Pfitzner Stadium, Woodbridge, VIRGINIA
Number of states: still 21
States to go: 29
First game: August 19, 2006 (Kinston Indians 6, Potomac Nationals 1)
Way, way, way out into the DC suburbs is a tiny minor-league ballpark. While the occupants try to get a new ballpark every year, they continue to return to this run-of-the-mill field that’s a part of a high school complex in
The ballpark itself is fairly nondescript. It does not pass the “do we have any idea where we are” test…I saw no evidence we were in Virginia or near Washington DC. We honestly could have been anywhere. The ballpark is charmless as well. There’s too much netting around the infield. I lost virtually all memory of the place within a few months. But, and for the first time, the part that troubled me the most was the way that the team’s owner actually interfered with my enjoyment of a game.
I don’t mind some wackiness and promotions as a part of my minor league baseball experience. But it cannot interfere with the baseball on the field. Art Silber, the owner of the Nationals, did just that. Apparently, on Saturday nights, Silber coaches
On the other side of the coin, I don’t much mind if players take jobs that normally go to others. Steve Mortimer sang the
Probably the best part of my trip was getting to hang out with Tom. We found ourselves a seat away from some others, and we said wacky stuff to each other throughout the game. That’s just the way it happens. He told me a good deal about Virginia politics. We also had a lot of fun making up personalities for the players. Singing Mortimer was easy, of
Perhaps the most damning aspect of this ballpark is that now, only a few months after going to the ballgame, I’ve forgotten almost everything about the ballpark. So I will finish this not with words, but with a couple more pictures.
Regional feel: 4/10
Not much. Only a local Congressman’s pitch and Uncle Slam save the score at all.
Nothing too special.
Rule #1: Don’t let your spectacle interfere with the baseball. The owner coaching…well, that interferes. But I did like the player singing the anthem.
Team mascot/name: 3/5
Uncle Slam and me. I like puns, so this name works. But the team name? Why not stick with “Cannons”? So much better.
Some nice trees, but the ballpark itself is quite dull.
Pavilion area: 3/5
Props to my buddy Tom.
It was a fun night, but the owner bugged me.
Four Indians pitchers–J.D. “New Guy” Martin, Cody Bunkelman, Ryan Knippschild, and Randy Newsom–combine on a 4-hitter, allowing no earned runs. Martin strikes out 4 in 4 innings, giving up two hits. Bunkelman pitches two perfect innings in relief, striking out three and picking up his third win of the year.
Rodney Choy Foo, Nathan Panther, and Matt Whitney homer for the Indians.
Steve Mortimer goes 1-for-3 with a double for the Nationals.(Written December 2006.)