To borrow, and slightly edit, a famous Saturday Night Live quote, “Baseball was berry, berry, berry good to me” over the July 4th weekend.
On Friday the 1st, I headed to a Southern Maryland Blue Crabs @ New Britain Bees double-header. It was supposed to start at 6:35pm, but due to a storm, the first game didn’t start until about 9:10pm.
Attendance at Bees games has been disappointing this season, and Friday was no better. The storm/delayed start obviously didn’t help things. I counted no more than 80 people at the start of the first game, a 1-0 Blue Crabs win.
I was easily able to get both lineup cards after the game.
The second game was due to start around 11:30pm. Curious to see how many people would stay, I hung around. I counted 17 fans, including me, at the start of the second game. [Note: in the picture below, the five people in the lower left were all Bees employees.]
I can’t imagine I would’ve had any problem getting both lineup cards again, but by midnight, sleep seemed far more important so I left after the second inning of what turned out to be a Bees victory.
On Sunday the 3rd, Kate and I headed about an hour west to a hike on the Appalachian Trail. After that, we headed over to nearby Dutchess Stadium to catch a Tri-City ValleyCats @ Hudson Valley Renegades game.
The ValleyCats won going away, 10-0. One of the more interesting moments saw the benches clear late in the game when a Renegades player clearly went out of the base path to take out the shortstop on a double-play ball. The hitter was ruled out but that didn’t stop the benches and bullpens from emptying onto the field. No one ended up fighting, but it took a good 5-10 minutes for the umpires to sort things out.
I was able to get the two official batting order cards from Renegades manager Tim Parenton. We learned last year that Parenton doesn’t give out his dugout lineup card, but has given us the official cards a couple of times now.
Generally, we prefer the dugout lineup cards, but the New York-Penn League lineup cards are cool.
There were a few early round selections from the 2016 MLB Draft on the two teams, including 2nd rounder Ryan Boldt and 3rd rounder Jake Fraley (who made an awesome diving catch in left field) for the Renegades (Tampa Bay Rays), and 2nd rounder Ronnie Dawson and 3rd rounder Jake Rogers for the ValleyCats (Houston Astros).
2016: 32 lineup cards (25 dugout/bullpen; 7 “official batting order”)
Lifetime: 95 lineup cards (72 dugout/bullpen; 21 “official batting order”; and 2 “relief pitcher usage”)