We drove the hour plus from Winston-Salem to Danville,Virginia as quickly as possible in order to try to add the few cards that we had for the Appalachian League teams finished.
That's a lot of the problem when you graph the Appalachian and New York/Penn league teams-there just aren't that many players with cards until the team sets get released.
I had been to Danville ten years ago for a team set pickup on our way to Lynchburg then,this time Danville was the destination to move it from the "been to,but not for a game" list to the game list.
Legion (formerly known as Dan Daniel) Field is placed on a city facility that when you drive in you pass softball and soccer fields for youth and recreation leagues.
We arrived in the sixth inning for the Braves and the Burlington Royals (ironically,the same two teams that Fred Landucci and I will be seeing in Burlington next month) and after Mike bought a game used Danville Braves jersey at the team stand,we moved under the small grandstand.
We were both surprised by the energy in the crowd as they were stomping and cheering throughout the last few innings.
It was dollar dog and drink night at Danville and the drink came in a Danville Braves souvenir cup.
Quite a deal and one that I wish the Hagerstown Suns would consider,but that would mean they would have to purchase ice,lids,straws and cups (BTW,that's not me being sarcastic,I was given that as the reason that the Suns don't offer discounted sodas on Thirsty Thursday with their beer discounts)...
The best part of the game came with the game tied and Danville outfielder Izzy Wilson hit an inside the park home run that was the eventual winning run.
The excitement generated when the third base coach started pumping his arm and giving Wilson the chance for the rarity was almost more than I can describe!
And the pop from the crowd when Wilson slid into home and narrowly beat the tag from the Burlington catcher,well,you wouldn't have thought you would have been in Danville,Virginia hearing it!
The graphing is one that might take a few trips before getting it down.
There is a small tunnel (more like a doorway) that leads the players from dugout to clubhouse before a short walk there behind a fence.
I only had a few cards,Kyle Muller signed a few Bowman's of Mike's and mine.Leudys Baez noticed my calling him and came back out to sign his 2015 Danville card and the hero of the day,Izzy Wilson (who was promoted to Rome shortly after this game) got by me,but I figured it was him talking to a writer outside after the game and he signed his 2016 Danville card.
Mike got us the two Burlington players that we needed on the other side,so with one card being excepted,we had the small amount finished before the drive home.
Danville's field really is a well maintained high school/small college field with some nice backed seating and a small grandstand,but don't take that as a negative-it's a fun place to go with some knowledgeable and enthusiastic fans!
Check Danville out (along with the other Appy League parks),it's a throwback to the old days of minor league baseball and a part of the game that needs to remain just that.
Great trip and thanks to Mike for driving and allowing me to share everything with him and as before thanks to the Parrish family for allowing me to stay with them as well!
Well now,caught up on everything,so we have a Forgotten Superstars that has been sitting on deck for tomorrow news permitting and I have some thoughts on the recent Cubs-White Sox trade coming soon as well....