A few weeks ago my wife decided to take my kids and go with her mother visit her sister in Buffalo. I was unable to go because of work. However, I decided to turn this opportunity into as much baseball blogging as I can fit into a six day span.
Day one was this past Wednesday when I visited the Albany Dutchmen for a doubleheader against the Watertown Rams. Prior to game I was asked by the team to take the official team photo which will be used on a poster as a giveaway this Sunday. I was a little nervous about doing this since I've never done something like this before, and also that it will be used as giveaway. I didn't want to botch it. I think it turned out pretty well.
Here's the end result after the graphic designer add the team graphics.
Thursday I returned to Bellizzi Field to watch the Dutchmen take on the Amsterdam Mohawks. I won't lie I was pretty tired, and just had a bad day as my cell phone was dropped and driven over by a 27,000 pound truck. I felt pretty naked without my cell phone. But any chance to watch baseball is always good. It was a tough game to watch as the Dutchmen dropped their third straight game.
I had originally planned to visit a specific venue and team on Friday but that fell through when the team never returned any of my emails for press credentials. Those who follow me on twitter will know which team I'm referring to.
All wasn't lost as I was able to visit the New Britain Rock Cats. I'd always wanted to visit New Britain Stadium but never got around to it. Also, I'm terrible with geography and didn't realize how close it was to me.
On extremely short notice I emailed Jeff Dooley the Rock Cats' media guru and within five minutes he responded with press credentials for the game. Then I got a follow up email from Patrick O'Sullivan another Rock Cats' employee confirming my press credentials. It was pretty cool to see a team respond to email so fast and in that fashion.
I figured I was going to hit some traffic heading out of Albany towards the Mass. Pike, and sure enough I did. It was a good thing that I had received my replacement cell phone earlier that day because it helped me around the traffic. After that it was pretty clear sailing to Connecticut. I did have one more issue when the GPS on my phone decide to shut off right as I was about to get off an exit but I managed to get to New Britain in about 2 hours and 20 minutes.
After having a nice conversation with the parking attendant about my press credentials, I was finally able to park and head into the stadium.
I went to the will call window and sure enough my press credential was waiting with my name and blog typed on it. Very professional looking. You can tell the Rock Cats take care of the media.
Since I never go down to the photo camera wells, I looked for an empty seat to sit in and watch the game. I found a perfect one down the first base line with a great view for pictures. No sooner did I sit down and start to snap off pictures did my camera battery go dead. So back out to the car I went to wait 15 minutes for the battery to charge up.
Once my camera was charged I headed back into the stadium to watch the game.
Overall, it was a great experience. It wasn't the best ballpark I've ever been to but it was a good time. I'll be posting a "Venue Review" later this week on New Britain Stadium, so stayed tuned for that.
I didn't stay for the post-game fireworks show because I knew I had to head back home. The drive home was pretty nice. I had the tunes cranked and the windows down on a beautiful night. Driving on Interstate 91 through Hartford and Springfield was very nice as they were lit up.
After a quick coffee break at a rest area in the Berkshires I got home at about 11:30pm. I walked upstairs and passed out on my bed.
I woke up this morning and uploaded the pictures from last night's game and posted them on here.
I have a few hours before I head out to Bridgewater, NJ to watch the Somerset Patriots of independent Atlantic League play the Bridgeport Bluefish. It should will be cool to catch up with an old friend, Justin Antweil the radio voice of the Patriots. Also, I'll be going to the game with my cousin who I very rarely get to see.
It should be fun...windows down, Paramore's "Ain't It Fun" cranked on the speakers and a iced coffee all the way to New Jersey.