Friday, June 29, 2007

Day 5: Bosse Field

Photos of Bosse Field available on Flickr.

The fifth day of our trek took us to southwestern Indiana to watch an Evansville Otters game at historic Bosse Field. The reason we went out of our way to go back to the central time zone was to see this historic park, which is the third oldest continually used professional ballpark, behind only Wrigley Field and Fenway Park. It seats about 8,000 fans and was chosen as the site to film "A League of Their Own" in the 1990s because of its old-timey feel - in fact, "Racine Belles" signs still hang from the stadium, and girls even walk around in old AAGPBL uniforms. It has worn down wooden chairs and a TON of foul territory, which increases the distance a fan is from the field, but these are only two minor drawbacks. All the seats are covered and it is a treat to watch a game here. It was nice to feel like we were part of history and to note all of the minor and independent league teams that have played there for the past 90 years.

Erik and I were Louisvilled-out, so to speak, and decided to leave early yesterday, putting us in Evansville at around 1pm, 6 hours before first pitch. After picking up our free seats, we took this opportunity to enjoy the weather at an adjacent park and take a nap and subsequently watch "The Sandlot" on Erik's computer. We then picked up a 6-pack of Tall Boys and enjoyed our first tailgate of the trip. After spending nearly 5 hours in the Otters parking lot, we finally got into fundraising, and found a great spot, from which we raised $80 (Apparently, the local Habitat office was only 2 blocks away). There was strong but brief thunderstorm about 2 hours before the game which made the rest of the evening a very pleasant one, weather-wise.

The game itself was kind of uneventful. Both starting pitchers went into the 8th, and the Gateway Grizzlies broke the shutout in the 8th to take a 2-1 lead, and the lead stuck. Otters starting pitcher Matt Restivo ended up striking out 11 in 7.1 IP. Independent league baseball is kind of like watching minor league ball, except the players aren't that good. Nobody on the Otters was hitting above .265, and it's kind of like a glorified softball league, since most of the players all have real jobs. Nonetheless, it is a fun experience. We both got our Evansville souvenirs and enjoyed the game - and it didn't hurt that it was Thirsty Thursday and they served RC Cola! We immdiately left for Cincinnati after the game so that I could see Mary and so we could of course have a place to stay for free. Today we are meeting up with about a dozen of my friends from school at the game tonight to watch the Reds take on the Cards.

park stats and rankings:
aesthetics - 6 (very old like Wrigley, but much more intimate and well-kept)
views from park - 1
view to field - 7 (close, but lots of foul ground)
surrounding area - 2 (not a whole lot to do in Evansville)
food variety - 7 (very good items at the grill outside, plus RC Cola!)
nachos - n/a
beer - 7 (beer was $1, but it was Bud products)
vendor price - 8
ticket price - 10 (free)
atmosphere - 8 (would be a 10 if it were full and the game was good)
walk to park - 4
parking price/proximity - 8 (free, but you have to get there early to park close)
concourses - 6 (very unique set-up)
team shop - 7

best food - tri-tip steak sandwich
most unique stadium feature - wood seats, entire seating area under canopy
best jumbotron feature - food dancing between innings (surprisingly they had a jumbotron)
best between-inning feature - Ohio Valley Colon & Rectal Surgery Group's "Pick the Polyp" game

field dimensions - 315/415/315
starters - Nathan Roush (GAT) v. Matt Restivo (EVN)
opponent - Gateway Grizzlies
time of game - 2:35
attendance - 5500
score - 2-1 L
Brewers score that day - off

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