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Friday, April 5, 2019

Chattanooga Lookouts are Back! 04APR19

Still one of the coolest logos in minor league baseball.

The head ump spent a long time telling everybody about something along the left field foul line.

The first pitch of a new year and as a renewed Reds affiliate.

I think it might be a popup.

Missed by millimeters.

And for one brief, shining moment the Lookouts took the lead.

They clearly did not not anticipate the size of the crowd. Concessions were way understaffed, slow, and ran out of food - on opening day.


Nice crowd and this is with hundreds of people stuck in the concourse trying to get concessions.

It looked like the good guys were going to win until a disastrous 6th, but they went down 6-3.
First day of Minor league ball and I made the four hour trek down to watch the Chattanooga Lookouts upon their return to the fold as a Cincinnati Reds affiliate. I mean, they're the Lookouts; it's worth it (once a season - this ain't gonna be an every weekend thing).

Pro tip: rent a room at one of the hotels across the street from the park. Usually, since I do these things on a budget, I'm a big fan of finding a Microtel fifteen or twenty minutes away and driving in, but parking here is terrible and the Residence Inn across from the ballpark doesn't gouge you too much. In fact, here's the view from my window:

I went up the escalator which gets you 85% up the hill, but dumps you at the bottom of another set of 20+ stairs so doesn't accomplish its mission entirely. It's a nice stadium and the people there are generally nice (after all this is the South). The couple next to me were clearly on a date. If I couldn't tell from the semi-awkward conversation everybody within three rows knew because the guy had bathed in whatever cologne or body spray he was wearing.

As for the game, the Lookouts did okay until they replaced their starter, Tejay Antone, and then they just fell apart. The sixth was a disaster and then it was just a matter of playing the rest of it out.

Sometime around the sixth the breeze started to pick up and it was spitting rain on and off from about the fourth. None of that would have been too bad, but it got just cold enough to make it start getting miserable in the last couple innings. Low 60's is just cool enough to make sitting around uncomfortable when you're dry and there's no wind. When it's semi-damp and there's a stiff breeze it's not enough to make me leave, but my Joe Morgan jersey wasn't cutting it. I had to get up and walk around a couple times and if the Lookouts' souvenir store had jackets big enough to fit over my gut they would have made a sale. Gotta say tho, a lot of the Lookouts fans were made of tougher stuff than me; they were lined up to buy ice cream and slushies all night long.

When it was over, I started out to walk back to my hotel as quick as I could in a semi-frozen state. Then a guy made a point of walking past me, putting his hand up in a Hook 'em Horns display, and and shouting "Cubs are number one" (1-5 record) while fully kitted out in Lookouts gear (a Reds affiliate if I haven't pointed that out yet). I think he might have been a little confused or inebriated. Who knows? It's hard to tell what's going on in the heads of the WGN Brigade.1

And so ends this tale in favor of yet another on the morrow. In other words, watch this space for my description of the Knoxville Ice Bears game I'm going to tonight.

 1 By the way, for those of you who don't know, the Cubs are about to do something really, really stupid and dump WGN in favor of a cash grab "Cubs Network." It's not like WGN made them a national brand or easily accessible to local fans or anything. Nope. Let's throw it all behind a pay wall. Because that's a great way to get new fans and not slowly wither and die on the vine.

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