The Appalachian league road trip continues on a jaunt to Elizabethton,
Tennessee,home of the Twins.
We arrived at Elizabethton early and saw the ticket prices 4.00 and 3.00 with an extra dollar off for seniors and kids.
Those might be the lowest in the game and at minimum the lowest I've ever seen.
Michael and I waited for the ticket booth to open and discovered that the booth doesn't open until just a few minutes before the gates do and the tickets are basically a fellow sitting at a table putting stubs in a bucket.
Not much at Elizabethton has changed since my previous visit other than the flag background that Ryan and Bob surfed in front of has been painted over.
The standings of the league are still on the outfield wall (I'd love to see more teams do that) and the parking lot is still close to the gate (although no players making out in cars this time).
The graphing can be tough here,but there is a small area that players can step out into and sign if they wish,so you really are dependent on the players wanting to sign.
I didn't need a lot of guys,but the Landucci's were there for the Twins number one pick Alex Kirilloff,who I had nothing for.
Kirilloff was very nice and signed baseballs for Fred and Michael,so that part was a success.
Elizabethton might have the oldest crowd that I've ever seen.
The Appalachian League generally has crowds that are older,but this seemed older even for the Appy league.
Elizabethton is reported to be on the ropes as far as keeping the Twins in town.
Joe O'Brien Field could use some upgrades and the city says it could be a million dollars or a little more to bring things up to standard.
The Twins offered to pay a third of the cost,but after the town drug their feet a bit,reneged on their offer.
I'd hate to see the town lose their team and a loss of the team hurts the league too as a nine team league means someone is off all the time.
We didn't watch much at Elizabethton as we drove 90 minutes to Sevierville so that Michael could do the Montgomery Biscuits,the AA affiliate of Tampa Bay,Michael's favorite team.
I didn't bring anything for the Biscuits,so I watched the game and watched the post-game graphing from a distance.
The postgame was going to feature a stop at Ktystal-the delightful home of those little burgers that are the southern version of White Castle,
I was so close to getting some and because some bum hit Michael up for money while he added gas to the car,he wanted to get away,which I didn't blame him for.
That meant we were going to have a hard time finding a place to eat and we settled for a mediocre meal at a Perkins in Johnson City,where I got nachos with tomatoes (bleech) after asking for no tomatoes.
This may sound like a small thing and I can handle taking tomato slices off items,but these were in small bits and impossible to remove.
There is no food that I despise more than the tomato...
Back to the hotel before one more day.
The final installment will see two towns,a great meal,lots of beer bought,a park that covers two states and missing Tim Raines....