Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Chattanooga Lookouts

The book that will chronicle the fantastical road trip that this blog covers is now 40% funded via Kickstarter cloud funding. You can be part of history and help bring "Gone to the Dogs" to print by visiting my kickstarter page. At least watch the video and see how handsome I am.

cannot tell you how many times I have tried to catch a Chattanooga Lookouts game. At least 5 or 6, but every time my schedule of passing through did not merge well with their playing schedule. The nerve of some teams! The first few times I tried the Lookouts were playing in Historic Engel Stadium. With my penchant for old ballparks I really lament not being able to see a game there. You have probably seen it on the big/small screen. It is where most of the baseball action from the film “42,” which chronicles Jackie Robinson’s breach of the color barrier is played/filmed.

The Lookouts have new digs on the banks of the Tennessee River. AT&T Field has a nice red brick facade that gives it the veneer of a real and old-timey park. Inside the structure is mostly cinderblock with the press box and other structures made from corrugated aluminum. While it isnt’ the prettiest of Double A parks I have been in, the team built it with its own money. It was not funded by the taxpayer, and that is something that garners immense respect. I’d rather look at a smallish scoreboard than a drive-in movie sized jumbotron and have my tax dollars go to something more mundane….say road repair? Nicely done Lookouts.

There is also the lighted, Christmas ornament-looking, baseballs affixed to the exterior that make the venue unique, as well as the fact that is on a sloping hill. This was the first park on my journey that had an escalator just to get you to the main gate/ticket window area. It is in the mountains after all. It is also located in smack dab downtown Chattanooga, making it a very community oriented ballpark. The grandstand is partially roofed to keep the rain off the fans and large rotating fans hang from it to keep a breeze flowing.

Bun-nice and fresh.
Taste-the Tyson frank made a respectable showing.
Toppings-a little thin, and there were those damnable packets of relish.
Price-$3.25 is a decent price for the dog.
Portability-comes in a clear plastic sleeve. Wrapper is better, but the sleeve was ok.
It Factor-not much happening on the specialty dog front in Chattanooga.

Location-downtown. Top score.
Access-all modes and kudos for the ELECTRIC bus.
GA Ticket Price-$5 for the cheap tickets. The way it oughta be.
Cleanliness-not bad, but could use a good sweep and hose down.
Fans-nice crowd considering it looked like rain. They loved the game as well.
Ambiance-nearly perfect, could be my judgement was skewed since I visited Engel Stadium just before. But hey, it’s my blog.

DogBallparkTotal Dog/Game
Portability5GA Ticket Price5
It Factor2Fans5

Even without the Lookouts you would want to stop in Chattanooga, just because it is Chattanooga. And yes, that have that damn choo choo. I was only there a day and got tired of that affiliation...I am sure the residents are fed up with it as well. But the town also has some great Southern League action. As a Dodger affiliate the team is usually stocked with talent and you can have a great outing at the ballpark and enjoy a tasty dog as well. In the area? Stop, play, eat.

Special Feature: How to Get a Foul Ball (filmed at Port St Lucie Mets Ballpark)

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