Thursday, July 31, 2014

Hagerstown: This place still smells like a ballpark

Observations from Hagerstown

Municipal Stadium was built in 1930, putting it in the same category as Asheville and Savannah in this league for elderly stadiums. This one has a great feel to it -- the concessions were simple and the crowd much more, well, non-urban than I'd expected, but all in a good way. The atmosphere is only improved by the manual scoreboard with three guys we could watch changing the numbers, the absence of a radar report or even clock, and yes, the smell of hunks of meat being grilled near the gate. It all added up to a great experience. The left-field picnic area is just steps away from the visiting team's warm-up area -- I had a nice eye-catching moment with a reserve outfielder before the game, and a couple of kids got easy foul balls during the game.

Former Clemson catcher Spencer Kieboom made a great play at the plate to end a scoring threat in the sixth inning of an 8-4 win on Tuesday
Retired jersey numbers: 42 Jackie Robinson, 24 Willie Mays, 50 John Henry Moss (commissioner of current and previous incarnations of the Sally League for 50 years).

The Suns are pretty proud of Bryce Harper's 72 games during the 2011 season in Hagerstown: .318 average, 14 home runs, 46 RBIs

Suns' Carolinas Connections

Catcher Spencer Kieboom - Clemson
1B Carlos Lopez - Wake Forest
Utility player John Wooten - East Carolina and Goldsboro's Eastern Wayne High. Wooten was called up to the Carolina League's Class A+ Potomac team on July 28.