On the Road: Mingling With the Stars in Huntsville
Greetings from the Huntsville Holiday Inn. It is late at night, so late that I just threw caution to the wind and got a package of Hickory Smoked Beef Sticks and a Mello Yello from the vending machines. The slogan on this beef stick package says “Taste the Magic” but as of yet I have not been able to discern what’s so magical about Lactic Acid Starter Culture and Hydrolyzed Soy Protein.
And did you know that Elvis once stayed in this hotel? I bet you didn’t. It was on May 30, 1975, according to a plaque in the lobby. The Huntsville police stopped by his room and presented him with an honorary badge, which surely must have ranked among the top billion moments of Elvis’ life.
This is what happens at 2:09 in the morning — I start to ramble. But my main purpose in crafting yet another blog post is to post some pictures of my evening at the Huntsville Stars game. The Stars went down in defeat to the Mobile BayBears, with former facial hair cult celebrity Josh Collmenter earning the win.
But I am not concerned with game results, I am concerned with game experience. And while Huntsville’s Joe W. Davis Stadium is one of the less-inspiring facilities in the Southern League, I enjoy visiting here. One of the reasons is the chance to talk to GM Buck Rogers and his wife (and assistant GM) Babs, who are adept at creating memorable promotions and surreal moments (some of you may remember my last visit here, which was highlighted by an on-field sword swallowing).
I wrote an MiLB.com article on Buck, which can be found HERE. Here he is in his cluttered office, which he claims will be cleaned very shortly:
The evening’s quite ridiculous promotion was that anyone flashing the “pitching sign” of five fingers and then four fingers would receive admission for 54 cents. This deal was in conjunction with local TV station Fox 54, and resulted in a nice walk-up crowd:
I am now the proud owner of an XXL “Thirst Aid Thursday” t-shirt, which features a picture of a keg and the words “I’d Tap That”. I’d include a picture, except the shirt is currently residing on the passenger seat of my rented Mercedes-Benz with Texas plates (I’m not going to get tired of writing that).
What I can include is this picture of the stadium rules, written in NASA-inspired outer-space font (in deference to Huntsville’s prominence in the aerospace industry). Although cut off slightly, note that rule #6 prohibits fans from bringing “nukes” into the stadium.
Here’s another NASA-inspired sign, this one advising fans to keep an eye on the field of play. Also, there appears to be a ghostly skull hovering in the lower right hand corner:
I wandered around the spacious stadium throughout the first half of the ballgame, taking pictures. Some of these pictures shall now appear below, for your perusing enjoyment:
And, of course, the obligatory concession menu:
Being the discerning gourmand that I am (see opening paragraph), I opted to visit two specialty stands. At one I procured a lemonade, and at the other boiled peanuts. I am of the firm belief that boiled peanuts should be purchased wherever they are an option.
Finally, I am very pleased to report that for the second time in as many days I was recognized at a ballpark by a baseball civilian. In this instance it was Stars’ season ticket holder Darrell Carmichael, who sent an email after the game that concluded “you keep posting and I’ll keep reading.”
Sounds like a deal to me! Thanks to everyone who reads this blog, as I really do appreciate it. And now, having tasted the magic, I am off to bed.
See you tomorrow, Chattanooga.