On the Road: In Gwinnett To Win It
I didn’t utilize the above headline simply because it rhymed, because as a recent comment on this post points out it doesn’t rhyme (unless you want to pronounced “it” as “et”, as I often do).
No, I really was in Gwinnett in order to win it. “It”, in this case, being the “Termites In Your Pants” between-inning contest. This exhibition of bug-catching skill takes place nightly at Coolray Field, and on Saturday I was the chosen contestant.
Before playing, the amicable on-field MC explained the rules.
In a nutshell, I had to put on a pair of oversized pants and then catch stuffed termites in said pants. These termites were launched into the air via a slingshot wielded by a member of the team’s promotional staff. I was going to be given five opportunities, and had to catch at least three to win.
You’ve been a great audience. Good night!
I kid, of course. For all we are saying good night to right now are my innate narcissistic tendencies. I’ve got plenty more to include on Gwinnett’s Coolray Field — a truly beautiful facility that offers beaucoup amenities and plenty of room in which to move.
It is also offers one of the best sandwiches you’ll find anywhere: the Knucksie (named in honor of Atlanta Braves knuckleballer Phil Neikro). It was created by executive chef Blake Stembridge, who is “Pro Chef II Certified”. I don’t know what that means, exactly, but I believe this fact illustrates the G-Braves’ proclivity for transcending expectations. Yes, I know I’m a sycophant by nature, but Coolray Field is really and truly an outstanding Minor League Baseball experience.
So anyway, the Knucksie: “House smoked pulled BBQ pork piled high with pickle chips, caramelized onions, two kinds of BBQ sauce, and coleslaw, and served on a toasted corn muffin.”
I got one:
One of the coolest things about the Home Plate Club is that it includes a window that directly looks into the batting cages. When I walked by, Freddie Freeman and Jordan Schafer were getting some work in.
Moving on, we checked out the home clubhouse and weight room:
Traveling upstairs, this area gives those watching the game from a suite the chance to eat, drink, and commingle:
The Best Seats in the House:
The production room featured some state-of-the-art equipment, which this photograph largely fails to convey. I do my best:
Those who work in Minor League Baseball are used to cramped working conditions, making the G-Braves’ digs capable of inducing considerable pangs of jealousy. Check out the break room and conference room:
Let’s move on to the out of doors, where the visitor’s bullpen featured a most colorful target:
There turned out to be an excellent crowd for Saturday’s game:
They watched the visiting Scranton-Wilkes/Barre Yankees edge the Braves by a score of 2-1.
Those in the crowded berm area didn’t seem to be paying too much attention to the game anyway, lounging on blankets while the kids played in the truly hallucinogenic inflatables:
Coolray really is a beautiful park. I was as smitten as a kitten in a mitten sitting with Donner and Blitzen on Thanksgiving.
And when sentences like that pour out of me unprovoked, I know it’s time to call it a night. After playing a little post-game “Launch-A-Ball”, of course:
Time to get a little sleep before hopping into the rented Mercedes with Texas plates and driving to Greenville.
See you there!