Field Of Dreams Game: 8/12/2021 Experience Of A Lifetime

Baseball is, has been, and always will be the greatest game in the world. Last night, it was proven to the entire world. History took place at the Field Of Dreams, and the first MLB game was played in the state of Iowa.

Before I start, if you’re new to the blog, welcome! I started this blog at the beginning of 2021 to show the enjoyment of seeing new stadiums, along with traveling to baseball games. Be sure to check out some of the older posts, that share numerous ballparks! Also, be sure to check out the YouTube video!

When I woke up on 8/12/21, I had no idea if I would be going to the game or not. Tickets were back and forth, and I wanted to see what they would do if I just waited. I hit the road for Dyersville, and had no idea what was in store for the day.

I went ahead and started at the Beyond The Game event, and went to the “If You Build It” exhibit. I usually make it to Dyersville once a year, and the exhibit was new. This was a great place to learn more about the history of the Field Of Dreams. The Beyond The Game event felt like a county fair, and had some great information about farming in one of the tents. As I was constantly pressing refresh on my phone, I decided to wait things out. I’m usually the type of person to have tickets ahead of time, but this game was different. I also took the gamble of the prices going down. Prices were up to almost $2,000 when I was looking. I had a price in mind that I wouldn’t budge on, but I wasn’t ready to leave yet. It was very humid outside, so I was undecided on staying for the watch party. Then, at 6:00, right before the game was about to start, a ticket price dropped to $1100. This was my top number, so I had to decide what to do. I ended up not waiting anymore, and bought the ticket. I only ended up paying about $550 though, due to something personal. Had that thing not happened though, I probably wouldn’t have gone to the game at all.

One thing I would like to say about ticket prices, is that they weren’t unreasonable. If you won the ticket lottery, they were $450. I compared these ticket prices to the World Series prices. Standing room only is usually about $500 for a World Series Game. Leading up to game day, the prices would move up or down, but the day of the game they went up. I always wanted to go see a World Series Game before, but never made it to one. This was a great replacement for any World Series Game. This was an event that many people didn’t want to miss out on.

When I showed up to the game, things were just getting started! I missed the pregame ceremonies, and the flyover, but that was the sacrifice to wait for a ticket. I parked in what used to be a cornfield, and I walked over to the Field Of Dreams. I’ve been there many times, the most recent last November. Besides the Field Of Dreams, Dyersville is known for being the farm toy capital in the world. I was at the National Farm Toy Show, and always visit the baseball field after. I’ve been doing this ever since I was a kid, which is what made this place so special to me.

I was having trouble with finding where to go to the stadium. I saw the construction entrance before, but it was blocked off. I finally found out that the entrance was through the corn. I walked through and went up to my seat. As soon as I got to the top of the stairs, Jose Abreu hit the first MLB home run in Iowa.

The atmosphere was unbelievable right from the start. As the game carried on, you could tell this stadium was a very special place to play baseball in. It almost felt like another movie. The best part, this was all happening in my home state of Iowa! As the game progressed, more home runs were hit, and this game ended up trading the lead in the top of the 9th with 2 outs.

As someone who plays a lot of MLB The Show, I think they will have to change the way the ball flies in that stadium. There’s only one place I’ve seen the ball fly like this out of the yard, and that was in Globe Life Park in Texas (their old stadium.) The biggest factor of being in a corn field, is that there’s so much humidity. That had to be what was causing the ball to fly. I got lucky with taking those videos, because i wanted to record the final out of the game. There was only one issue though, the game didn’t end with a final out recorded. It ended like this:

In my opinion so far, this was the best game I’ve been to. It was unbelievable! I’m not sure if anything can beat that either, because it was in this special place. Walking out of the stadium, I got to see the Field Of Dreams under the lights for the first time. It has a different feeling to it, and felt peaceful, even with all of the people around. I would absolutely love to see MLB make this a yearly game. It puts Iowa on the map, and it’s such an iconic place to play.

As for the baseball side of things, both teams looked good tonight, and just had struggles with their bullpens. I was very surprised to not see Chapman come out of the bullpen, to help get the save. I learned later That he was dealing with an injury.

If they have a Field Of Dreams Game in 2022, I say it’s a must see. It’s a very special place, and in my opinion, would be worth seeing more than a World Series game. Besides the capacity in the stadium, that’s why it’s priced the same as a World Series game. Otherwise, if you’re interested in seeing the Field Of Dreams on a normal day, it’s free to get in! Also, if you’re in the Iowa area looking for a game to watch, I highly recommend seeing the Clinton Lumberkings play. I have some other posts on here of the experience in Clinton.

As always, I’ll leave all of the pictures and videos below. With it being so late, I decided to not travel to Milwaukee until Saturday for the game. Expect another post then! The Milkmen are the defending champions of the American Association, and one of their players is leading the league in home runs.


Weekend Of 7/10/21: “A League Of Their Own”

Wow, what a weekend it’s been! I knew this weekend would be a big one, but Mother Nature made sure to make it even more exciting. Saturday started off as an uncertain day. I watched the radar very close, and assumed that Saturday was an all or nothing type of day. It was looking like there would be a gap in the weather, and I was determined to at least get pictures of Bosse Field. A few days prior, I went ahead and booked a hotel, rain or shine, deciding the reward was worth the risk. I’ll go ahead and say that the game rained out on Saturday night, which is why I decided to make one big post instead of two posts. Here’s the YouTube video of the entire weekend, which turned out awesome this time around! (Continued Below The Video.)

As I left home, I realized fast that the entire Midwest was getting hit with a lot of rain again. Twitter was my best friend all day, as I checked to see if the Otters would be playing on Saturday Night. As I got closer to Evansville, they had a post saying everything was still on for the night. Instead of checking into the hotel, I went straight to the ballpark. I knew that even if the game rained out, I could still get some pictures, and maybe even a time lapse. Walking up to the ballpark, I immediately realized that every minute of an almost 7 hour drive was worth it! I walked up to the ticket window, paid only $6 for a ticket, and I started taking pictures right away. I checked the radar again, and saw that there was more rain on the way. The team announced a delay first, but a band of the heavier rain moved south, and was too much for the field to handle. They announced a doubleheader for Sunday, and I though that would be it for the weekend. I was completely wrong.

Being around the game for a long time, you learn how to deal with weather. It’s a big part of the game, so a lot of what ifs come up. I grabbed something to eat, and went through every scenario. Sometimes you make a solid plan that can be completely crushed within ten minutes. I decided to stick around until game time in Evansville, and if it rained out, then I would go to Dubois County to at least get pictures of the stadium from the outside. After that, I planned to head home. I checked into the hotel, and decided to try my gambling luck in Evansville. I also needed to adjust my sleeping schedule, so I’d be ready for a 7 hour drive, late on Sunday.

When I woke up Sunday, it looked like it was pretty bright outside. I checked the radar, and everything seemed to pass through the area already. It was time for a big day! This meant two stadiums in one day. I started out in Evansville at the doubleheader. Evansville plays in the Frontier Leauge which is an independent league/MLB Partner League. Bosse Field is a very special place to take in a game. It’s the third oldest active ballpark by a professional team behind Wrigley Field, and Fenway Park. This stadium was used in the movie A League Of Their Own. It’s everything that someone could ever ask for in a ballpark that’s over 106 years old! Seeing a stadium preserved so well is such a great thing. This stadium has been restored for the modern day game, while preserving it’s rich history. There have been numerous hall of famers that have taken the field at Bosse Field, along with over 100 years of memories for players, coaches, managers, and fans all alike. If you’re a baseball fan of any kind, I consider Bosse Field a place that’s a must see. I put it right up with going to Cooperstown to see the Hall Of Fame.

I was able to catch about 4 innings of game one of the doubleheader. Evansville hit back to back home runs, which I was able to slow down a little on the time lapse, of the YouTube video. Evansville ended up losing both games of the doubleheader, which they originally had the lead. The fans were awesome in Evansville, and they loved watching their team. I figured out in about the 3rd inning of the game, that Dubois County is right on the line for being in eastern time zone.

I hit the road for game two, and headed towards League Stadium in Huntingburg, IN. This stadium was even more amazing to me! This stadium was originally built in 1894. It’s grandstand was restored, but still kept the old look! This is a former Prospect League team, that now plays in the Ohio Valley League. It was a clean game for the most part, and another awesome fan base. They recognized their high school state champion team before the game, and there were a lot of fans at the game. I left in the bottom of the 8th inning to get ready to make the big drive home. I consider both of these stadiums to be must-see stadiums! Besides the casino in Evansville, the other big thing that there is to do, is visit the USS LST-325, which is a ship from World War 2. I wasn’t able to visit the ship, but I would make time for it the next time I’m in the area. As always, I’ll share all of the pictures below from this weekend, that were included in the YouTube video. Feel free to ask questions at any time!

My next trip planned will be 7/24-7/25 in Sioux City, IA, and Sioux Falls, SD for some American Association baseball! I’m looking forward to sharing games from the American Association again, and I’ll be sharing more professional baseball going forward.

2022 MILB At The Field Of Dreams: Davenport Blue Sox Vs Cedar Rapids Bunnies

After attending the first game ever at The Field Of Dreams, it was a very high priority to make it back for another game. However, an announcement was made earlier in the year that there would be a Minor League Baseball game played at The Field Of Dreams, and I couldn’t wait to attend this historic game! This matchup featuring the Davenport Blue Sox (Quad Cities River Bandits) and Cedar Rapids Bunnies (Kernels) is always a special matchup to me. When I was in a different position in baseball, their home stadiums were the first ones I traveled to for road games, and I used to live in both cities. This game also featured both of the High A Central teams that were in the 2021 finals, which is in a previous post at this link.

I have been very fortunate to be able to attend both the first MLB game, and the first MILB game at the Field Of Dreams, and it’s safe to say that the same special experience is very similar from both games. If anyone has read my post about my 2021 experience, the process of getting tickets to the game was much different for this event. I was fortunate enough to win the ticket lottery, and get tickets right behind home plate. Since things worked out so well, I was able to bring a group of 4 to the game, which made this experience even better to share it with them.

When attending a game at the Field Of Dreams, it’s highly recommended to arrive early and experience everything going on at the original field, even if you have already been there before. There are a lot of events to take part in, there was free sweet corn, and the opportunity to have a catch. I also highly recommend exploring Dyersville, as there are a lot of things to do, especially during the Field Of Dreams events. Dyersville is also home to the National Farm Toy Show in November and June, which is one of my favorite events to attend every year.

As we walked through the center field corn to get into the stadium, batting practice was still going on. After a very hot weekend outside, we couldn’t have asked for better weather in the middle of August. It was the perfect time to be in that peaceful atmosphere with perfect weather. Before the teams were introduced, I could tell that this would be a very successful night. Everything was perfect.

Things got off to a fast start for Davenport in the 1st inning as they put up a 2 run home run. The pitcher, Chandler Champlain was dominant in just his second start since coming over from the Andrew Benintendi trade to the Yankees. From there, they never looked back as they added to their lead in the 3rd, and won the game by a final of 7-2.

This game featured eight of the 30 top prospects in all of baseball, combined between both teams. It was an amazing experience watching everyone compete in a very special environment. If you’re considering going to either a MLB or MILB game at this stadium, I recommend it more than attending a playoff game. While an experience may never be like the very first game, it still brings the same atmosphere, no matter what level of baseball is being played at this stadium. The Field Of Dreams brings a World Series atmosphere to baseball in the regular season, and it’s a very special thing to watch. As always, I’ll have more pictures below this post, and make sure to check out the YouTube video at the top of this page to see all of my photos and videos from this amazing experience!

2022 American Association Home Run Derby: 7/11/22 Chicago, IL

It’s been almost 2 months since my last baseball game, and it was great to be on the road again! This was an event I was planning to attend since it was announced, and was one of the most thrilling baseball events I have ever attended. The American Association Of Professional Baseball just hosted their first all star event since the 2019 season, and it was my first home run derby I ever attended. I always heard that a home run derby may not have the most action outside of MLB, but that was proven to be a completely inaccurate statement at this event. It was a very bad day to be a baseball on 7/11/2022 in Rosemont, IL.

I would like to start off by saying, as I have in other posts, that I’m a huge fan of the American Association. I originally became attached to watching baseball in this league early in the 2021 season. The style of the game resembles the way baseball was before all of the rules changes. Most of the players that are signed to affiliated baseball out of this league are usually going to either the AA or AAA level. There are many teams within a reasonable driving distance from me, and I have goals to share more stadiums. The rise in gas prices delayed some of the trips I planned to take, but I’m still planning to attend more stadiums in the 2022 season.

Impact Field is located right next to Chicago O’hare Airport, and airplanes weren’t the only thing flying during this event. The rounds of the home run derby were timed, and the participants tried to hit as many home runs as possible. This format is somewhat new, and I was amazed at the amount of athletic ability on display. There were a total of 208 home runs on the night during the regular rounds, along with two tie-breaker rounds that amounted in even more home runs. In the final round, there were a total of 45 home runs.

In the final round, I though Jabari Henry of the Sioux Falls Canaries would be going home with the trophy. He had a total of 56 home runs on the night, and would put together a streak of home runs. 22 of those home runs were hit in the final round. However, David Thompson of the Kansas City Monarchs would become the winner after hitting 23 home runs in the final round, and walking it off. Jabari Henry would end up becoming the All Star Game MVP after hitting a go ahead 3 run home run in the 9th inning on Tuesday night. If you’re ever considering going to an all star event and find this post, I would highly recommend attending. A home run derby is a change of pace, and the all star week is all about fun! The American Association did an amazing job putting the all star event together for the fans.

This was my second visit to Impact Field, and I highly recommend catching a Chicago Dogs game. This stadium is only a few years old, and looks like a stadium you would see at the AA level. It’s located about 20 minutes away from Wrigley Field, so it’s perfect, along with other American Association and Frontier League stadiums in the Chicagoland area to attend games at.

As always I’ll have all of the photos below this post from the event. Be on the look out during the week of the Field Of Dreams Game, as I’ll be attending the Quad Cities River Bandits vs Cedar Rapids Kernels game!

Milwaukee Brewers Vs Washington Nationals: 5/22/2022

Since I was going with friends to Lake Country, we decided to make it a full weekend in the MIlwaukee area, and top it off with a visit to American Family Field. This is my second visit to American Family Field on AP Ballparks, but it’s one of my favorite stadiums to visit, and it’s close to home. This was also another chance to watch Juan Soto and the Washington Nationals for the second time in two weeks.

The nice thing about American Family Field is that if you’re planning to go to this stadium, you never have to worry about the game being a rainout. The weather was a little cooler in Lake Country for a Saturday night game, but on Sunday afternoon, it was perfect weather for the roof to be open for a day game!

Getting to a day game after a traveling to a Saturday night game is always a little difficult for me, especially when I have to get ready to hit the road right after the game. We made it just a few minutes into the game, and unfortunately missed the fly over during the national anthem. It was military appreciation weekend, and the teams were wearing camo hats throughout the weekend. There were also promotions between innings, and recognition for local military members.

There are multiple options for getting to a Brewers game. I prefer driving to the game, and paying to park. Since I consider this the biggest place to tailgate in baseball, I love being around the environment before the game. I recommend clicking here to check out this YouTube link to see the tailgating environment in Milwaukee before a playoff game last season. However, if you’re staying in downtown Milwaukee, there are shuttles from local bars to and from the game, that are a lot easier to use. I’m not sure on the cost of the shuttles.

The Sausage Race At American Family Field

This game was a tough one for Milwaukee. Freddy Peralta was on the mound, and suffered a shoulder injury that will cause him to miss significant time. The Nationals have a very good lineup in the middle of the order, along with some players in the bottom of their order that can be a great impact in the lineup. The Nationals had a 4-0 when the injury happened, and they never looked back. The final score ended up being 8-2, and the Nationals are 2-0 on the season when I’ve been at their games. My brother and I had a great streak of attending crazy low scoring extra inning MLB games before this, but that streak was broken. While every stadium has their traditions, one that I have never seen was Bernie going down the slide, after the Brewers hit a home run. I finally was able to witness it for the first time at this game.

I consider American Family Field a must visit stadium, and there are numerous stadiums in the surrounding area to visit. It’s also a little over an hour away from Chicago, where there are also a lot of stadiums to visit. A few of those stadiums can be found on this website. Thank you for visiting! As always, I’ll have more pictures below this post.

The Second Home Game Ever At Wisconsin Brewing Co Park: Lake Country Dockhounds Vs Winnipeg Goldeyes 5/21/2022

The time has finally come for one of my most anticipated games of the season! The Lake Country Dockhounds are the newest team in the American Association, and their first ever home series was just played against the Winnipeg Goldeyes. Since I had to work on Friday, I planned on going to their second home game in Oconomowoc.

This game that I originally planned on driving home after, ended up being a full weekend in Milwaukee with my brother and a friend of ours. I must say that I’ve been very lucky to be able to go to so many games this year with other people. I haven’t been to a single baseball game alone yet, and it’s almost June. Thank you to everyone that’s joined me this season, as 2022 has been a big year! Stay tuned for another post coming soon from Milwaukee.

It’s about a three hour drive to Oconomowoc from where I live, and we made the drive in the early afternoon, anticipating the 6:00 start. We arrived a little early, and decided to eat before the game. When you exit the interstate, there are a few restaurants the opposite direction from the stadium. Parking is $5, and I recommend getting the parking pass while buying tickets. The Dockhounds have a great system when it comes to buying tickets, and everything can be managed on the website, including transferring tickets.

When it comes to seeing a brand new team, everything has to be considered a work in progress, and some extra patience. I learned this first hand watching our hockey team in their inaugural season this past winter, and brought that mindset with me to this game. For being brand new, it was very impressive how well everything was planned out in Lake Country. Anything that I mention in this post could be completely different as the season progresses, and the team makes adjustments.

As you walk into the stadium behind home plate, the first thing you see is a bar, and there’s a wide variety of beer. There are also a few tables with a variety of things for fans to see. The store seemed a little small, and was just getting started. There are a lot of clothing items to choose from right now, and I think there will probably be more things in the future. Unfortunately, there were no logo baseballs at the time, but I’ll hopefully be getting one in the future, especially with the awesome logo/mascot (Louie) the Dockhounds have. The dog logo reminds me a newer version of the Charleston River Dogs. Just beyond the store is the concession stand, and the line was full throughout the game, so if you’re planning to eat, I would plan ahead, but this could always change since it was opening weekend.

Kid’s Zone At Lake Country

While visiting the stadium, one of the first things that came to mind is that the stadium is very family friendly. The kids zone area has a lot to choose from for the kids, and even has half of a basketball court. This is a great stadium for local families to visit on the weekends.

I always say that every stadium has their own unique features, and I really how Lake Country made their seating behind home plate. There are round tables, and 4 tickets need to be purchased in order to reserve the home plate view. However, my seats were the next section over in the back row, and the view was perfect. The only major thing that I’ll mention about this stadium, is that there isn’t a roof or any cover above the stands. This means that the sun will be a factor when it’s hot outside. The round tables at the bottom section will be the most covered, during those times. The weather was perfect during May though.

Round tables at the top section behind home plate. There are also tables below.

This game was great from the start. The Dockhounds pitcher was struggling to find the zone during the top of the 1st, but was able to settle in. The wind could be a factor, along with the turf at this stadium. The wind helped a baseball carry during the bottom of the 1st, and there were back to back home runs. However, Winnipeg ended up putting up five runs in the next inning, and never looked back. The score ended up being 6-3 in Winnipeg’s favor, but there were some moments where Lake Country almost broke through, which made this game even more exciting.

I would highly recommend checking out Wisconsin Brewing Co Park, and bringing the family. There’s nothing like seeing a brand new team make history, and watching the team develop throughout the season. I’m looking forward to visiting again either later in the season, or around this time next season again! Be on the lookout for my next post coming soon from this weekend, and as always, I’ll share more pictures below.

A Day In Washington DC

It was a very successful day on day 3 of the Washington DC trip. After exploring Alexandria, Nationals Park, and George Washington’s Mount Vernon Mansion, it was finally time to check out all of the big places in Washington DC.

In my previous post, I mentioned that I decided to wait until there was a full day to check out all of the sites in Washington DC that I was able to make it to in one day. If I had the option, I would’ve spent one more day of exploring, but it was still very successful, and I was able to see the main places that are must see places. I highly recommend exploring DC with an entire day available, and not on a tight schedule, if possible.

When I was looking at the map, I decided that it would be the most efficient to start at one side, and go towards the capitol. Since the city is more spread out than I thought, I realized that it was necessary to drive to most of the places.

I walked from the Lincoln Memorial to the Washington Monument, and it was about a 20 minute walk each way. From there, I parked the car near the rest of the sites. There are also tour busses, and other ways to tour the city. However, I decided to go at my own pace.

I consider Washington DC a must see place, and there is something for everyone to see in the city. If you’re planning a baseball trip, I highly recommend taking a couple of extra days to explore the city, especially if you have extra time in between ballparks. As always, I’ll share more pictures below, thank you for visiting! I’ll be sharing more baseball stadiums in my next posts, along with a hockey game.

George Washington’s Mount Vernon Mansion: 5/11/22

I mentioned in my last post that I did something different besides exploring the city before the Nationals game. This was the perfect thing to do with plenty of time before going to the game! Although there is a lot of walking, there was enough time to go back to the hotel and sit down for a while.

When I was in Tennessee in 2019 for a trip, one of the coolest experiences I had was going to Andrew Jackson’s Hermitage, and seeing the preserved home of a former president, and how people lived a long time ago. In another post on AP Ballparks from 2021, I was able to visit numerous sites with ties to Abraham Lincoln, and his tomb in Springfield, IL before catching a game. Just over a week ago, I had just found out that George Washington’s Mount Vernon Mansion even existed, and it was probably the thing I was most excited to visit at that point. I have never researched anything around the Washington DC/Virginia area, so this was all new to me.

George Washington’s Mount Vernon Mansion is located about 30 minutes from Washington DC, and is the perfect place to visit for about 2-3 hours. There is a lot of walking on this visit, and there are a lot of things to see. I also recommend going some research on Mount Vernon, as I’ve learned a lot after my visit. This is also where the Washington Family Tomb is located. It’s always amazed me how places this old are able to be maintained for visitors to see, and how they’re able to arrange the furniture and everything to the most accurate arrangement they’re able to find in history. The tour guides were very open about all of this in every room of the house, and they would say if they weren’t sure what a specific room was used for at the time. There are also buildings outside that were rebuilt as accurate as possible. At the time of this post, it’s $28 a person to get into the grounds, and it’s also highly recommended to schedule the tour ahead of time. It is about a 5-10 minute walk to the mansion from the entrance, so I recommend scheduling it with a little extra time. The time slots are limited with the capacity of the house. As always I’ll share my pictures below this post! Stay tuned for another Washington DC post, along with more baseball stadium posts coming up within the next week.

5/11/22: Washington Nationals Vs New York Mets

Another new MLB ballpark has been checked off for me, and my trip to Washington DC was a very successful one! I’ll be sharing more content throughout the next couple of days from the trip, so stay tuned for more. I’ll also be going to two more games this weekend, and bringing a brand new ballpark in just the second home game of the teams existence! My next couple of posts won’t be baseball related, but will have things to do in the Washington DC area that I consider must see places for anyone to visit.

With only 3 days to explore DC as much as possible, my original plans were to explore the city before going to the game. Things ended up working out differently, and I recommend not going to a Nationals game and exploring the city in the same day, unless if you only have one day. Things are a lot more spread out than I thought they would be, and there isn’t enough time to do it all, along with a game. I’ll be sharing in a future post what I ended up doing earlier in the day before the Nationals Game.

This was my first time visiting Washington DC, so all I knew about the city was what the map told me. I was able to check off two new states on this trip also in Virginia, and Maryland just across the Potomac River. There are three airports within the vicinity of DC, and I flew into the DCA airport, which is the closest, but flying into Baltimore would be ideal for getting to two ballparks on the same trip. It was very convenient staying in Alexandria, VA, which is only a 15 minute drive to the stadium, even in heavy traffic. I highly recommend renting a car for this trip, or getting very familiar with public transportation. Also, there are things within 30 minutes of the city to see, especially for anyone that likes seeing historic places.

Washington Monument And Thomas Jefferson Memorial While Driving To Nationals Park From Alexandira, VA

Getting to the ballpark wasn’t bad for a Wednesday evening. It may be busier on weekends with larger crowds, but I also arrived about two hours before the game started. There was a promotion for a cooler bag, but it was an exiting giveaway, which I’ve never heard of before. I’m not sure if all of the Nationals promotions are this way, but I’m assuming it’s because of the clear bag policy that they did the giveaway this way. With the new bag policies at games, the Nationals have lockers outside of the stadium available to rent. They’re around $15 for the game. I parked closer to the stadium, and it was around $30. The layout for parking reminded me a lot of Cleveland when I was there. There were a lot of concessions to choose from at this ballpark, along with a Shake Shack in the stadium. If you go up the stairs behind center field, there are a lot of things to choose from.

The first place Mets were in town against the last place 2019 World Series Champions in this young season, and I couldn’t wait to see this matchup, along with Juan Soto, who’s already and MVP caliber player at just 23 years old. It was amazing to see what he did in 2019, and I’ve always wanted to see him play in person. The Nationals were already down 3-0 in the bottom of the first inning, and he didn’t disappoint in his first at bat.

I got lucky, and caught a Soto home run on camera. From here, the Nationals didn’t look back. They put up 8 runs in the first two innings of the game. That ended up being the final score, as both team’s pitching settled down for the rest of the game. Throughout the game I was able to walk around the stadium, and get some different pictures of the ballpark. I’ll share everything below, as always. Be on the lookout for my next posts from this trip, and make sure to use code APGAMING for $20 off of your first SeatGeek order!

“Bull Durham” Durham Bulls Vs Memphis Redbirds: 5/1/22

Game 2 of my weekend in North Carolina was spent at one of the Cities I’ve always wanted to see. The movie Bull Durham was known for being one of the biggest impacts on the minor league sports industry, and I finally got the opportunity to see where it was filmed.

Since I was staying in Charlotte, NC, my friend Mitch and I had a two hour drive ahead of us, and the weather wasn’t looking very good for the entire weekend. However, things ended up working out perfect! We were originally planning to go to the Charlotte Knights game since the weather looked bad for the Durham game, but we decided to try to make it to Durham after we saw the hourly forecast. With traffic and weather slowing things down along the way, we ended up arriving later than planned. However, that ended up working out in our favor. A rain delay stopped the game for about an hour, and we decided to sacrifice a couple innings of the game to check out the old Durham Bulls stadium, which is where the movie Bull Durham was filmed!

Durham Athletic Park

As some of you may know, I absolutely love older stadiums, and I would’ve loved to catch a game at this stadium. It’s still being used as a college baseball stadium, along with numerous events. It’s my goal to make it to even more historic stadiums, and share them with everyone. The Bulls moved out of their old stadium after the 1994 season. In 1998, they moved up to the AAA level. One of the main reasons for needing a new stadium was because of how high Durham’s attendance was after the movie was made. It’s amazing how impactful Kevin Costner baseball movies have been over the years for the sport.

After checking out the old stadium, we drove about five minutes to the game, and found a parking garage. This stadium does require some walking, as their main entrance and box office are on the opposite side. However, there is a drop off area at the entrance. This ended up being a close game, and had a lot of great moments, even after being late. One of those moments was when the bull lit up, after a home run.

The Bull Is Alive

There are a lot of great features in this stadium, along with big team store. I love that they have Jackie’s Landing which honors Jackie Robinson. As you can see in the video, the left field wall is only 303 ft, and 20 ft high, which they call the blue monster. I also like how they added the video board on the wall. The original bull sign from the movie is now in storage, according to an article, and is not the one that’s above the blue monster today. After the Bulls were threatening a few times in the game, the Redbirds ended up holding on to their lead, and winning the game 3-2.

If you’re able to spend an entire day in the Durham area, I highly recommend it. While it was a great trip from Charlotte, we realized that we needed an entire day to check everything out. There are numerous places from the movie to see, and a few places around the ballpark to go to before the game. One of those places overlooks the left field wall. I’m hoping to come back to Durham with some extra time, and share some of those sights. It was a very successful weekend in North Carolina, and I can’t wait to share more places this season. I’m very excited for my next game will be in Washington DC, and I’ll also be sharing a few posts outside of baseball. As always, I’ll share all of my photos below from Durham. Make sure to use the code APGAMING at seatgeek.com for $20 off your first SeatGeek order!

Atlantic League Baseball: Gastonia Honey Hunters Vs Staten Island Ferryhawks 4/30/2022

After a couple of weeks, I’m back with another weekend full of baseball! This time, it’s the second week of Atlantic League Baseball. After realizing that the Charlotte Knights were playing earlier in the day, I needed to make a quick adjustment to the schedule. I looked around for a few days, and nothing seemed to fit in well with my 5:00 landing, until I started looking outside of MILB stadiums. This was perfect because I never attended an Atlantic League game until this one! I forgot all about the team and the stadium that has only been around for a year, and this worked out perfect. As some of you may know, I’ve recently become a huge fan of independent baseball, and the grind these leagues have.

Gastonia was a little different compared to a lot of new ballparks. I loved how unique the stadium was made. The seats behind home plate sit back pretty far, and have a very wide angle. It almost felt like the field could be used as a football stadium. After doing a little research, I’ve learned that the stadium is designed to be used for numerous sports, and a concert venue.

As I arrived at CaroMont Health Park with my friend Mitch, we realized that parking is free, and at your own risk behind the left field wall. We assumed that hitting the ball to the parking lot would be a big shot, and we realized later that we were wrong. This stadium is only 315 ft to left field. There is a tall wall, but I guarantee that these players could still hit it over the wall easily. Luckily the car was never in danger.

CaroMont Health Park

This stadium is perfect for a local baseball game! I was curious to see how the attendance would be, especially being so close to Charlotte where there’s a team that’s AAA. I recommend checking it out if you’re in the Charlotte area for more than one game. There are so many stadiums in the area that are numerous levels of professional baseball. Charlotte is the perfect area to take an entire week if you enjoy seeing new stadiums.

This game was a very interesting one to catch. We arrived shortly after the beginning of the game, and there was a lot of baseball left to be played in this one. Gastonia had a 5-0 lead in the 2nd inning, and it looked like a comfortable lead at the time. However, this is baseball and no lead is ever safe. Staten Island, which is just two weeks into being part of the Atlantic League, almost came back. There were some exciting home runs throughout this game, and a great atmosphere. We were part of the largest attendance in their team’s history with 2,425 people in the crowd.

When planning a game in Gastonia, I do recommend ordering your tickets at least a day in advance, depending on when you plan on attending. As you can see in the pictures, there aren’t very many seats behind home plate. In this picture, I’m sitting in the back row of the section. Also, there are pictures, but they have plans to build an entire district right next to this stadium. With that being said, I recommend possibly waiting until that’s built, if you’re interested in the full experience of Gastonia.

CaroMont Health Park

While the Atlantic League and other independent leagues are non affiliated, they do have a lot of former minor/major league players. As we were walking around the stadium to go out of the outfield gate, the area where the players walk to the clubhouse was roped off. This was a great opportunity for the fans to have interactions with the players, and the kids loved being able to give the players high fives, as they were walking back. One thing I noticed during this process, were how many players had gear they were wearing, or bags with their former MLB affiliations on them. Another thing to keep in mind, is that these players can go straight to the AA or AAA levels from independent baseball. As always, I’ll include all of the pictures below. Thank you for checking out the blog! There will be another post coming soon. Don’t forget to check out seatgeek.com and use code APGAMING for $20 off your first SeatGeek order!

Iowa Heartlanders Vs Allen Americans: 4/15/2021

As some of you may know, I spent a lot of time during the baseball off season attending hockey games, especially at the Iowa Heartlander’s inaugural season. It was very special being part of a fanbase that was just beginning, and I had a goal of attending one of their games on the road. However because of the weather, it can be tough planning a game on the road during the winter time in Iowa. I had some extra days off of work that I needed to use, and the schedule looked perfect to attend one last game in April, right at the beginning of baseball season. It was even better when I saw that the Texas Rangers were at home during the same dates.

The thing I love about hockey compared to baseball, is that I’m somewhat new to learning the sport. I’m a very big fan of the sport, and how tough the sport is. I find myself constantly comparing hockey to baseball, especially with learning the rules of the game. The other thing I love about hockey, is that I’m able to be more of a fan towards one team, compared to being more neutral in baseball. This entire season has been a learning experience for me, especially with seeing the very beginning of a brand new team.

I’m pretty familiar with the Allen area. I used to live close by, and was in the area often, but never attended an American’s game. I would always go into Dallas to a Stars game, which is about 20 minutes away. However, the Americans aren’t affiliated with the Stars, they’re affiliated with the Seattle Kraken. The interesting scenario going into the weekend, was that the Americans needed to win in order to get in the playoffs ahead of the Dallas Stars affiliate, the Idaho Steelheads. The Heartlanders were already eliminated from the playoffs.

An Allen American’s Goal Celebration

The Americans started off strong in this game with an early goal. One of the features I loved about this arena, was the red lighting after a goal, and during the player introductions. After a quiet second period, the Heartlanders came out strong with two goals, and ended up giving up the game tying goal on the power play. After a tough penalty, the Americans ended up winning in overtime. It was a tough last game of the season, but I still had a great time at the game, along with the entire season. My goal is to make it to more hockey arenas in the 2022-2023 season, and share them during the baseball off season. The parts of the season that overlap are perfect to work in with baseball games. It can always be tough going into an away venue with the other team’s jersey on, but I’m glad I did. There were some players/coaches that noticed, and were genuinely happy that someone was there to watch their team. This fanbase in the Iowa City/Coralville area will keep growing, and it will be a great thing to watch. I’m looking forward to watching the Heartlanders play for many seasons in the future, as I’ve found my new off season hobby.

If you’re in the Allen area, there are a lot of things to do around this arena. It’s located right in the middle of a shopping/restaurant area, and there are a lot of hotels nearby. If you’re flying into the DFW area, Allen is a long drive from both airports, and a rental car is almost necessary to get around. I would consider Allen one of the nicest cities in the entire DFW metroplex, along with the surrounding cities. There are many things to do in this area, and you could easily make a four day trip in Dallas with things to do. Inside of the arena, I really liked their team store. I love the logo/branding of the team, and the fanbase was very friendly, even to someone with the opposing team’s jersey on. They sell the big 25 oz beer cans, and everything was very reasonably priced. Attending a game in Allen is definitely a great alternative for families in the area that don’t want to make the drive to a Stars game, and still have a great hockey game experience. As always, I’ll have all of the pictures below. Make sure to check out the YouTube video at the top of this post, and click the SeatGeek picture, and use the discount code APGAMING to save $20 off your first SeatGeek order!

My next trip is scheduled for 4/30-5/1 in Charlotte and Durham, NC. Another trip announcement will be coming soon!