My Spring Training Game in Lynchburg

IMG_0479Growing up in St. Petersburg, FL, I always looked forward to spring training. We were home to both the Mets and the Cardinals. Back then, it was a time to shake off the rust, actually get in shape, refine your skills, and come together as a team. From players to managers to umpires, it was a time to get yourself back into the game. Nowadays, everyone is expected to report to camp already in shape and ready to go. Sadly, as a blogger, I didn’t get a spring training. No off season games to keep my skills as an amateur photographer and part time blogger in shape. When I went to Lynchburg, VA to see the Hillcats host the Myrtle Beach Pelicans on April 8th, I quickly realized I had lost a step over the winter. My timing on arriving at the game was late. I found myself being out of position to get the best shots of the in game festivities. Late to get the best on field shots. So I decided that this would be my spring training game. At first I wasn’t going to blog about it, but I realized it was such a nice evening in southern Virginia that I reconsidered. So here’s the report from my spring training game!

History

Lynchburg baseball history actually dates back to 1886. Lynchburg fielded teams in 1886, 1894-96, and 1906-1912, primarily in the old State League and Class C Virginia Leagues. In fact, they won championships in 1886 and 1906. In 1917, they reformed again as the Lynchburg Shoemakers, playing in the Fair Grounds. Over the years, Lynchburg has played in the Piedmont, South Atlantic, Southern, and Carolina Leagues. They play their home games at Calvin Falwell Field, which opened in 1940 as City Field. It has undergone numerous renovations since then, most recently within the last year. They have really done a great job keeping this stadium up to date!

Great view of the stadium and the kids play area.
IMG_5592

It still has that old time feel.
IMG_5697

They have a really nice section down the 3rd base side for private events with lots of high top tables!
IMG_0481

View of the mountains in the background.
IMG_0485

Plenty of Hillcats have made it to the bigs!
IMG_5698

Fans and food

All the fans I ran into were very friendly. Both the two legged and the four legged kinds! They have a small dog park along the first base side in the outfield, and I ran into Mobley and Fenway. Always nice to make new friends in the park!
IMG_5695

The food was pretty tasty. They do have your standard fare for a ballpark.
IMG_5685

But I was looking for something a bit special. I found it at the Muncheez stand. They prepare a fantastic grilled cheese right before your eyes. I opted for the grilled cheese with bacon. Hey, doesn’t bacon go with everything?!?
IMG_5624

Later, I went back for a fully loaded sausage. There’s nothing like a ballpark sausage!
IMG_0487

Since this was my spring training game, as I mentioned before, I seemed to always be in the wrong position for good shots of the between inning games. The Hillcats didn’t go overboard with the games, which was a good way to start the season. They did have musical chairs, starting with 4 kids and 3 chairs. I think I need one of these chairs at my place to settle in for a game! Maybe the wig too??
IMG_5734

Here’s their mascot during the 7th inning stretch wearing the team’s new colors for the season:
IMG_5765

Nothing like celebrating your birthday at the park and having everyone sing Happy Birthday!
IMG_5690

Game action

Plenty of game action in this 6-1 win by the Hillcats!

Loved the high leg kick action by Hillcats starting pitcher Triston McKenzie.
IMG_5593

Safe or out? You make the call!
IMG_5581

Footrace to first.
IMG_5611

Raising the flag for another Hillcats run!
IMG_5630

A few more:
IMG_5632IMG_5640IMG_5758IMG_5800

To toot my own horn, this is one of the better shots I’ve lucked into, a broken bat!
IMG_5855

And I ran into the fan who was lucky enough to get the remains!
IMG_5892

A submariner!
IMG_5866

Wrapup

Had a great time visiting the Hillcats. It’s an old time park with lots of history, and provides great views. While I was initially disappointed with my efforts, the Hillcats left nothing out on the field in their win. I would go back in a heartbeat!
IMG_5886

 

 

 

One Comment Add yours

  1. Great write-up, was glad to see that the broken bat went to a fan, as I have my share from the Cards spring training near my house growing up.

    Like

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s