On the Road: A Walking Sundae Matinee in State College
After a long night of cross dressing and speed dating, it was very difficult for me to get out of bed on Tuesday morning. But a blaring bedside radio eventually aroused me from my slumber, the “open phone” portion of a local talk show. An elderly female caller was informing listeners of a wayward rooster who lived independently on the streets of Williamsport, celebrating the bird’s ability to survive sans welfare or any other untoward government handouts.
I very much enjoyed this idiosyncratic late-morning discourse, the vitality of which propelled me out of bed, into the shower, and out the doors of Williamsport’s historic (and recommended) Genetti Hotel. My next destination awaited: Medlar Field at Lumbrano Park, home of the State College Spikes (from now on I’m going to call the ballpark MF@LP, for brevity’s sake and also because it looks cool).
Fortunately State College is only an hour away, and I arrived just in time for Tuesday’s anomalous noon start. The facility is on the Penn State campus, and owned by the University. In addition to the Spikes, it also hosts the PSU baseball team.
From the outside:
Parked just outside the stadium, down the third base line, was a fire truck.
I was hoping the fire truck was there as a precautionary measure, anticipating conflagrations that might be caused by a preponderance of blazing hot coeds. This was not the case, however, as the truck was in fact providing a cooling mist for the many youngsters who had gathered to enjoy the “Super Splash Day” promotion.
My close proximity to these future safeties was not conducive to the present safety of my non-waterproof camera, so I wandered past to other parts of this sprawling facility.
The best name in Minor League Baseball? (it’s pronounced “N-Go-Pay”):
MF@LP is located in the shadow of massive Beaver Stadium:
Emphasizing the Big 10/New York-Penn League synergy:
Not too many Minor League ballparks feature outfield seating, especially at this level, but MF@LP isn’t just any ballpark. Here’s a view from the top, taken with Mount Nittany at my back and a song in my heart:
A Spike is an adolescent deer, one whom should not be taken lightly:
But if one tires of fearing the deer, he or she can go shoot a few at the arcade (Big Buck Hunter, far right)
The arcade also featured a pinball machine! Long live pinball!
I eventually retreated to the press box, in order to sample a pair of MF@LP’s finest concession items in air-conditioned splendor (thanks to Spikes gm Jason Dambach for procuring these delicacies).
The Deep-Fried PB&J, topped with powdered sugar:
This innovation is known as a “Walking Sundae.” A bag of mini-Oreos is crushed, opened sideways, and topped with vanilla ice cream, chocolate syrup, whipped cream, rainbow sprinkles, and two cherries:
Both of the above items can be found at “Coaly’s Cones and Treats”, a concession area named in honor of PSU’s donkey mascot:
I walked off my double dessert as the game was winding down, witnessing a ninth-inning flare-up between Spikes skipper Gary Robinson and both umpires:
Ike the Mascot turns his back on such shenanigans:
But neither Robinson’s theatrics or Ike’s all-business demeanor could inspire the Spikes to victory, as they fell to Vermont by a score of 3-1.
At this point, all that was left to do was to deposit my garbage in the proper receptacles. At MF@LP, conscientious refuse-tossing is a breeze. The environmentally-friendly facility was the first professional ballpark to earn a LEED certification, and recycling opportunities abound.
Unfortunately there wasn’t a hole marked “jokes”, because those are my favorite things to recycle. I’d tell you the one about the blind doe, except I have no eye deer what the punchline is.