UMPC Park, Erie, PENNSYLVANIA
State number: still 37
States to go: 13
First game: none yet (rainout, May 25, 2017)
This one never had a chance of going off. It rained the entire night before as friends and I drove out from the Cleveland airport. It rained as we went in and intimidated people playing pub trivia in Mentor, Ohio, only losing because of the preponderance of Cleveland Cavalier questions (home-field advantage). It rained that morning as a college buddy and her husband took us around Erie. And by the time we showed up, well before scheduled first pitch, they had already bagged on the game.
My heart went out to the teachers for this one. Like most day games during the school year, this one featured a crap-ton of field trip people, and they were already crammed into their seats for the start of a game that would never begin.
What on earth would the teachers do with the sudden extra three hours? What would they do with kids who expected to chill outside for a while and suddenly would not? I’m telling you, this was a devastating blow to the teachers of northwestern Pennsylvania, and I hope they all had alternate plans ready (ALWAYS have alternate plans ready, teachers).
It’s a shame, because UPMC park looked like a winner. Views of the lake from the upper deck, nice integration with the athletic club next door, quality double-A ball…looked awesome. Perhaps one day I shall head back. But while others were at school or at work, this day was spent at a bar with old friends instead. And you can’t really argue with that.
Fifth Third Field, Toledo, OHIO
Number of states: still 5 (rainout)
(Click on any picture to see a larger version.)
States to go: 45
Number of games: 0 (rainout, July 16, 2004)
I led off my 2004 summer ELABST trip in Toledo, where college buddy Kristin lived. Kristin expressed enthusiasm not only to host me and join me at Fifth Third Field, but to join me for the lion’s share of the tour. We showed up at Fifth Third Field. Alas, the game never began…the rain stopped a few times, just to tantalize us all,
and they even took off the tarp, announced lineups, and sang the anthem…but it was not meant to be.
Even though I spent three hours at the ballpark, I didn’t see a game here in Toledo, and I therefore cannot count Ohio in my state total, nor do I feel right giving the ballpark a score. I’m certain it would be a very high score–the ballpark is beautiful, nicely integrated into the warehouses of the neighborhood (in the picture at left, the stadium is the shorter building on the left). It also has local charm, including Toledo native Jamie Farr, wearing Corporal Klinger’s Mud Hens’ hat, making announcements on the scoreboard.
Question: Are the Mud Hens the only men’s pro team with a female nickname? They do have mascots of each gender…Muddy and–ready?–Muddonna. I took the time to pose with Muddonna. After all, I bought her namesake’s albums in junior high. The “Lucky Star” video…critical to my development as a heterosexual. You remember what those dancers on either side of her looked like? Me either. But I digress. I
like the idea of two genders for the mascot. It’s a bit of an affirmative action program for the furry.
In any event, in spite of the lack of score, I thought I’d throw in a few pictures to show what it’s like to be at a rainout at Fifth Third Field. See the tarp come off…hopes were high!…then see the tarp go back on. Oh well.
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(Written August 2004.)