Of course, it being the last home game, the promotional staff had pulled out all the stops to fill the seats. It was Liberty University night, so that accounted for at least 1,000 of the 6,000 in attendance. Then, it was family night, which allowed four people to get in and get four small soft drinks for the low/low price of $13. Add to that, everything was cheap as hell because they were trying to thin out inventory in the food locker.
We avoided the lunch counters because the lines went on forever. But my four friends and I (who, curiously, qualified for the family discount, despite being majority-age males claiming to be a family in the middle of the bible belt) discovered that the combination of Jerry Falwell’s teetotaling student body, families with small children, and inventory reduction was the perfect storm for us. There was a side room where bottled beer was being sold for $2 a cup.
Red Stripe, Grolsch, Bass, Sam Adams – all $2 per, at a ballgame. And the locals had next to no interest in it. High times, my friends. We chickened out on trying to bargain them down in the seventh inning, but we figure we could have probably got a Sam Adams for .50 if we had tried it.
The game was great, too. It was Hillcats (Pirates A) vs. Wilmington Blue Rocks (Royals A). That’s right, the least experienced players on the two worst teams in MLB!!!! But there were good players hidden in the chaff.
A fan favorite was Pedro Powell, seen at right. I know, the picture is kind of small, but there was nothing I could do about it – that’s actual size. Pedro Powell is about 4’8″ if I’m any judge. At one point, the Rocks catcher rocked forward on his knees to rest during PP’s at-bat, and even minus his shoes and shin bones, he was taller than Mr. Powell. Pedro hits .243 on the season, which means he got on base once out of the four at-bats we witnessed, true to form. At one point, the Blue Rocks pitcher goes into his motion and Pedro takes off. He was a flippin’ blur. He was on second before the catcher could form a thought bubble saying “wha?”. It was awesome.
Of course, the disadvantage of a midget center fielder became obvious later in the game. The relief pitcher, Luis Valdez, had retired each of the batters he had faced in the game, but a bomb was launched toward center. P-squared was there, but the ball was about two feet over his head – he was not robbing anyone! Fortunately, the RF had come over to cover and made the play over the sparkplug’s head, preserving the string of outs.
Anyway, it was a great time. I highly recommend the Lynchburg City Stadium for your next outing. But you’re going to have to wait until next year.