Sunday, June 29, 2014

Pawtucket Red Sox

Today was supposed to be my off day. But upon further review of the atlas I found that I could make the last few innings of the Pawtucket Red Sox game. I really only need a few innings with dog in hand to get a review done. Nine innings is better but I am restricted by the confines of time, space and dimension as well as the highway patrol. Plus, I had a special reason for wanting to visit McCoy Stadium. Not only is it one of those old gems of a ballpark, but it was the site of the longest professional baseball game in history. The 33 inning game spanned over two days as the Red Sox finally won. Cal Ripken Jr and Wade Boggs both played in that game on April 18, 1981.

I finally arrived as the 7th inning was starting. I didn’t expect to the club to let me in for free, it is a business after all but I had to ask. After being told I still needed a ticket I was asking the fellow at the ticket window if they had any military discounts. That is when the couple at the next window who were buying tix to a future game (and leaving the one in progress, the Red Sox had a 7 run lead) offered me an unused ticket they had for the game today. I was in the process of taking it out of their hand when the agent said we could not exchange tickets. Say what? They owned the ticket and wanted me to have it. Sort of like you buying a sandwich at a deli and then giving it to a homeless man on the street (I am, after all, semi-homeless). But the agent was adamant. No can do. I guess the Red Sox have never heard of free trade. But I have come across similar restrictions on the transfer of privately owned goods among people before….in Eastern Europe. Before they joined the EU and were still haunted by the spectre of communism and its similar silly rules. Lenin would be proud Pawtucket.

Anyway, despite that blast from the Cold War past, I was pleased with the ballpark. It has a really old feel to it. The main grandstand has a wooden overhanging roof like one used at so many parks of yesterday. I should know, I spent that morning looking at photos of them at the National Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, NY. McCoy Stadium was built in the 1940s and still has that flair despite several renovations.

The dog however…..

Bun-fresh. I like fresh.
Taste-the Kayem frank was kind of pale. It tasted decent, but it was no Hebrew National (figured out my favorite brand yet?).
Price-$3.50 is a good price at a AAA park.
Toppings-this is the second AAA stadium in a row that all they had was mustard and relish. Bad trend.
Portability-the foil sleeve is good, but it is like building a fence around the house to keep the dog in...when you don’t have a dog. The skimpy toppings don’t really need help staying on the hot dog.
It Factor-there is the regular dog and the monster dog. Yawn. I saw the monster dog. I wasn’t scared.

Location-not really downtown but in a neighborhood, which is actually better.
Access-walking is easy if you live near. Other than that it is mainly a drive-to.
GA Ticket Price-$8 for a seat was not bad.
Cleanliness-not bad but not spic and span either.
Fans-great crowd on this Sunday afternoon. Really into the game as well.
Ambiance-McCoy should bottle their ambiance and sell it to other ballparks.

DogBallparkTotal Dog/Game
Portability5GA Ticket Price5
It Factor2.5Fans5

Despite the dog’s shortcomings it still tasted ok. But I did leave with a bad taste in my mouth thanks to my comrades at the ticket window. I am sure he was just following doctrine. But so were the folks that invaded Czechoslovakia. My final word on a game at McCoy Stadium is this: definitely see a game there, but eat before you come. And bring a pillow….you never know when the next 30-something inning game will be.

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