Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Road Trip-Williamsport (times two)

I realize I promised a return to the Appalachian league,but I decided to combine my two road trips to Williamsport PA into one since I was there last night...
For the purposes of this post-there will be some things that might blur together between the trips and they might not be as detailed as usual..

Doug Hopkins was with me on both trips,but Bill Cover and Derreck Chupak were with me for the first visit with the Landucci pairing of Fred and Michael traveling with Doug and I last night.
It had been ten years since I visited Bowman Field-so long ago that the Crosscutters were a Pirates affiliate,Ryan was still living at home and this blog was months away from being started.

On the 1st trip,we suffered through rain (most of the day),humidity and pretty nasty staff (a young man named Aaron),while the 2nd trip was much better (We only saw Aaron once) as far as staff goes.
We had great meals on both trips in different styles.
The Kast Hotel literally is a early 20th century building that brings to mind the old television shows depicting the time period.
Doug ordered a plate of nachos that had to be seen to be believed size wise and he was fortunate that he didn't order anything else!
The rest of us ordered burgers and were pretty pleased,
The term "retro" is used pretty loosely anymore when it comes to themes and I wouldn't call the Kast Hotel retro,it is just an old place that serves pretty good food-If in the area,give it a try.

Same goes for trip two as I looked on TripAdvisor and selected three choices for everyone else to choose from.
The selection was the Sticky Elbow and despite the less than classy name,was more of an upscale restaurant.
Fred and I shared an order of nachos and a chicken dish that had pulled chicken with buffalo sauce and celery slaw inside a flatbread that was then tempura fried.
The nachos were awesome and again more than enough for everyone to jump in.
I'm not sure if Fred and I could have gotten this finished without help from Doug and Michael!
Two different types of place with two different ways of doing things,but if you go to a Cutters game-try one of them,I think you'll enjoy it...

Bowman Field has changed since my last visit as they have installed a party deck down the left field line and are installing improvements down the right field line which removed some of the seating area.
Those should be ready for 2017,but it severely limited the autographing for the home Crosscutters.
Bill and I (we didn't try on trip 2) had some good luck from outside the stadium and putting cards through the fence since the Cutter locker room is right beside the entry gate.
However,inside-the same area is cut off,an usher chased everyone away from near the field (which is vital since the dugouts at Bowman are VERY far from home plate and were generally rude.
The folks at the gate on the second trip were much nicer with the ticket manager there instead of Aaron.
Visitors access is much better,although we were told by a local fan that it too will be curtailed next season with more work.
Doug and Derreck did very well with the Auburn Doubledays (Washington) and the day two group did well with the Mahoning Valley Scrappers (Cleveland).
Auburn was knocking out much of the team set and the same with Mahoning Valley with the big score being former first overall pick Brady Aiken on his top 100 among three other cards.
We missed on the other Scrapper prospect as Juan Hillman started the game,but I think we got most of the rest of the team-so I thought this was a very nice graphing night.

Trip one ended in a rainout,so that story ends here,but trip two saw a wonderful late summer night with a small breeze once the sun went down.
Michael was treated with a local beer (Genesee) that saw him make the bitter beer face (remember those commercials from long ago?

The facility is roughly the same age as the Hagerstown Muni (2 yrs older) and shares the sizable covered grandstand look as well.
Most of the seats in Bowman Field are under the roof and have a one piece back that runs the length of the row rather than the individual seats of the Muni.
It was a much quieter and older crowd than most places and the "star" was someone named "Mad Chad",who had a routine based on juggling oddball items like chainsaws and doing a lot of screaming.
Mad Chad didn't do much for us.

The company was good and the day was long,but trip two was a success.
I like Williamsport and Bowman Field to watch a game and I'd come back to see how the autographing is affected by the upcoming changes in the future.
Thanks to everyone from both trips for having me and allowing me to have fun and see another ballpark...

I may be without internet at work tonight,but my intent is to try to work on a post for Pulaski and maybe a podcast since I will have plenty of time....

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