Better later than never,we begin to look back at last month's Ohio swing beginning with our stop in Columbus for the Columbus Clippers at their almost new stadium,Huntington Park.
I discussed the autographing in a Signing Front recently,so I'll skip that part of the show.
We left early in the morning as I left work at 3:30 AM instead of the usual 8:30 in order to get a early start to the weekend.
We didn't stop anywhere until a stop at the Hartville Flea Market,which simply put is tremendous for not just the various items that are for sale through the facility,but for the terrific food for sale at various stands.
Ryan and Corey each were chomping fruit from the farmers market,I preferred fresh green peppers as my "healthy" snack.
"The Jeff" was nowhere to be found until later,so he didn't enjoy the fresh produce,although he did purchase a sega genesis system for twenty bucks.
We then drove further down the road and decided to stop at Ashland's Ashland/Wooster Drive In for a coney or two before proceeding to Columbus.
The Jeff rarely gets the joy of the Ohio coney anymore and Corey had never had one,being an Ohio newbie and anything at Ashland/Wooster is not to be missed,but as good as the coney is,the shredded chicken sandwich might be even better.
With Ashland being a little over a hour from Columbus,we had decided early on that we would kill the time with some of the excellent shopping that the Ohio capital had to offer.
Polaris Fashion Place is far more than just fashion as the two floor mall is flanked by several stores that give any shopper plenty of choices to spend their money.
No matter your shopping preference,something is around the Polaris area to either shop at or kill time while others shop.
After hitting the stores,we stopped at Dave and Buster's for food and games.
I had been there the last time that I had been in Columbus,but the others had not.
Dave and Busters offer an advertised deal that for 15.95,you get a meal and ten dollars worth of game play.
The food is decent enough,although I have had better meals,but for the combination of food plus entertainment,it is difficult to beat the value.
Plenty of controversy between Ryan and Corey on whom wound up holding the pop a shot record for the place.
I played for a while and did reasonably well at times,but started cleaning up at the trivia machines instead.
All the guys would give me their tickets at the end of the day and I cashed them in for eight packs of 2009 Tri-Star provisions,which was an overpriced set that I didn't buy at the time,so all the cards were needed pickups.
After a stop at the most underrated department store around in Meijer.
I didn't spend much this time,but I often spend decent money on my trips there.
Meijer is mainly a Ohio,Indiana and Michigan chain,so as much as I would hope that Meijer would expand to Maryland,the prospect is unlikely.
Finally,the time was close enough to check out Huntington Park for the Columbus Clippers against the Pawtucket Red Sox.
Huntington Park is in its second year and is definitely an throwback type park.
On this night,the place was sold out with the exception of standing room only,which we stood well above the right field wall and was within distance of catching a homer of the high wall.
Mike Lowell was on a rehab assignment for the PawSox,so that was pretty cool and the sellout crowd of 10,000 was into the game.
I thought the field was dynamite in its layout and loved the use of the buildings around the ballpark to integrate into the view from home plate.
The Columbus skyline is visible,but it doesn't quite stand out like some other parks that I have seen and the one disappointment was on the Clipper team shop which wasn't as good as it could have been.
I did buy a Clipper team set and picked up other team sets for collectors,but otherwise the selection was disappointing.
Columbus is the second AAA stadium that I have seen games at and I would give it a edge over the nice ballpark in Allentown Pa simply on aesthetics.
All and all,a great day and after a ride to the hotel,some badly needed rest was obtained.
In the future,when time permits,the story of day two in Cleveland and Lake County shall be told.
Huntington Park-Scott McCauley
Ashland/Wooster Drive In-Ashland-Wooster.com