Kate had a service project to help some retire military Veterans raise money at the beginning of Friday night’s New Britain Bees game, so I tagged along and we stayed for the rest of the game against the Long Island Ducks.
The Bees are fighting the Ducks for an Atlantic League playoff spot, so New Britain’s 3-1 victory was a big one for the first year organization.
It was a beautiful night for baseball, as evidenced by this picture:
A pet peeve: The picture immediately above was taken around the 4th or 5th inning, so before most people would’ve left, especially since there were fireworks after the game. New Britain Stadium holds about 6,100. The attendance listed in the box score indicated a crowd of 4,678. Does the picture above make it look like there were nearly 4,700 at the game?
I said to Kate during the game that I thought I was being generous in estimating the crowd at 1,000. So how did they come up with 4,678 in the box score? Did New Britain sell that many tickets and 3,678+ didn’t show up? I highly, highly doubt it. Perhaps New Britain gave away that many tickets. I know there were people in line at the box office with vouchers for free tickets.
While I am sympathetic of how difficult it must be to run an independent baseball team in the black, exaggerating the crowd by roughly 5-times what it really was is disingenuous. Let’s be honest. The Bees have struggled to draw this season, which is especially disappointing considering the Yard Goats have yet to play a single game in Hartford. I hope New Britain is successful, but it will have to seriously ramp up its efforts to draw enough fans, along with more advertising around the stadium, to be profitable.
Back to the game itself. Kate and I easily got the New Britain lineup card from manager Stan Cliburn, who also handed us the two official lineup cards. We watched the very short (5 minutes) fireworks show. It was a good night.
2016: 52 lineup cards (37 dugout/bullpen; 15 “official batting order”)
Lifetime: 115 lineup cards (84 dugout/bullpen; 29 “official batting order”; and 2 “relief pitcher usage”)