A View From The Berm...Star Wars Night At "The Joe." (State College Spikes @ Tri-City ValleyCats, July 19, 2014)

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As the father of an eight year old daughter and a five year old son, there are few chances I get to take my kids to baseball games with their busy schedules. While my daughter will sit through a full nine inning game, my son is a totally different story. For the last couple years I've been trying to ease him into learning about baseball and not overwhelm him. While he enjoys baseball it's difficult to keep his attention for five innings let alone an entire game. So when the Tri-City ValleyCats announced they were having a "Star Wars Night" I thought it would be the perfect opportunity to take him to a game

Star Wars Night at "The Joe" (Photo Credit: Corey Mansfield)
One of the great features that the ValleyCats and Joseph L. Bruno Stadium offer is "Berm Seating." The berm is located next to the visiting bullpen all the way down the first base line. While there are no seats, you can bring lawn chairs or throw down a blanket and lay down on the grass. It's a great place to stretch out, relax, and watch baseball. I thought this would be a great place to watch a game with my son.

Our view from the berm (Photo Credit: Corey Mansfield)
My son and I arrived at the park a little earlier than normal so we could catch the pre-game Star Wars festivities. We immediately went out to the berm an laid out a blanket and sat down. While I took pictures, my son decided to play around and watch the Spikes warming up before the game.

My son, Jake talking to players as they walked by (Photo Credit: Corey Mansfield)
Albany native, Brian O'Keefe warming up before the game (Photo Credit: Corey Mansfield)

Dewin Perez warming up in the bullpen (Photo Credit: Corey Mansfield)
Eventually the teams finished warming up, and the stadium filled in. The berm had probably thirty people sitting in it. Kids had a chance to run around and play while parents watched the game. If I had chosen to sit in normal seats then Jake wouldn't have been able to move around and may have disturbed other fans from watching the game. This was definitely a plus for us and our visit to the stadium.

Star Wars themed starting lineups (Photo Credit: Corey Mansfield)
 Like with most Star Wars Night's, Darth Vader threw out the first pitch guarded by a storm trooper.

Darth Vader and his posse walking out to the mound (Photo Credit: Corey Mansfield)
I decided to sit in the berm for a couple innings and let the chaos around the Star Wars characters die down before I took Jake up to get his pictures taken with them.

Eventually we headed up to the concourse and found Darth Vader taking pictures with fans. The Star Wars characters visiting were from the 501st Legion, Garrison Excelsior who do a great job with Star Wars' Nights all over the country. 

Darth Vader taking pictures with some fans (Photo Credit: Corey Mansfield)

Be-bop-be-boo, Jake taking pictures with R2-D2 (Photo Credit: Corey Mansfield)
All the evil you can fit into one picture (Photo Credit: Corey Mansfield)
 
After we took pictures on the concourse we picked up lightsaber in the team store, a couple drinks, and headed back to the berm to watch the game.

Here are some shots of the action from my view in the berm.

Mott Hyde tries to turn two (Photo Credit: Corey Mansfield)

Brian O'Keefe rips a hit (Photo Credit: Corey Mansfield)

The Spikes bullpen (Photo Credit: Corey Mansfield)

Randall Fant (Photo Credit: Corey Mansfield)

Ryan Bottger (Photo Credit: Corey Mansfield)

Mott Hyde comes off the bag to get Bottger's throw (Photo Credit: Corey Mansfield)
We watched the game for a few more innings but left the game early when my son got tired.

It was a great experience for the both of us. It gave me a chance to watch baseball with him as well as teaching him about the game.

A beautiful night for baseball (Photo Credit: Corey Mansfield)
I highly recommend that if you have a child who hasn't been to baseball game before or has trouble sitting at a game to take advantage of buying tickets in the berm area. Tickets in the berm area are only $6, so we won't be break the bank for tickets when you aren't sure if your kids will stay for an entire game. It also provides fans a great view to watch baseball.

Overall, it was a great night for baseball and like always the ValleyCats put on a great show for fans!
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