Tagged: Budweiser

(Not) On the Road: A Ferry Good Night in Staten Island

siyank.jpgMany New Yorkers have an “out of sight, out of mind” mentality when it comes to Staten Island. While it may be a nice place to live, it’s not a location that many people go out of their way to visit.

But ample motivation to set foot in the so-called “forgotten borough” is provided in the form of the Staten Island Yankees, who have competed in the New York-Penn League since 1999. The team has played at Richmond County Bank Ballpark for the past 10 seasons, a waterfront facility located a proverbial stone’s throw from the Manhattan skyline.

The water plays a key role in the Staten Island Yankees experience, starting with how one gets there. This past Friday, my journey began at lower Manhattan’s South Ferry Terminal (accessible via multiple subway lines):


The stout vessel that I ended up boarding was the Samuel I. Newhouse, 310 feet long and capable of carrying 6000 passengers.



While there is ample seating, I prefer standing along one of the outside railings (after stopping for a drink at the snack bar).

Budweiser in the foreground, Lady Liberty in the back, America all the way:


The ferry provides ample opportunity to view the Statue of Liberty, as well as the chaotic NYC waterways in general.



All while the city itself slowly recedes into the background:



Once arriving on Staten’s foreign soil, it is very easy to find the ballpark. Just look for signs with a baseball on them:


The scoreboard is visible immediately upon exiting the terminal:


So close, yet so far away as it turns out. The right field entrance is relatively nearby…


But the team doesn’t sell tickets from this area:


It’s a disconcertingly desolate first impression, and the only choice is to keep walking:


Finally, the front entrance comes into view:



But if you’re one of the poor souls who needs to procure tickets from Will Call…well, keep walking:




The hassles to actually get inside notwithstanding, this is an excellent place to see a game:



Red SI Yanks hats are distributed to those attending a game as part of a group. This seems to be a big part of the overall ticket sales strategy; standalone giveaway items and theme nights are non-existent on the promotional schedule.


But there are many entertaining between-inning games, including one that simply documents the hilarity that ensues after a baby is given his first taste of lemon:



As well as the ever-popular Hula Relay Race:


I apologize, my photos from the concourse didn’t turn out. Here’s the best of the sorry bunch:


The team’s mascot triumvirate, led by Scooter the Holy Cow (in honor of Phil Rizzuto, of course):


The scoreboard is top-notch, as is the view beyond:



The game was won by the visiting Lowell Spinners by a score of 7-1. But no mere defeat can get in the way of Friday Night Fireworks and post-game Run the Bases:



Finally, it was time to walk back in the direction of the ferry terminal:



The ride back to Manhattan always offers astounding visuals of the rapidly approaching city, but my attempt to capture these views photographically once again came up short. So all I can do is leave you with this quite sagacious-looking fish, who makes his home in Staten Island’s St. George Ferry Terminal:


I wish I could end this post as gracefully as that fish moves about within his aquatic habitat. All I can come up with is “Oh water night” and, sadly, that’s going to have to do for now.

Oh, water night!



Boozin’, Brawlin’ and Blingin’: Rojo Takes Round Rock

rojo2.jpgEarlier this week, the Round Rock Express announced that they acquired a right-handed hurler with an exceedingly unorthodox back story: Billy Ray “Rojo” Johnson.

Biographical details are scant, but here’s what we do know:

Johnson, who was born in East Texas but was raised in Venezuela, recently had his prison sentence commuted. He served time for running a smuggling ring that imported rare and illegal species of reptiles into the United States from South America during the mid-to-late 1990s. Thursday night’s game marks Johnson’s first in American professional baseball after a storied career in the Venezuelan leagues.
Rojo entered the ballgame in the top of the sixth inning, and lasted just one pitch (seen above). Then, chaos erupted. Let’s go to the video (jeez, way to give away the joke, video description):
Rojo’s outfield headlock of the rampaging “number four” was an impromptu tribute to Express owner Nolan Ryan, who famously handled Robin Ventura in the same manner. The similarities end there, however: Ryan never drank Budweiser on the mound, let alone sprayed it on an angry opponent. And he certainly refrained from the illicit smuggling of South American lizards.
My indefatigable MiLB.com colleague Danny Wild was all over this story last night, working until dawn in order to bring it to the masses. Click HERE for a recap and photo gallery. Further snapshots are available on the Express’s Facebook page, and a local television news piece can be viewed HERE.
Meanwhile, Rojo’s “friend” Will Ferrell is in the Round Rock area today for the “Will Powered Golf Tournament” (which benefits College for Cancer, an organization providing college scholarships to cancer survivors). No word yet on whether “Rojo” will make an appearance, ready to show the world that his golf skills are commensurate with those he displayed on the mound.