My original plan was to devote today’s post exclusively to food (shocker, I know), but you know what they say about the best laid plans:
They are often interrupted by a reversible hat!
The Altoona Curve announced their new logos and uniforms earlier this offseason, and the shape-shifting item seen above represents the final piece of the puzzle. Remarks the franchise:
[T]he Altoona Curve’s new home cap is believed to be the first in Minor League Baseball to feature a specially-designed, rally cap lining. When the Railroad Red cap with the new Engineer head logo is turned inside out, a bright orange lining with large black eyes is displayed to simulate the look of popular Curve rally mascot, Al Tuna.
The cap is the work of Plan B Branding, who are understandably excited by their latest innovation. I chatted briefly with company co-founder Jason Klein over IM yesterday, but all he wrote was “Al Tuna! Al Tuna!” before my connection gave out. But perhaps that’s all that was needed.
But in case you were wondering, the players themselves won’t be wearing the rally caps. Curve manager PJ Forbes told the Altoona Mirror “I can emphatically say no. But it is a nice touch for the fans, and it’s another way to get the fans involved, which is what it’s all about.” Which reminds me, why isn’t there a “Come to the Park in Your PJs” night on the Curve promotional calendar? It would be a great way to honor the manager while getting the fans involved. And that’s what it’s all about!
Speaking of getting the fans involved, the Huntsville Stars are going to be broadcasting games in a most interesting fashion this season:
The Stars will be replacing the traditional radio broadcast with a live web show for every home game. The webcast, “The Living Room Show”, will bring a different level of entertainment to the ballpark, putting the broadcast in the hands, and seats, of fans. Ryan “Pokey” Hayden, a former voice of Troy University athletics, will host the show and keep things rolling. He’ll also be in charge of calling the play-by-play, and it won’t be from the press box. Hayden will be seated on a couch in the seating bowl, calling the game with the people who love it most: the fans.
I’m definitely interested to hear (and see) how this turns out. It could be the future of Minor League Baseball broadcasting, or it could be a crazy and quickly-forgotten anomaly. But it won’t be both. I’d also curious to hear YOUR thoughts. Yes, you.
Believe it or not, I have not embedded a video since MLBlogs made its momentous conversion to WordPress (who, according to the logic of Rob Neyer, must be doing something wrong). That situation is going to be rectified right now, with a video that just happened to fall into my lapse. Courtesy of the Wisconsin Timber Rattlers, here’s the offseason condensed into 118 seconds.
But the offseason, in real time, was approximately 4.2 billion years. I, for one, am glad that it ends tomorrow. It’s time to not enjoy life in a whole new way!
Oh, and that food-related post is coming soon. I think I’m going to call it “Appetite For Destruction” because how is it possible that I have never written a post with this title?
While I semi-regularly attend these facilities as a fan, I wanted to give them the “On the Road” treatment that I have been able to lavish upon a dozen ballparks thus far this season (with more to come!)
But you know what they say about plans, even those of the best-laid variety: They often go awry. For I went to MCU Park on Tuesday, only to discover that the evening’s game had been rained out. Even more frustratingly, Staten Island played that evening. The situation then reversed itself on Wednesday, with the game on in Brooklyn and canceled in SI (still feeling wary, I stayed in the office and watched Jeopardy! on mute).
So all that I have at this juncture is pictures of a rainy night with no baseball in Coney Island. What follows is my attempt to make some sweet, sweet, lemonade.
One can take the subway to MCU Park, on the D, N, F, or Q lines. Coney Island is the last stop, at which point I was all by my lonesome. I should have taken this as a sign that it wasn’t going to be a good night for baseball:
Upon exiting the station, one is greeted with one of the most iconic sights in New York: The original Nathan’s Hot Dogs:
The stadium light towers are visible in the above picture, ringed with florescent circles. Here’s a somewhat closer look:
To get there, one must resist the lure of equally florescent confections:
“Something is wrong here!,” I muttered into a walkie-talkie that was in fact just my clenched fist. But doggedly I soldiered on.
In front of the ticket window was a queue of fans. Utilizing the fine reportorial skill of “eavesdropping”, I learned that the game had in fact been canceled. These individuals were exchanging their ducats, hoping to come again on a less precipitous evening:
The front entrance, filled with aimlessly wandering fans attempting to salvage their evening plans:
This woman was sporting the t-shirt given away as part of the team’s “Jersey? Sure!” extravaganza. She looks to be explaining the concept of a rainout to that dog, who was no doubt dismayed that he would not be able to participate in that evening’s scheduled “Bark in the Park” festivities:
Brooklyn baseball legends Pee-Wee and Jackie, their countenances unchanged despite the foul weather:
Also immortalized are those who made the ultimate sacrifice on 9/11:
A bit further down, one could find the team bus of the visiting Hudson Valley Renegades. The rainout afforded an early exit from Brooklyn, and the players were piling in with pizza in hand:
The “back” of the stadium (ie, the outfield) juts up against the Coney boardwalk. Here’s the view through a hole in a locked fence (who else provides this kind of access?):
I kept havi
ng to remind myself it was still August, as Coney Island on this particular evening had a thoroughly autumnal vibe, melancholy and somnambulant.
The Parachute Jump ride, which hasn’t been in operation since 1968:
Tumbleweed not pictured:
The only areas that seemed to possess any life at all were the business located alongside the stadium:
And, of course, Nathan’s.
All told, I actually enjoyed my unsuccessful trip to MCU Park. Visiting Coney Island is always memorable, no matter what the circumstances, and the long subway rides provide plenty of time to read (the theological musings of C.S. Lewis, in this particular case).
So, yeah, I’ll be back.
It just might be a while: