Monday, June 20, 2011

Day 3. Lynchburg Hillcats: Pitchers of Balls, Pitchers of Beer, and Neofoamic Druids

After staying in the UVA Presidential Mansion's Guest Cottages (thanks, John!) for the evening and seeing much Thomas Jefferson memorabilia (including his Wii), we scuttled from Charlottesville to Lynchburg amidst scattered precipitation. The Lynchburg Hillcats, High A affiliate of your Atlanta Braves, play at Calvin Falwell Field. Since we had just disembarked from Jerry Falwell Highway, we were curious as to the character of the ballpark's patron.

Any concerns we had were quickly assuaged by easily the best ballpark experience we've had thus far.

After the game, we made sure to stop by Foamhenge in Natural Bridge. Built in 6 weeks by Marc Cline and “4-5 Mexicans,” it is a full scale replica of Stonehenge made out of foam. It looks fantastic and even has a life-sized Merlin atop one of the megaliths. Zach and I used to the opportunity to play catch with our new Father's Day balls, though without gloves. This is fun because Zach's hands still burned from being Stupid the evening before.

As for the game...


The Game: For the first time, we had an actual rooting interest in the game. Sure we were delighted to see the Mets lose by 9 on Friday, but Ben actually recognized a fair number of names on the Lynchburg roster due to their Braves affiliation. The game was close throughout, with several lead changes, and decided in the top of the 9th when Kinston broke the tie and pulled ahead 7-6. Despite a double in the bottom half, Lynchburg couldn't pull it out. Dimasther Delgado gave up 4 runs, but only 2 hits. That's what hitting 2 batters and walking a handful more will do. Also saw 2 runs score on wild pitches in the same inning. Very entertaining game.

Fathers Day: Free tickets for Dads. The ticket lady was shockingly amused when she asked if we were fathers and we responded “Not that we know of.” Also, free Father's Day baseballs. Handing out hard projectiles to fans who are sitting only feet from the field on the way into the park? Sign us up!

Eastbound and Down: Our Braves shirts with “K F Powers” finally got recognized by a fellow fan as a reference to the asshole protagonist, a washed up relief pitcher, from HBO's Eastbound and Down.

No God Bless America at all! And Take Me Out To The Ballgame was sung only by a group of 8 year olds on top of the Hillcats dugout. And the National Anthem was sung by an real baritone, not some “up and coming” teen country music “star”.


Beer Prices: They sold beer...BY THE PITCHER! Neither of us had ever seen this before. $15 for the first and $10 for refills. Plus you can keep the pitcher and bring it back anytime for $10 refills. In 10 years, we are coming back to get more beer (and likely before). 7.5 points

Most Caloric Item: Nothing remarkable. Probably the beer, to be honest. But we'll give it to the chicken fingers and fries. 3 points.

Minor League Personalities: LL Team got their trophies on top of the dugout. Diehards were all around us, answering all our questions about the late Jim Bibby, L V Ware's real name (SEE below) and how often he's been the last out of the game, and a complete list of every team the Hillcats have ever been affiliated with. Plenty of families (Father's Day, after all). Phillies fan who complained about how bad the A-ball teams were. 5 points

Free Tickets: We didn't avail ourselves of them, but we have to give credit to the free Dad tickets. Also, the seats were awesome. Two rows behind the Lynchburg dugout.  3 points

Tailgating: Considering that the gradation of the parking lot was significantly worse than much of the land at the KOA campground we stopped at that night, not much was going on in the parking lot. 0 points.

Funniest Name: Here's the good stuff. Close contest between Joey Terdoslavich (emphasis on the 2nd syllable, apparently) and L V Ware (which seems to stand for Leonarda Vinci Ware). Both hit homeruns for the Hillcats. L V had a double, too, but also failed to drive in the tying run from 2nd in the bottom of the 9th. At the end of the day, though, Terdoslovich wins based on lack of subtlety and the fact that the scoreboard could only fit his last name on the screen. 8 points + 1 for LV.

Promotion: Fathers Day, with free projectiles! 6 points, though we wish we could've been to Bobby Cox figurine night or his real life appearance next month.

Diversity: A little bit, though still a pretty homogenous crowd. 1 point

Men's Room: 10 urinals. 1 point

Random Points: Tomahawk Chop during Hillcats home runs and rallies. 5 points

Opponents' home runs “brought to you by ServPro [a cleaning company]. Like it never even happened.” 4 points

Prize for finding the correct ad on the outfield wall based on this clue: “The last people to ever let you down.” The answer was an ad for a funeral home. Good Fathers Day Sunday Fun. 3 points

1 bonus point for the overwhelming friendliness of everyone there. Regulars were eager to share information and joke along with us. Beer vendor gave a free sample of a beer we didn't recognize.

1 bonus point for the old lady in front of us who trash-talked every single opposing player at the plate. The only people who even came close to her skill were...the Little League coaches there with their team.

0.5 bonus points for the plaque at the entrance stating D.J. Carrasco used to play there. He was the Mets reliever who gave up a balk-off win to the Braves late last week :)

Total: A Nice Even 50. Good show, Lynchburg!

1 comment:

  1. At the 2007 Auburn game they handed out free Coke mini-footballs in the student section. The student section is right behind the visitor's bench. Nuff said.