Next up on our tour of the South Atlantic League: the Asheville Tourists.
Observations from McCormick Field
Arrive early and wander around the Grove Park Inn, back up Charlotte Street on the other side of I-240. There is an amazing waterfall sequence, and you get free parking for the first three hours.
If you are still early, walk up -- seriously, straight up, altitudewise -- Buchanan Street beside the front entrance, go left on White Fawn Drive to a trail head to Beaucatcher Greenway. The path is cool and pleasant, though there are some mosquito critters. After you climb over a fallen tree, there is a trail back down to the left that leads to the employee parking lot for the stadium. Go up to the parking lot entrance to get back to the stadium front.
Go on Doggies at the Diamond night. I bet we saw 30 dogs, of all sizes and colors. The coolest was a huge white dog -- unknown breed -- with sunglasses pushed back on his forehead. Certain he weighed 180 lbs., we almost asked to ride him out to the parking lot. There was also a Newfoundland who accepted all the attention gracefully. Many of the dogs gathered to argue and play in the general admission area -- concrete benches where folks make their own nests with blankets and lawn chairs.
Lots of local beers available, plus there are the deep-fried Oreos and deep-fried Moon pies.
No Carolinas Connections - but several players on this team stood out as not fitting the Sally League mold of 19-year-olds who are 6-foot-2, 170 lbs. The Tourists have some older, bigger players. It was nice not to worry about their nutrition like I have some others. I felt sorry for the lefties, though -- they have a 36-foot fence in right, though it's only 297 feet from the plate. Still, not many dingers are going over that baby.