Frawley Stadium, Wilmington, DELAWARE
Number of states: 25
States to go: 25
First game: August 18, 2007 (Wilmington Blue Rocks 10, Lynchburg Hillcats 9)
Note to travelers: You can absolutely get a good deal staying in Wilmington on any weekend! I got a very, very posh hotel for cheap on Priceline for my one night in Wilmington.
I got the sense that there’s not much traffic through the museum, but I actually appreciated that, since one of the curators gave me a highly personalized tour through the park. He asked me where I was from, and when I told him Washington state, he immediately escorted
Needless to say, this put me in a tremendous mood even before the ballgame began. And I
All of this is enough for me, but the Blue Rocks have
Russ joined me for this game. He’s the third person I’ve met as a result of my association with the Network of Ballpark Collectors, which is basically a loose confederation of nerds like me. He drove the couple of hours in to meet me, and we sat back and talked about ballparks pretty much the whole night. Russ also saved my bacon on this evening; I had left my camera back at the hotel, and while I took the above pictures with a disposable camera from the Blue Rocks’ gift shop, he took a few good ones he kindly is letting me use:
It’s only appropriate, that, at the end of a fun, topsy-turvy game, it came down to a bottom-of-the-ninth single to win it for Wilmington. The batter who delivered the hit: Josh Johnson, an African-American kid–one of a dwindling few in baseball of late. That little echo of history brought an end to a night where history, for me anyway, was celebrated throughout the ballpark and the museum.
Judy Johnson Field at Frawley Stadium was a great place for a sports and history junkie like me. I’d love to head back next time I’m headed up the East Coast.
Regional feel: 8.5/10
I have never been in a stadium that celebrates local history as much as Frawley Stadium. The only reason I penalize at all on the score here is because the view isn’t much.
I felt well-treated at every turn, but architecturally, there’s a bit too much metal.
A reverent look at baseball history. Loved it.
Team mascot/name: 3/5
Yeah, kids, I don’t know what it is either. I guess it’s a blue rock, or some sort of a blue dot, or whatever. Never caught his name. Is “Blue Rocks” an echo of the University of Delaware Blue Hens mascot? In any event, I give some credit for creativity.
Not much of a view and too much metal.
Pavilion area: 4.5/5
Nice to meet you, Russ. Maybe we’ll see this picture on the cover of Baseball Nerd Quarterly.
I had a fantastic time in the museum, through the Judy Johnson ceremonies, and hanging with Russ. I was left with a great feeling about the place.
BASEBALL STUFF I’VE SEEN HERE:
A back-and-forth, wild affair. Wilmington blew leads of 4-0 and 8-4 before coming back from a 9-8 deficit in the 9th to win it.
Brian McFall and Jeremy Cleveland each bang out three hits for the Blue Rocks. Angel Gonzalez and Jamie Romak respond in kind for the Hillcats.
Russ and I grow fond of the Hillcats’ leadoff hitter, Pedro Powell. He is listed in the program as five-foot-seven, but we think they’re giving him at least two inches. He was a tiny little quick dude…fun to watch.(Written April 2008.)