Off the Road, but the Season Lives On
Well, it had to happen eventually: As of that last Hillsboro post, I am officially done with “On the Road” content. This upsets me, as visiting ballparks take the guesswork out of doing this blog. All season long I never have to think about what I’m going to write, I simply write about where I’ve been.
But no more! I will eventually do a series of “Return to the Road” posts, highlighting that which was seen and experienced outside the confines of the Minor League ballparks in question, but today marks the first of what will surely be many catch as catch can bouillabaisse blog posts. These “everything but the kitchen sink”-style blog posts come about because all season long people send me worthy material, and I inevitably reply that I will “get it on the blog as soon as I get the chance.” That chance is finally getting got, right here and right now. So let’s dive into a stew of Minor League Baseball randomness.
Starting with this:
Yep, it’s the David Freese Kiss Cam, which got a lot of play when I featured it on Twitter a few months back. Freese played for the Redbirds in 2008 whilst in the final phases of his Minor League trajectory, and then returned to the club on a rehab assignment early this season. During his brief Memphis return he posed for the above photos, resulting in what had to be the most unique kiss cam in Minor League Baseball (it helps that the Redbirds possess the largest videoboard in the known universe).
I am always willing to lend my name to such endeavors, so if anyone wants to do a “Ben’s Biz Kiss Cam” in 2014 then I’m happy to oblige. Here’s the raw material.
While in Memphis, Freese also threw water balloons filled with paint at a canvas.
While I don’t have a picture of the resultant artistic masterpiece, let it be known that it was sold by the Redbirds for $810. This money went toward philanthropic endeavors, of course.
UPDATE! Now I DO have a picture of the resultant artistic masterpiece. Cue the J. Geils Band!
File the above two initiatives under “creative things to do when a rehabbing Major Leaguer is in town.” Our next topic is “creative ways to utilize the batter’s eye portion of a Minor League stadium.” This May, the Fort Wayne TinCaps opened “The 400 Club” group seating area and, yes, it is located in dead center field.
This area accommodates groups of between 20 and 150 people, at $40 per person (this includes a buffet food service with draft beer and wine). Here’s the view from the inside, courtesy of TinCaps’ broadcaster Mike Couzens’ exemplary “It’s All Relative” blog.
I was curious as to how the TinCaps were able to insure that the 400 Club would not interfere with the batter’s view, which led team intern/designated eater extraordinaire Keirsh Cochran to secure the following response from team president Mike Nutter:
We worked with Hok/Populus as our national architect, Design Collaborative as our local architect as well as the folks at MILB Baseball Operations and Gould-Evans to ensure the project was done correctly. We looked at SEVERAL glass samples including the same specs that are used in both New York major league ballparks. We ended up being very cautions with this and paid a lot of money to get anti-glare and tinted glass. We also angled the glass downward to ensure no glares would have a negative effect on the hitters in the batters box.
The batter’s eye is actually much bigger now than it was before and a much better hitters background.
Folks are visible through the glass, but the tinting and anti-glare really mutes it and there are no issues with distractions.
I wish that when it came to this job there were no issues with distractions, but nonetheless I will persevere. If you have any comments, complaints or suggestions regarding the kind of content that you’d like to see on this blog throughout the offseason then please, by all means, get in touch.