Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Day 3: Louisville Slugger Field

All photos of Louisville Slugger Field available on Flickr.

Today we left Evanston (just north of Chicago) around 10 AM for Louisville, Kentucky, where we will be for two days. It finally felt like we actually started the tour today, since Peter and myself have both been to Illinois hundreds of times. It was about a 5 hour drive and we were greeted by Jason Abraham, a marketing rep for the Louisville Bats. He was a very awesome guy and the Bats were very helpful - they gave us a little table behind home plate in the concourse to set up shop, free tickets, and free parking in the players' lot! We raised over $60, which is more than we raised in two days in Chicago in front of a significantly smaller crowd, bringing our Habitat total up to around $150. Our goal when we started was about $50/stadium, and we are right on pace.

The stadium was very beautiful and was one of the better minor league stadiums we have visited. It opened in 2000 and seats around 13000. The park featured a very picturesque view of some Ohio River bridges and an awesome picnic area in right-center field. The team shop was excellent and the vendors served pretty typical food - dogs, burgers, fries, etc. The specialty that we discovered was definitely the Philly Cheese Steak nachos, which were delicious.

The game was not as eventful as the previous night's Cubs game, but I'm not sure that any game could compare to that one. The Bats lost 6-0, putting our home team record at 1-2 on the trip this far. It was a particularly fun game for Peter to watch since the Bats are the AAA affiliate of the Reds and there were many players on the Bats that he saw play at the GAB in weeks past, including Ryan Freel, Gary Majewski, and Dewayne Wise. It was a very laid back experience and continued to reaffirm Peter and myself's love of minor league ball. I am looking forward to proudly rocking my Bats helmet tomorrow at the Louisville Slugger Museum + Factory!

After the game, we hit up a bar downtown with Peter's friends Mary and Laura who drove down from Cincinnati for the game, and then drove about 15 minutes east to stay with Erik's cousin Jessica - a special thanks to her for letting us crash for a couple nights! We are looking forward to our first opportunity to tie one on on the trip tomorrow night, as we only have to drive a short while to Evansville on Thursday.

park stats and rankings:
aesthetics - 8
views from park - 7 (nice view of bridges, but freeway blocks the river)
view to field - 10
surrounding area - 9 (downtown)
food variety - 5
nachos - 9 (these might surpass wrigley...Philly Cheese steak nachos!)
beer - 4 (only Bud and Miller)
vendor price - 6 (average, but bonus points for Dollar Night)
ticket price - 10 (we got them free so I actually don't know what they cost)
atmosphere - 5
walk to park - 5 (walk is nicer if you park downtown)
parking price/proximity - 10
concourses - 6 (two sets of concourses)
team shop - 9

best food - philly cheese steak nachos
most unique stadium feature - entry sequence
best jumbotron feature - "Happy Anniversary from your dog"
best between-inning feature - Buddy Bat races a child

field dimensions - 325/405/330
starters - Tom Shearn (LOU) v. Blaine Boyer (RCH)
opponent - Richmond Braves
time of game - 2:31
attendance - 8,734
score - 6-0 L
Brewers score that day - 11-5 W

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