He was so excited. He had taken his glove with him in hopes of catching a ball. He said, "Man that was easy. I didn't even need my glove!" Garrett isn't a big sports fan at all. Fortunately there was plenty there to keep him occupied though. There was Kids Zone with a really nice play structure in it about 15 feet behind us, there was a speed pitch thing, face painting and a clown making balloon animals. Garrett was pretty
proud of his parrot and it did manage to last until just after the game. They also just happened to be giving away Greenville Drive batting helmets to all of the kids that night. It even came with sticky numbers so you could personalize it with the number of your choice. Payton decided that he wanted all of the numbers on his. Then, he thought I needed to wear it instead of him.
Now, is that a fashion statement or what?
During the second and third innings the Drive mascot, Reedy Ripit, threw tee shirts into the stands. The picture to the right is Darrin's attempt at catching one. Hard as he tried, he was unsuccessful. But, we showed them. We just bought some stuff at the team store after the game! So there. (tee hee hee) You have to realize that all I know about baseball is what I've acquired through osmosis. Being married to a huge Braves fan for 15 years it was bound to happen. Since The Drive is affiliated with the Sox, I was treated to history lessons all evening from said hubby. I learned about Finway Park (which West End Field is modeled after), the Green Giant, Babe Ruth, etc. One thing that I did find pretty cool was the fact that Finway
(and West End) both have one of the few remaining manual score boards in baseball. No jumbo tron here, just good old tradition. There's even a mini version of the "Green Monster" too. The best part of the evening though? Funnel cake and ice cream! Two of my favorite. I told you I wasn't a big sports fan. After reading the program cover to cover I was beginning to run out of things to do, so I created my own little list. What kind of list you ask? Read on.....

  • Why do they wait until the seventh inning to stretch? The game is almost over by then. Why not have the 4 1/2 inning stretch?
  • My lap is more comfortable than the padded seat Payton could have sat on for three hours.
  • Darrin and I are older than every single player on both teams!
  • What's with the song teasers? They would play snipits of a song between batters and just when it would get to a good part, they'd turn it off!
  • They really need to rethink their ice cream presentation. They sold chocolate soft serve in a mini batting helmet. Sounds cute...but looks like dog doo doo in a red hat.
  • What's with the umpire's little brushes to keep home plate clean? Shouldn't the players really know where that is by now? Do they have to actually see the thing to get to it?
  • There was a camera guy that strolled around the park all evening. Apparently his job was to find people that were having fun and then show them on the huge screen in right field. For some reason though, he was only able to find pretty, young blondes. What's the deal with that?

All in all it was a great evening. A beautifuly warm summer evening spent with my family. The Drive did end up losing 7 - 2, but that was just fine with us really. I guess I'll have to wait until next season to go back though. Unless, that is, they get new reading material!

For more pictures go here.

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