Saturday, July 3, 2010

Crabs are playoff bound!

It was a good night for baseball in St. Charles, Maryland, home of the Atlantic League's Southern Maryland Blue Crabs, which was good since I'd driven 45 minutes from my home in Alexandria for the game. Regency Furniture Stadium is in the middle of no place in particular at the moment, but in the not too distant future, some homeowners are in fact going to have baseball in their back yards since there's still a lot of housing being built out there in Charles County. This was my first Atlantic League game, and I was very impressed by the stadium after years of hanging out in Northern League parks such as Midway Stadium, the Wade in Duluth, and the Wolf Den in Madison. Here's a view of the main entrance:

The parking lot was pretty full, since 4,078 people showed up for the game, and there was even some tailgating going on but I couldn't get a good shot with my Pixi. On the inside, the park is equally impressive. Great sight lines all around the park, even from the concession stands.

This pic was taken about two feet from the onions, relish, coleslaw, mustard and ketchup; you can see one of the napkin dispensers in the lower right-hand corner of the picture.

This shot was taken from my seat. Yes, it's true: I walked up almost literally at the last minute, plunked down $13, and got an aisle seat right behind home plate. Lord, I do love the minor leagues. The box seats were arguably more comfortable than similarly-priced seats at Nationals Park, with built-in cushions, cupholders, not to mention being capacious enough for my 375-pound butt. The park has a manual scoreboard reminiscent of the Green Monster at Fenway, though not nearly so tall; there is also a ginormous video screen in deep right field. Very much a state-of-the art minor league park.

As for the game itself, it was a pitchers' duel for three innings until the Crabs broke through in the bottom of the fourth on a double followed by an RBI single; the Riversharks went to the bullpen, but the relief corps failed them in the fifth as Crabs DH Matt Craig slugged a three-run dinger over the right-field fence, The rest of the game summary is here. Final score Blue Crabs 7, Riversharks 1, and after the fifth it wasn't even that close, really. Very, very nice post-game fireworks display, even if the accompanying music included (incongruously) Springsteen's "Born in the U.S.A." A great game in a great park, and I'm definitely going to head down there for a few more this season.

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