Thursday, June 19, 2008

Taking in some Rookie Ball in Utah: Or When Do Owls Eat Raptors?

Well in my last night here in lovely Ogden, my classmates and I decided to take in a ballgame. What? Baseball in Ogden? That is what I asked. But when we got here a few weeks ago, we say construction workers putting the finishing touches on the local Lindquist Field.

We looked it up and lo' and behold: The local team, named the Raptors, opened their season tonight in the newly remodeled stadium. Here is the good news. There isn't a bad seat in the house, and the cost? Heck I thought I was 8 years old and going to the Vet to see a Phillies game. Tickets were $9.

The bad news...the Raptors sucked balls, and I got exposed to some knowledge I had no idea of: that beyond Triple-A, Double-A and Single-A minor league systems, there exists another layer of development: Rookie Ball. Ogden plays in an 8-team Pioneer League (with teams located in Utah, Idaho and Montana). These teams have major-league affiliations -- Ogden is the bastard red-headed step-child of the L.A. Dodgers' organization.

I do have to say though, despite a laughable product on the field, the experience was pretty enjoyable. The owner of the team moonlights as the stadium announcer, and they really did try to put on a good show for the crowd. There were sky-divers, and raffles, and good concessions (I haven't been to a MLB baseball game in a while, can someone tell me if $3 hotdogs, $3-4 beer, $3 nachos or $3 soft pretzels is a good deal) and an after-game fireworks displays. And with 6,400 in paid attendance, I can only come to one conclusion: The Raptors truly are the only game in town.

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