Friday, July 4, 2008

Take Me Out To the Ballpark

America’s favorite pastime is well represented here in Tucson with the Tucson Sidewinders. This is the triple-A ball club affiliate of the Arizona Diamondbacks. I decided to attend a recent game against the Fresno Grizzlies. The Sidewinders play in Tucson Electric Park, located on the southwest side of Tucson.

A lot of people I know prefer triple-A games to the big league games because the atmosphere is a lot more relaxed. While there are hard core fans there, people show up mostly to have a good time. It’s a place you can take the kids, get some fresh air, and maybe even run into some old friends. While I was there I saw couples and families share “How’ve you been’s” and a couple of high school aged girls share a shy wave with two high school aged boys.

There were the usual fun activities you’ll only see at a triple-A game like the cheese shooter that shoots what looks like a sock full of cheese at the crowd from a moving golf cart. There was a race down the third base line while hoola hooping by two otherwise apparently grown men, and someone in the audience won a round trip airplane ticket because of a pop fly caught by one of the outfielders.

The temperature was hovering around 100 degrees when the game started and I was amazed at the fortitude of the person inside a huge furry Sandy Sidewinder (the team mascot) costume and another costumed character in a furry cow outfit promoting a chicken franchise (“Eat mor chikin”). I’m not sure what they get paid, but it can’t be nearly enough.

Tucson Electric Park
The opening ceremony took on special significance at this particular game as the American flag that was raised was donated from the USS Arizona submarine specifically for this game. As you can imagine, loud cheers and applause followed this announcement.

There was a pretty good crowd there as it was the night before the fourth of July. The official figure is 10,545 tickets sold.

Base hit
The Sidewinders lost to the Grizzlies 6-3 but that’s not entirely the point. Most people were there to just have a good time out at the old ballpark. By that measure the evening was a great success.


I really like this shot showing the bright sun shining on the right outfield while the night lights are burning, both contrasting with the very dark skies that warn of a monsoon rolling in. The game was delayed for about a half hour due to rain but was able to continue.

While doing research on the Sidewinders I discovered that if you’d like to see the Sidewinders play here in Tucson you’d better do it in 2008. Tucson Baseball LLC sold the Tucson Sidewinders to SK Baseball LLC for $15 M in June 2007. SK Baseball is planning to relocate the team to Reno, NV for the 2009 season. [1]

[1] Source: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Tucson_Sidewinders

2 comments:

Tammi said...

Robert~
Eat Mor Chikin = Chik-fil-A (pronounced Chick-Fillet). If you haven't had a Chick-fil-A original chicken sandwich, check one out. They are the best fast-food chicken sandwich. I'm not kidding.
~Tammi

Robert said...

Wow, that's high praise indeed. I'll definitely check them out. Thanks, Tammi!