I remember when I used to decide on the spur of the moment to attend a Rockies game in Denver and hoped to find tickets that were reasonably priced. There was always the Rockpile beyond the outfield if you were willing to “rough it,” but if you wanted actual seats with backs, boy the tickets for chairs to watch the mountains and city backdrops, I mean the ballgame, were a bit steep to put it lightly.
It’s like that in every city that features a major league team. Baseball lovers still enjoy going to games, but in towns like Louisville that feature a minor league team with a clean, easy to access and truly family friendly atmosphere, the value is way greater than anything you can find at a major league team’s park.
We used to say that people attending Coors Field were going to a party and a baseball game might break out. Other than that one year they were swept by the Red Sox in the World Series, there hasn’t been much to get excited about. They have remained at best a mostly loveable .500 ball club. That said, I used to recommend people visiting from out of town go see a game at Coors. It is one of the best major league parks to watch a game that I have been to. But bring abundant plastic and plenty of cash in order to enjoy it fully.
For those of us in Louisville who decided not to leave town this weekend, delightfully enough, the Louisville Bats are playing this evening at Slugger Field. This is a beautiful park. There truly isn’t a bad seat in the house. The mascots keep things entertaining when the game is lagging or it’s between innings and you’re headed for the aisles to grab another beverage, hot dog or make a pit stop. The vendors come around often enough, too, if you just want to sit and enjoy the game and the festivities.
There is going to be a fireworks show at Slugger Field for tomorrow night’s game. I don’t mean that a lot of home runs or a bench clearing brawl are expected, either. There is going to be an actual fireworks show after the game for fans to enjoy–just like Coors Field and other parks put on.
Fireworks don’t have much lure for me anymore in respect to going to the old ballgame. It still remains the one-two-three-strikes-your-out charm of the game and the natural rhythm of baseball that seems to be such an elixir and antidote to all of the modern day stress we endure in our daily lives, that keeps me showing up.
Everything is modern, mobile and dare I say it, panicky. When you’re at a ballpark like Slugger Field, while you can see everyone checking their phones occasionally, the pacing of everything just slows down. Whether you’re waiting for the next pitch or watching the mascots goof with the umpires between innings, life takes on a throwback feel to a simpler, more easygoing time. That’s what watching a baseball game means to me these days.
The fact you can get tickets the day of the game, not take a bath on the price and have plenty of funds left over for parking, food and beverages, just leaves me coming back for more.
I know a lot of people don’t think that a city or town is officially on the map in terms of baseball unless they have a major league team. I might have been one of these guys when I first blew into town. There’s been talk of getting a professional basketball team here in Louisville, too.
Between the college teams (I went to a U of L baseball game not long ago for the first time and it was great) and the Bats, if Louisville never gets its major league team in baseball or its professional team in basketball, that’s alright by me.
It’s good to be not so large, especially when you can go big in terms of fun. And that’s what awaits us tonight at Slugger Field.