baseball: bluefield o’s @ burlington royals

baseball: bluefield orioles @ burlington royals

baseball: bluefield orioles @ burlington royals

Thirty six.

Not gonna lie: rookie league baseball is Not Good Baseball. But, hey, the Orioles won two in a row! Sure, it’s the Bluefield Orioles — but it’s a start, right?

Try not to think about the big club’s bullpen while you tell yourself that.

Anyway: the Royals have a cute little ancient park, tucked right on the edge of Burlington where it meets Graham, and they draw a surprisingly good crowd (the grandstand wasn’t full on Saturday, but it was certainly well-populated). Manny Ramirez and a skinny(er) baby-faced CC Sabathia and Jim Thome played there. (It used to be an Indians club; Bluefield manager Einar Diaz played there as a baby, as well. He’s on their all-Burlington team. He’s also only 8 years older than me. Clearly shep. and I could manage a rookie league team if someone would give us one!) Rookie league ball is sloppy and unpolished, barely a step up from high school and full of guys who were drafted not two months earlier, but it feels like small towns, and I’m not surprised that the Appalachian League exists almost soley in tiny towns tucked near the mountains. Both Bristol and Johnson City, TN have teams — I had no idea. That delights me. Next year we’re going to take a road trip to see them play.

This is the third visit in my attempt to visit all ten minor league teams in the NC. (I’ve been to several of the other stadiums, but they require new visits to be checked off the Life List entry.)

Today I discovered At The Ballpark, which is in a similar vein to my project, though Brian is far more meticulous than I am about cataloging aspects of stadiums. I only require two answers to, generally, enjoy a baseball game: is there beer? Is there baseball? If the answer to both is yes, then I’m pretty happy. This is because I’m lazy, and also like beer. (During college games, where no alcohol is served, substitute “is there a high likelihood that the third baseman is going to fall over unexpectedly during the game?” for “is there beer?”. At Boshamer Stadium, the answer to that question is frequently yes!)

2 Comments Add yours

  1. seenonflickr says:

    No beer at college games? Makes sense, but is still surprising.

    1. It’s an NCAA bylaw or something — if alcohol is served at an NCAA event (ie a tournament, etc) OR on a college campus, it must be served in a room that is enclosed on three sides. When the ACC baseball tournament was at the Bulls’ stadium last year, the only place you could buy beer/liquor was in the little tiny enclosed bar there. Not at the concession stands or anything. When I went to the Big Ten basketball tournament in 2005, same thing — only place to buy beer was a semi-enclosed bar on the first floor of the United Center.

      I suspect that’s actually why the Royals don’t just play in Elon’s (much newer, nicer) stadium — they couldn’t serve beer if they did, since the stadium’s on campus.

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