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Tuesday, May 3, 2016

The Birmingham Barons

Best AA experience I've ever had. Period.

The stadium was packed to the gills although I'm convinced that half of them never saw their seats. A huge portion of the crowd hung out standing behind the right field wall or sitting in the grassy area in center-right. And there were two layers of box seating - all of which were filled. This is a great deviation from the norm at most parks where a few of the boxes are filled, but the rest just sit there sadly dark as an exclamation point for an overbuilt park. The vibe felt a lot like the AAA baseball stadium in Nashville.
In fact, if the Thursday night crowd I saw was anywhere near typical the Barons really ought to be a AAA team. Maybe they will be if MLB ever does that expansion it keeps saying it needs.

 The people were friendly, the concourse well laid out and the experience was really, really good. And, they have held onto their history. They're the Birmingham Barons dangit and they're not going to turn into the Birmingham Bacons or Birmingham Blue Crawdads or whatever weird name some ad agency could cook up to purposefully upset people so they can get publicity. It's good to see a team with integrity and the crowds that love them for it.

As for the game itself. the Barons easily handled the Pensacola Blue Wahoos. They held the "Yahoo Wahoos", as the announcer kept calling them, to no runs. Meanwhile, homers in the 2nd and 4th got the Barons up and running and in the 7th they loaded the bases and pushed 2 runs across before the Wahoos stopped the damage. With that, the game ended Barons 4 - Wahoos 0.

If you are in Birmingham, go. Heck if you are anywhere near Birmingham, go. It's a great park and a great experience and you need to to be there.

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