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Friday, April 12, 2019

Delmarva Shorebirds - Baseball in a Freezer

Sherman (the mascot) goofing around with the little leaguers.

The first pitch.

I don't know if this guy'll make it to the Major Leagues, but he's got one heckuva fallback career potential as a muppet.

He's out! Caught in a rundown, the Delmarva runner dodged, went past the base, and tried to dive back.

Delmarva's first run.

Out at home. Fly ball. Tag up. Outfielder with a cannon for an arm. Not good news for the Shorebird.

I think the Blue Claws shortstop might be Zoro.

The Delmarva Shorebirds play in Salisbury, Maryland. Delmarva, by the way, is somebody's clever idea for a name for the peninsula which Salisbury's located on. Both Virginia and Maryland call this "the Eastern Shore." Deleware, for reasons that should be blindingly obvious, does not. Hence, DELeware, MARyland, VirginiA = DELMARVA.

I drove here from Norfolk, Virginia and that meant paying Virginia (to whom I already pay taxes) $14 dollars to drive on one of its roads. And yes, I would like some cheese with that whine. Anyway, after crossing the neverending bridge-tunnel system I drove through the two Virginia counties to get to Maryland and finally Salisbury. There's lots of pretty scenery, lots of farmland, and lots of places selling fish. And then you get to Salisbury which is a city of about 30,000 and seems a decent enough place.

The field wasn't hard to find and there was plenty of parking, although they charge $4. The park itself is a fairly generic single A park with a couple interesting things to note. First, as I went up to the second level (where the vast majority of concessions and the souvenir shop are located), I noticed a closed of set of stairs. Apparently, the way into the park used to be this set of stairs but they closed it off and made a walkway through what I'm pretty sure must have been the business offices at one time. On the lower level you can walk all the way around the outfield. Again, this was obviously not there originally. The walkway is a raised wooden one and a couple feet back from the chain link fence so you aren't actually on the wall.

The weather was not cooperative. With an average low of 55 degrees in Salisbury this time of year, the temperature decided to drop to 48 with a stiff breeze. I was wearing a zip up light sweat shirt; I went to the souvenir shop and bought another light sweat shirt to wear over it. Sitting there with two sweat shirts and both of their hoodies pulled up, I looked dumb, but the they stopped most of the wind and by the end of the game the wind had tailed off and I almost felt comfortable.

As for the game itself, mostly it was fun to watch because it was a lot of small ball. Most of the scoring took place on sacrifice flies after runners had been advanced through interesting play. It was also obvious that the players were feeling the cold too - at least in their hands. There were a fair number of fumbles and bad throws that wouldn't have happened in 70 degree weather. Oh, and there was one home run. Doran Turchin tagged one to start the 4th and sent it over left-center as a line drive. Delmarva just kept pushing forward with 2 in the 3rd, 2 in the 4th, and (after the Blue Claws had made a game of it by scoring three in the top of the 6th) 2 in the bottom of the 6th. It was definitely a fun game to watch.

Getting there may be a bit of a bear, but if you're somewhere in the area, I think running by this park to watch a game would be a great idea (especially when it's a little warmer).

Next stop: Bowie Baysox.

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