My youngest daughter and I went to the Whitecaps game today. It was easy to get to the park and easy to get out of the park. Parking was $5. The stadium itself was nice. It is, however, a stadium surrounded only by parking lots. Fifth-Third Ballpark does not have the same urban feel as Fifth-Third Field. That also means you are captive for food and the concession prices reflect it. Generally they are higher than Toledo and some items like frozen lemonade cups are as high as Detroit. The concourse was pretty crowded most of the time, but wait times for souvenirs, food and bathrooms were generally short.
It was Family Fun Day. That meant you could go on the field and play catch or get autographs before the game. My daughter is well informed so once we got on the field she went right to Castellanos, the third baseman of the future. This turned out to be a good strategy because this took her to the far end of the player line and she had half the team before she really had to start waiting in line. She ended up with over 20 signatures.
While she was getting autographs Billy Nowlin complimented me on my Erie Seawolves hat. He said he used to have two, back when he was good. (I Love Minor League Baseball.) I later looked it up and he was in Erie last year. I also noticed that manager Ernie Young looks like he could play now and hit the ball 400 feet.
The start of the game was delayed 30 minutes due to a sprinkler malfunction behind the pitcher’s mound. (I love Minor League Baseball.) I also noticed some differences between this and AAA or MLB. There were only two umpires. There are no base coaches. The Whitecaps’ manager coached third and the hitting coach, Ben Oglivie, coached first. The Tincaps had a player coach first. We sat on the first base side by the dugout so I did not see whether they used their manager or another coach at third.
We were right by the dugout so my daughter got a ball from first baseman, Robbins after one half inning. She was most excited because she wanted to see if these had Midwestern League written on them like International League balls have International League written on them. They do.
The game itself featured a 2-run seventh inning rally where Castellanos got an RBI. The Whitecaps beat the Tinhats 2-1. Castellanos left the game shortly thereafter hobbling. Evidentally you can get from the clubhouse to the fan first aid area easily. While we watched the ninth from the concourse we noticed Castellanos and another player enjoying slushes near the concourse. (I love Minor League Baseball.) My oldest daughter is just a year younger than Castellanos and I could see her trying to get a slush after a game, too, if she were a professional athlete.