Saturday, June 21, 2014

Bowie Baysox

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After a whirlwind tour of numerous MLB ballparks I was back in the minors to check out some Eastern League AAA action at Prince George’s Stadium to watch the Bowie Baysox host the Binghamton Mets. It was my first Eastern League game and the most impressive part? Watching Juan Morillo’s 101 MPH fastball. That’s some cheese.

The ballpark is located near two highways making it easy to get there by car (although the traffic associated with the north east must be considered) and has one of my favorite amenities: free least in the north parking lot. The stadium itself is a low slung, semi-circular edifice that really has only one distinguishing feature; a miniature lighthouse about 10 feet tall in the right field children’s play area. Other than that it is the standard fare of AA parks that were built in the 90s. The forest that stands just beyond the outfield wall is testament to its location, which is not in downtown Bowie. The textured block on the exterior is pleasing, but the tall glass windows around the press box area behind home plate just isn’t that baseballish looking (I invented that word. It’s my blog man).

Bun-fresh, and rivals Pittsburgh as one of the best.
Taste-the Esskay frank was darn tasty and helps out the dog tremendously.
Toppings-impressive for a AA venue.
Price-$4.25 isn’t too over the top considering the size of the frank, but not cheap enough for top score.
Portability-the cardboard boat. There is no way it holds in the toppings if the dog takes a spill.
It Factor-there is a good selection of specialty dogs, albeit hidden away at one kiosk. Nice for the size of the park.

Location-not really located near any large population center. I suppose if you lived in one of the burbs near it you could walk to it.
Access-mostly a drive-to park. But...did I mention there is free parking?
Cleanliness-good job keeping the park clean.
Ambiance-unfortunately, I just wasn’t feeling the baseball vibe at this ballpark. It’s sort of generic and doesn’t do the job.
GA Ticket Price-the $12 seats were pretty good as far as view and location. But a minor league team needs to offer up some cheaper seats, even if they are on a grass berm.
Fans-I was surprised at the low turnout considering it was a Friday and there were fireworks after the game. Location might have something to do with it, or the fact that there is an MLB team both a short distance north and south of the Bowie.

DogBallparkTotal Dog/Game
Portability3GA Ticket Price3
It Factor4Fans3.5

I love the minors, and there is no such thing as a bad minor league game...just some that are better than others. The game was interesting with a lot of scoring (and pitching changes). Bowie could do with a new ballpark and I think they know that. Their dog was pretty tasty and is recommended, and I would not skip the chance to see the Baysox at home. But with the Nationals offering $5 GA tickets about an hour’s drive south the Baysox have some pretty stiff competition...even with a 101 MPH fastball.

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