Thursday, July 28, 2016

Road Trip-Batavia

The year of the road trip continued as Doug Hopkins and I traveled to Batavia New York to visit Dwyer Stadium-home of the Batavia Muckdogs of the New York-Penn league.

Batavia has been a stop that I have targeted for quite a while and I was thrilled to have the chance to get there.
Why was Batavia such a big deal?
Well,Batavia is likely the next small town to lose their NY-Penn team and in such a small town (population 6,000),it is most likely to be the next on the extinction list.
Much like Jamestown New York,once professional baseball leaves this market-it won't be coming back.
Batavia almost lost its team already as the club was sold to a group that wanted to move it to Waldorf,Maryland for the 2017 season.
The Washington Nationals were going to make a deal to become their major league provider and it was all set-Until the Baltimore Orioles decided to get some payback.
The Orioles and the Nationals have been feuding over the MASN network,how the money is allocated and how much each team receives from the network and the case is going to court.
Since Waldorf is inside the Orioles territory,Baltimore had to sign off on the deal and since the two teams aren't in the mood to help each other,the Orioles blocked the move and for now-Batavia still has a team.

Doug and I drove the little over five hour trip through the early morning fog,so we didn't get to see some breathtaking views until the ride home and I slept often through both the ride up and back.
The rest was needed,but I feel bad that I wasn't better company.
We didn't eat much on the way,Doug stopped for a breakfast sandwich at a McDonald's,while I passed.
Breakfast sandwiches,just don't do much for me.
I would wait until later to eat and we had a short wait at Dwyer Stadium.
Located in a small residential area of Batavia,Dwyer Stadium is either 20 years old or 79 depending on your opinion.
This version of Dwyer opened in 1996 on the same site of the older stadium and did what I saw in Lynchburg Va and what they could do in Hagerstown-keep the field and renovate everything around it.
The seating is metal and the grandstands are partially covered.
I love the covered grandstands and really liked the look of this one.

Batavia and the State College Spikes had been rained out the day before and the game was delayed,which enabled Doug and I to get all of the few cards that we had for the two teams signed and all were friendly.
When you do the short season teams,there are very few players that have cards until the team sets come out,so I was limited to some USA cards and two or three players had Bowmans.
Batavia's clubhouse is on the third base side and the visitors are on the first and each clubhouse has lettering on the top of them to identify them.
A State College pitcher was tossing a ball aimlessly and hit the letter the second letter I with the ball,sending the metal letter tumbling down upon him.
It was funny to see,although I'm sure the team and the person that will have to install the letter again might not find the humor in it.

I got hungry during the delay and ordered what the stand called "Muck Dog Chow" in which for 6.50,you get two meats (minus the bread) of your choice,macaroni salad and home fries.
At a good price,I added a 7up (Dwyer gets high grades just for that) and for ten bucks,a decent platter.
The home fries weren't great,but the "White Hot" sausages were quite good.
Not bad at all,but I wish I could say the same for the souvenirs which were located in a stand that had paint peeling and few items.
I try to buy the ladies a shirt from various stops,but these items had hard to see prices and the stand wasn't manned so I passed.

After we left,we ate at a place named Bourbon and Burgers.
We had a choice of over thirty burgers.and I selected the Hollapoppa,a burger with bacon,jalapeno poppers and cheddar cheese.
The burger was tremendous,even if the side of fries were just average,but at 10.99 for such a sizable burger-I thought it was a bargain.
The real star of the dinner was our waitress Tara,who was tremendous,
If you are ever in Batavia and I doubt that I will ever be again,try Bourbon and Burgers and hope you get Tara to wait on you...

The drive home saw us drive right past Bowman Field,home of the Williamsport Crosscutters of the same league and had we had cards,we could have stopped by.
Instead,Doug and I with Bill Cover and Derreck Chupak will wait a few weeks and see the Cutters host the Auburn Doubledays,which will hopefully see a whole bunch of cards signed!

I slept much of the way home and after a long day,we arrived home.
Doug and I always have a great time on these trips and I will hopefully get another one in before the season ends.
If you have a chance to see Batavia,you won't be overwhelmed,but you'll enjoy baseball from a past time and you just might smile a little....

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