Day 73 “The Drive”

Yesterday, I went to the Greenville Drive versus the Lexington Legends game.  I decided to “keep book” since I was extremely tired.  I was up late with the Clemson fans, I slept in my car on the campus, my car alarm went off at 3:33 in the morning. I sprang up and hit my head on the ceiling, then struggled to fall back asleep which finally came at about 5 a.m.  When I final came to, it was about 9:30, I got up and said good bye to all the wonderful people I met the night before. They were up making breakfast (bacon and pancakes). I was still full from the 12:30 a.m. tacos. I was given a couple of “Cheap Sheets” t-shirts (I will wear them proudly, wearing one currently).  I drove around the campus and took some pictures of the football field. I wanted to see where they run down the hill, “called the most exciting 25 seconds in college football.” Running down “The Hill” began out of practicality: “The football team dressed at Fike Field House, ran from there to the gate and down the grassy hill onto the field at the start of each game.”  This is also where Howards’ Rock is located. The players rub it before heading down the hill.

fluorI went to a Starbucks in Greenville and spent 4 hours writing up the story on the “Cheap Seats”. The time I spent at Clemson was such a fun story I wanted to make sure I did a decent job with it.  I am not making excuses but it is tough to do semi-decent writing every day. I usually publish my first draft, edited daily by Beth Chapman with a touch here and there making it flow a little better. She does this everyday, you don’t know how much I appreciate this. She makes me look like a good writer! So when I finally finished, I didn’t have much time before the game started. I rushed over to Fluor Field and was quite surprised at how awesome the stadium was. This is the home of Boston’s Single-A team. I don’t expect a lot from Single-A stadiums (Bakersfield is what I think of). But, this was one of the best at this level (so much better than the Triple-A Huntsville site). The Stadium had an old look but, in fact, was relatively new.  It was constructed of brick that looked like it was recycled, with condos and restaurants located behind the outfield that matched the exterior of the stadium. There was a mini green monster, the playing surface was in the same category as the Clemson turf (Clemson’s was still better).  There was a lot of kids and teenagers at this game.  I chose to sit in the left field grassy area in front of the kids play area (which was entirely fenced in, top also, good move since the little ones wouldn’t be paying attention to foul balls).

I tried tuning in the radio station that broadcast the games but to no avail. I decided to listen to music and “keep book”, it was actually quite enjoyable until a football game broke out!  Greenville won the game 21-6, three times they batted around and almost a 4th time. It was hard to keep up!  I was wishing I had Eggo with me to ask him some questions. My scorecard had all kinds of notes and scribbles by the end of the game. Sitting in the outfield watching all the kids dressed in their baseball attire, trying to persuade the players to throw a ball their way – was a lot of fun, also. I was wishing Larry, another friend and a photographer was there. He would have gotten some great shots of the kids reaching for the balls that were thrown their way. I loved seeing the hundreds of arms going into the air. How all of them would swarm after a foul ball. To me that is one of the best things about these games, the interaction with the fans and players.

My blog has been gaining in popularity lately and fun for me to see the “following”. I am grateful to everyone that have been reading and to everyone that has just begun to read my blogs. I am having a great time on the road.  I need to say that college baseball have had some of the most interesting fans. Colorado Mesa’s “The Pit” has been big supporters of mine they really have spread the word! Clemson fans really jumped on “the bus” the last couple of days, Texas the college and Texas the state were huge supporters before my interview there. “The Roost” at Southern Miss in Hattiesburg has jumped on and have been vocal.  Of course all my friends in the Milwaukee area, but a huge “shout out” needs to go to my hometown of Ashland, Wisconsin!  They have been unbelievable with their support, I love that place. I am so happy to be an Oredocker!  I am heading to a high school game tonight in Columbia, South Carolina, then heading over to Charleston tomorrow.  I try to plan out the trip 7-10 days in advance. My “map”, click here. to see the games. I will continue to search out great stories while I’m learning a lot about baseball, people that follow baseball, and how much people are more alike than they are different.

NOTE:  I updated by biography since I hadn’t really touched it in three months. Click here if you would like to check it out: “biography“. That will get you where you want to “look”.  If you have read it before, just scroll down and look for the update from this past week.

If you enjoy this story and you would like to help me complete the “Baseball in America Tour 2014”, which is roughly 265 days, please click on the following link to see how you can help at http://www.baseballbuddha.com/sponsor.html. Please share this on your Facebook page and Twitter. I appreciate all the help I can get!

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