Monday, July 30, 2007

Day 37: Security Services Field

All photos of Colorado Springs and Security Services Field available on Flickr.

After being spoiled by a weekend of fine accomodations, we spent last night doing what we do best - sleeping at a truck stop. Figuring that Kansas would be just as boring during the day as it was at night, we drove about 5.5 hours across the whole state until we entered the Mountain Time Zone, being guided by the unusually bright shine of the moon the entire way. We finished the remaining 2 this morning, arriving in Colorado Springs around 10:30. The game ended up being at 12:35 and not 12:05, so we were a bit early, but it gave us plenty of time to meet up with Ira Liebman, the marketing director of the Sky Sox who scored us free seats and a table inside the stadium for fundraising. The best part of getting to fundraise inside is that regardless of whether or not people donate, there are always tons more people who are interested in hearing about our story and the trip than if we were to just set up on the street. We met a lot of interesting characters and the staff was also very friendly. We made $20, which is an excellent total, considering it was another kids day.

The park is a typical minor league park - 10 sections of seats, bleachers down the lines, and a grass GA area near the poles, with the outfield walls laden with advertising. At this point, I've kind of come to expect a little bit more from AAA stadiums, since we've seen quite a few nice ones already, particularly in Louisville and Memphis. Besides the Coors skybox area in right field, it wasn't really anything special here in Colorado Springs. I certainly enjoyed the game though because we had awesome seats and the food there was excellent, not to mention the fact that the Omaha Royals 1B Ryan Shealy tossed us each a ball between innings. The view from the park is one of the more interesting ones we've seen so far. It is surrounded by about 100' of pasture, and then gabled roofs and blue siding as far as the eye can see. Driving into Colorado Springs from the east was surreal - it was like one giant subdivision that extended for miles in all directions with no straight roads.

The game was seemingly out of hand for the Sky Sox (AAA affiliate for the nearby Rockies) very quickly when Royals 1B and former Kansas City Royal Ryan Shealy cranked a grand slam in the third to make the game 6-2. However, the Sox put together a little comeback in the 7th, most notably on a 2-run double by Jayson Nix, brother of Brewers' minor leaguer Laynce Nix. In the end though, it was the Royals' game as Royals closer Ryan Braun (no relation to Brewers Ryan Braun) tossed a dominant ninth to secure the victory.

Tonight we have a bit of time to relax at our hotel that has a nice view of the mountains before heading out to a local bar for the evening. Colorado Springs seems like a relatively affluent area, so it should be interesting. Tomorrow it's off to Orem, which is just outside of Provo in Utah for a Rookie League game. After this game, we will have seen every level of ball except high school on the tour so far - college, R, low-A, short season-A, high-A, AA, AAA, pro, independent - and even some little league ball at Doubleday Field in Cooperstown!

park stats and rankings:
aesthetics - 3
views from park - 5
view to field - 9
surrounding area - 2 (suburbia)
food variety - 8
nachos - 8 (would be 10 if there was more cheese)
beer - 8 (great variety of local beer, would be a 10 if they didn't feature Coors products)
vendor price - 3 (very pricy for minors)
ticket price - 10 (ours were free)
atmosphere - 4
walk to park - 2
parking price/proximity - 10 (on the lot, free)
concourses - 2
team shop - 3

best food - BBQ bacon cheddar burger
most unique stadium feature - Coors deck in right
best jumbotron feature - n/a
best between-inning feature - Sox the Fox harasses fans with water gun

field dimensions - 350/400/350
starters - Nick Hoelscher (OMA) v. Jorge De Paula (CLS)
opponent - Omaha Royals
time of game - 2:44
attendance - 5355
score - 9-5 L
Brewers score that day - off

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