Results tagged ‘ Auburn Doubledays ’
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Part one in this series detailed my non-ballpark explorations (or lack thereof) in Batavia, Rochester and Jamestown. Part two covered Erie, Pennsylvania and Buffalo, New York. Part three, which you are reading now, begins on August 27th in Syracuse and ends on the 29th as I leave Syracuse for Troy (one of the “Tri-Cities” referenced in the Tri-City ValleyCats name).
But enough of this introductory babble: Let’s get to it, lest it get to us!
August 27 — Syracuse, New York (home of the Chiefs)
After leaving Buffalo (where the last post left off), I arrived in Syracuse in the late afternoon and drove straight to the Chiefs’ home of NBT Ballpark. Here’s a sneak preview of what that looked like:
I attended that evening’s game — some has been written regarding that experience, but much more remains to be written — and then checked into the Crowne Plaza Hotel in downtown Syracuse. This was a fairly classy establishment, above average as Minor League team hotels go, but the most notable thing about it was the elevators. To use them, one would type in the desired floor on a console located in the lobby, and the console screen would then direct the user to one of three elevators. Inside the elevators there were no buttons (outside of those used for emergencies), since the elevator already “knew” where you wanted to go.
This might be superior to the traditional system, but I found it impossible to shake the habit of pushing a button once inside the elevator. Every time, there was that instinctual lunge toward where the buttons would be, followed by the realization of “Oh, right, it already knows what floor I want to go to.” Everyone I rode with seemed to have the same reaction, with the result that the elevators were always a topic of conversation when riding the elevators. In this regard, the unorthodox system served as a vehicle for increased social interaction within an environment usually permeated by stilted going-through-the-motions niceties and subsequent awkward silence.
August 28: A full day in Syracuse, but not much to report.
After a bout of late morning writing, I set out to Dinosaur Bar-B-Que for lunch. Dinosaur has become a mini BBQ empire here in the Northeast, but it all started at this location in downtown Syracuse.
I got a brisket and ribs combination platter, and while no photographic evidence of this meal is available I can assure you that it was delicious. And BBQ is generally pretty easy to navigate on the gluten-free front — stay away from sandwiches (and in some cases, certain sauces) and you’re pretty much good to go. Here’s a picture of the brisket, unabashedly stolen from the Dinosaur Bar-B-Que home page:
(As an aside, I recently went to Mighty Quinn’s BBQ in New York City. I was a bit wary of the place because it received a lot of hype and places in NYC often don’t live up to said hype, but this place served some of the best BBQ I’ve ever had. Not just in the northeast, but anywhere. The brisket and wings were particularly amazing. If you’re visiting NYC, make sure to get a meal there. Maybe I’ll join you.)
Anyhow, all I did after going to Dinosaur BBQ was go back to the hotel room, do some more writing, and then drive to Auburn to see that evening’s Doubledays game. Some has been written about that experience, and much more remains to be written. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to spend any time whatsoever in Auburn proper, which is regrettable. Auburn bills itself as “History’s Hometown,” and attractions include the Harriet Tubman Home and Fort Hill Cemetery (built on a site once used by Native Americans as a fortress). It was also the childhood home of apocryphal baseball inventor Abner Doubleday — hence the name of the local sporting nine.
August 28 — Syracuse, New York and Troy, New York (home of the ValleyCats).
After checking out of the Crowne Plaza and saying goodbye to the unorthodox elevators, I jumped (literally jumped!) into the car and headed to New Century Vietnamese Restaurant for lunch. Located on a block that was otherwise residential, this unassuming establishment really delivered the goods.
And by “the goods,” I mean this. God bless Vietnamese food. It is consistently wonderful.
Time was at a premium, as it always is, but before leaving Syracuse I decided to look up the address of a local record store, punch it into the GPS, and head over. This effort brought me to this area.
The Soundgarden is the sort of store that used to be quite common in college towns, a something-for-everybody clearinghouse of cds, vinyl, posters, t-shirts, books, magazines, collectible toys and even incense. I like these kind of places.
My big find here was the Jon Spencer Blues Explosion “She’s On It/Jack the Ripper” 12″ that was released for Record Store Day. (The NYC stores had sold out of it quickly, and I never got a copy. My high school self would have been very disappointed at my lackadaisical efforts in obtaining this record, as back then a record featuring the Blues Explosion covering Beastie Boys would have made my head explode. (Oh, and fun fact: the first concert I ever saw was Beastie Boys at the Philadelphia Civic Center in May of 1995. Blues Explosion and the Roots opening.))
Anyhow, I also picked up three used cds: Neil Young “Road Rock,” Acid Mothers Family “Do Whatever You Want Don’t Do Whatever You Don’t Want” and “Weird Al” Yankovic “Poodle Hat.” (I coulda sworn I had this already, but a recent perusal of the stacks indicated otherwise. It is imperative to own all “Weird Al” recordings).
And that was it for Syracuse. I realize I didn’t have much but I stretched it out for all that it was worth and got a little more self-indulgent than usual in the process. I hope you don’t mind.
From Syracuse it was on to Troy, where I attended that evening’s Tri-City ValleyCats game. So far nothing has been written about that, but the blog post from that evening promises to be fairly epic. The next day I had some time to poke around the city of Troy, but I think I’m going to save that material for a fourth (and definitely final) “New York State of Mind” post.
Until then, I remain,
But one of Auburn’s most recent claims to fame is a distinct negative, an ignominious anti-accomplishment that the city hopes to shed faster than a moulting snake on steroids: in its list of America’s best sports cities, the Sporting News ranked Auburn #399 out of a possible #399.
The New York-Penn League’s Auburn Doubledays aren’t going to take this lack of respect lying down. They’ve stood tall to their nationally distributed oppressor by announcing an essay contest, asking fans to explain (in 500 words or less) why Auburn deserves a higher ranking. The winner of this contest will receive general admission season tickets as well as official recognition during the “399 Classic”.
“What’s the 399 Classic?” I just heard a voice behind me whisper. Well, my reliable companion Press Release has the answer to that:
The Doubledays will face off against Tri City (representing Troy, NY
which was rated #398 on the same list) in a three game series from July
14 – 16 which the Doubledays have dubbed The 399 Classic!
Events surrounding The 399 Classic include a special reward to the 399th
fan through the gates every night, a surprise giveaway of the 399th
best possible giveaway item and a contest to win a “Mad About You:Season
4″ DVD set (399th on Amazon.com’s most popular DVD list).
Anyone have any other ideas how the number “399” could be celebrated? I’m thinking Al Kaline has to be a part of it somehow, seeing as how he retired with 399 home runs. Or how about inviting members of Local 399: the International Union of Operating Engineers? Finally, why not celebrate the works of Chinese poet and historian Yuan Shansong, who died in the year 399 while defending Hudu during the rebellion of Sun En?
– Minor League Baseball has announced that the 2010 Promotional Seminar will be held in Las Vegas from September 28-October 1. This means that I get to make a return trip to the Pinball Hall of Fame! Who’s going with me? We can ride the bus together.
– Finally, I wanted to note that the Kannapolis Intimidators are offering free admission to all active-duty military personnel throughout the 2010 campaign. As the press release notes:
“Anyone that shows any form of Military ID, active, retired or a family
member ID at the Intimidators Will Call Window will receive two free
tickets to the game. This offer is valid for all 70 home games in the
For while Al and his likeminded cronies are merely talking about should be done, others are out there doing it. And the most innovative of these individuals is undoubtedly Abner, the mascot of the New York Penn League’s Auburn Doubledays.
You see, when it comes to combating the scourge of global warming, Abner has a Plan. With the help of the Doubledays’ front office, this three-pronged initiative was put into action on September 1. Here’s a write-up of this momentous event, from my final “Promotion Preview” column of the season:
“First, 150 pinwheels will be given away, in order to harness the energy
of the wind. Then, the club will offer baked beans at the concession
stand, in order to increase natural gas output. Finally, ‘human-hydro
power’ will be utilized when the team’s staff leads fans in the wave.
From the club’s press release: ‘The wind created by the standing and
sitting of the fans will make the pinwheels handed out earlier spin and
then a renewable energy system will be created.'”
Doubledays GM Carl Gutelius reports that Abner’s Plan was “a complete success”, and has been kind enough to provide the vast Ben’s Biz Blog readership with several photos of this groundbreaking promotion.
Here, Abner investigates a heretofore overlooked source of natural gas: The Umpire.
Meanwhile, members of the Doubledays’ “Green Team” made sure that the pinwheels were strategically positioned in order to receive the maximum amount of “human-hydro power.”
And, in order to save gasoline, the Doubledays’ “Rally Tractor” was replaced with a Radio Flyer: