Archive for the ‘MiLB’ Category

A Sudden Glut of Baseball

After a quiet early portion of baseball season, bereft of games, things dramatically shifted. In the last week, I’ve checked out the Pirates’ gorgeous PNC Park, and caught a Single-A doubleheader, seeing both the Hagerstown Suns and Frederick Keys today.

What does this all mean?

I need to write!

I have a full write-up on PNC Park (and by extension, Pittsburgh) in the hopper, and I’ll get rolling on reviews of Municipal Park (Hagerstown Suns) and Neymo Field at Harry Grove Stadium (Frederick Keys) in the coming days.

All in all, it’s been a great week of traveling through Pennsylvania and Maryland, getting a chance to traverse a few mountains, check out a Civil War battlefield, and most of all, see a few ballgames!

New adventures on tap for 2016

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After nearly 2 decades in Atlanta, this will be my new home ballpark. *Gulp*

Last year was filled was unfulfilled promises and plenty of false starts. Baseball took a backseat to finishing graduate school, largely unsuccessful attempts to find gainful employment in an economy that doesn’t value people with liberal arts degrees (I have only myself to blame), and a strange purgatory where I found myself in a place where most things in life seemed to stall.

However, in recent weeks, the finishing touches on a move to the Washington D.C. area were put in motion. Not only will this provide me with real, quality job opportunities, but it also puts me dangerously close to the majority of the AL and NL East, as well as a plethora of minor league teams at all levels of play. To say I’m excited is an understatement. So, after an underwhelming few years, which found me wallowing around the south, seeing a game or two at a minor league park in Florida, Georgia, or Alabama, I will now have relatively easy access to six major league teams, and more minor league teams than I can count.

What does this mean?

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Sunshine State Baseball Part I: Daytona Cubs

Rain spoils our visit to Daytona

Rain spoils our visit to Daytona

For as long as anyone can remember, Florida has been a hotbed for baseball. When spring training first started, Florida was the place to be, with it’s fantastic late-winters and early springs. It’s a state that is home to fifteen MLB teams during spring training, two MLB teams, and a litany of minor league teams. To say that Florida is a great place to see baseball is an understatement (unless you’re frying at a Minor League game in July or August). During our short jaunt through the east part of the state, we visited two MiLB parks (one game was rained out) and paid a visit to Jeffrey Loria’s gaudy palace in Miami. Each of our three stops will have a dedicated blog post, and if you want to see additional pictures from the trip, please check out our Facebook page! Continue reading

Batter up: 2014

Look out, Marlins, we're coming!

Look out, Marlins, we’re coming!

Baseball season is well underway, and after a silent 2013 that unfortunately featured no visits to new ballparks, RFTHT is back in 2014 and we’re excited to be visiting the Daytona Cubs and Miami Marlins in early May. Aside from both being in Florida, there couldn’t be fewer similarities between the two teams and their parks. Like the Chicago Cubs, Daytona plays in a ballpark that hits the century mark this year. Renamed Jackie Robinson Ballpark, the Cubs’ home is quite significant, as it is home to the first place Jackie Robinson played an MLB game (spring training 1946).

The Marlins meanwhile, play in owner Jeffrey Loria’s gaudy palace to South Florida overindulgence. Whether it’s the sculpture beyond the center field wall that looks like something out of a 1980s-Miami acid trip, the nightclub, or the fish tanks behind home plate, Loria spared no expense with his new stadium when it opened in 2012. We’re all quite excited to see this ode to gluttony that houses the Florida Miami Marlins.

If you’re interested in following our adventures in real time, check us out on Facebook or Twitter. Also, I’ll try to post a picture or two on Instagram, so feel free to follow us on any of those three formats.

 

Stay tuned for updates!

Happy New Year!

Happy New Year from RFTHT!

Happy New Year from RFTHT!

A very Happy New Year from Root for the Home Team to all of those that stop by our humble little blog and follow us as we discover baseball in America. We are very thankful for the parks we visited in 2012 and we’re looking forward to a productive year during the 2013 baseball season as we continue to visit new ballparks, revisit our favorites, and continue to discover why baseball has endured since the American Civil War. Millions flock to ballparks across the country each and every year, creating memories with family and friends as they root on their home team. I can’t wait to meet more of the wonderful people that keep this sport America’s pastime, even as some are ready to declare football number one. We’ll be starting to look at 2013 schedules in the coming weeks, and we’ll be putting together a tentative schedule that we hope will include multiple Major League parks as well as several MiLB parks. Washington and Baltimore are close to the top of the list for MLB teams and we’ll certainly focus on visiting with the Nashville Sounds, Savannah Sand Gnats, Asheville Tourists, and Charleston RiverDogs.

We of course always love the support we get from readers who love the RFTHT concept, follow us, tweet with us, and meet up with us at games. If you keep reading, we’ll keep going to ballgames and even if you stop, our love for baseball won’t. In 2013 we pledge to continue to cover baseball games and also focus on the issues affecting the game of baseball, big and small, to provide a different and unique perspective on the beautiful game.

And the coolest new MiLB team is….

A look at the Hops logo on one of their on-field caps. (On sale in Feb.)

 

The Hillsboro Hops! After spending 22 years as the Yakima Bears, the team moved to Hillsboro, Oregon, built a new park, and changed their name to the supremely cool “Hillsboro Hops“. Yes, the vastly expanding craft beer industry has infiltrated baseball big time by naming an MiLB team after a key ingredient in beer.  I’ve always been a huge fan of what Minor League Baseball does with both team names and logos. The Montgomery Biscuits are always near the top of Lids.com’s best selling MiLB hats because, well, let’s face it, there’s a dancing biscuit on the crown. The single A Lexington Legends just went through a rebranding and will be sporting a green cap on the road that only features a curly mustache. A mustache on a hat! If you’re a purist, you might disapprove of wild logos and team names, but for tiny MiLB teams like the Hops, choosing a name and logo so great gets a baseball blogger in Georgia talking about single A baseball from Oregon.

I might not make it out to Hillsboro to catch a Hops game anytime soon, but you can bet that I will be sporting a Hops cap in 2013! Kudos on the rebranding, it looks great!

Gwinnett Braves: A great experiment or failed endeavor?

A beautiful and steamy day at Coolray Field, home of the Gwinnett Braves

Despite the Gwinnett Braves playing in nearby Gwinnett County for the past 3 years, I had yet to make it over to Coolray Field and take a look at the Atlanta Braves AAA affiliate. That changed yesterday when a last minute decision led to a trek over to Gwinnett County where success apparently lives. Before I get to the game (which the Braves won) it’s important that we visit the history of the Braves AAA team and what led them to the decision to move to the Atlanta suburbs.

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