Marching through Triple-A Baseball: Lehigh Valley

Lehigh Valley wasn’t a part of the itinerary.  The last ballpark that we were going to visit was going to be in Auburn, New York, but since 2013 has been the rainiest year in the history of mankind, much like everything else has been at some point, Auburn was rained out.

But instead of tucking our tail between our legs and accepting an unexpected baseball-less evening, quick thinking on Huzzard’s part opened the gates for us and immediately after finding out the cancellation in Auburn was official, we were already on the road, headed south into Pennsylvania, since we needed to be going in that direction anyway.

Apparently the Lehigh Valley IronPigs were home on this particular evening, and because of a prior rainout, they had a double-header that needed to be played, because of where they stood in the standings.  Which meant that it was just enough time for us to get down to Allentown, PA to catch an official game, at a new park that neither of us had been to before.

I can’t really speak for the city of Allentown, since we didn’t actually stick around after the game.  But I do know that they have a strong presence of Pilsbury and a Keebler factory that isn’t actually a tree, but otherwise, yeah, we didn’t stick around.  The ballpark as a whole was a little too much, but again, I go into further detail on the official review on my baseball parks site.

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Marching through Triple-A Baseball: Syracuse

Syracuse was one of the marquee places on our itinerary because my boy Huzzard is a Nationals fan, and the Syracuse Chiefs are the Nationals’ AAA affiliate.  He had actual incentive to seeing Syracuse, as it put him one step closer to being able to say that he had been to every single Nationals affiliate, and obviously I can relate, because I’ve seen all of the base minor league affiliates of the Braves as well.

I’d actually been to Syracuse a few times in my life, since it’s where my sister went to school back in the day.  Although my memories of the place often involve cold, or really cold weather, but I did remember the gigantic mall there, that used to be called the Carousel Center, based on the fact that they had a carousel in the center of the mall.  Apparently at some point, it was renamed “Destiny USA,” and almost threw me for a loop when looking for it, because I’d never heard of a mall called something like that.

Anyway, visiting Syracuse in this modern time was a slightly different take.  Frankly, it seemed like one of the most boring places on the planet.  And this is in the tail end of summer when things should be lively or something like that, but pretty much the entire city is asleep during the day, and closed at night.  We simply struggled to find anything to do during most of the day, and spent an inordinate amount of time at Tim Horton’s out of a lack of things to do.

The ballpark itself is pretty much the grandest looking facade in all of minor league baseball.  Seriously, from the outside it looks like a Major League ballpark, but once you get inside, it’s kind of nothing spectacular.  Full details will be in my baseball parks site.

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Marching through Triple-A Baseball: Rochester

It’s funny, when I know I’m going to minor league parks, I have this mindset that I’m going to be going into the tiniest dregs of civilization, and expecting to be the only Asian guy on their planets and expect to be treated with discrimination and prejudice.  Although such horrible treatment has never happened to me before (although almost in Jackson, MS), there’s kind of a general standard that is associated with the minor leagues.

That being said, it wasn’t until this trip got closer did it really dawn on me that Rochester is actually kind of a big deal of a city.  It’s not like a name I hadn’t ever heard of before like Zebulon or Fort Mill or Aberdeen; Rochester was a name that I knew as one of the more notable cities in the entire state of New York that seemed to flourish and exist outside of the general perception that NYC is the center of not only the state but the entire planet.

As for Rochester itself, it was easily the high point of the this entire trip, as far as anything non-baseball activities went.  There were plenty of decent places to eat in and around the city, it’s proximity to Lake Ontario gave us something to do, and Rochester is also home to Genessee Beer, where they had an excellent and quick brew tour as well as the mandatory tasting room.

It also helped that Rochester’s ballpark was easily the best among the four new ballparks seen on this trip too.

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Marching through Triple-A Baseball: Buffalo

The first stop on a multi-day minor league baseball trip was Buffalo, New York.  Buffalo’s actually a city that I’d been to a few times in my past, as I used to have family out there, as well as used it as a cheap hub in order to get to and from Toronto.

But anyway, as terms of a place to watch baseball, Buffalo kind of misses the point.  Either they were trying to prove to Major League Baseball that the state of New York actually needs more baseball teams, or they simply don’t really get that minor league baseball is kind of supposed to be small potatoes, in order for the players to grow and develop, but then again the way Triple-A baseball is nowadays, that’s kind of out the window now that I think about it.

As far as the objective to visit new places and minor league parks goes, it was a necessary evil to visit Buffalo’s Coca-Cola Field, even if it, and the rest of the city is kind of unimpressive as a whole.  Needless to say, we didn’t stick around long after the game, save for a stop at the Anchor Bar, the supposed birth place of the buffalo wings, and were fairly satisfied with their claims.

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Impending brog hiatus

I feel the need to write something before I embark on a four-day weekend a week before the craziest four-day weekend of the year.  Needless to say, between the events of this weekend, and the events of next weekend, there really isn’t going to be much time for me to actually makes posts to my beloved brog, unless it is of the mobile and fluffy variety.  I take pride in my ability to maintain commitment to my brog, and refusal to let it become one of the millions of blogs out there that have gathered dust and been abandoned by disillusioned posers from all walks of life.

Anyway despite the fact time is kind of at a premium this time of year, every year, I’m embarking to upstate New York this weekend, for a massive minor league baseball trip.  In four days, I’ll be seeing four new minor league ballparks, which means that there will be four new entries into my baseball parks site in the future.  My best friend and I have yet to do our annual baseball road trip this year, and this is going to rectify that.

And then of course, there’s Dragon*Con the following weekend.  Most people reading my brog in the first place have a general understanding of what D*C is about in the first place, so there’s really not much to say about the expectations.  As I do every year, I look forward to seeing friends from near and far, and pretending like I can take a decent picture of people in costumes.  But really, it’s going to be like eating at the Peachtree Center Willy’s like seven times and probably getting blitzed drunk at least once during the weekend, with veiled hopes that I’ll meet a girl through drunken happenstance.

Of course I’m looking forward to Dragon*Con.

But yeah, since it doesn’t look like I’m going to have the time to make many, if any, posts at all prior to Dragon*Con, making my August total post count pale in comparison to all the other months and years I’ve been brogging, I’m going to be a little all over the place with the rest of this post (as if that’s any different than usual).

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