Vince here. Last year, Andrew Ranck documented his experience at the Devil Rays game at Disney for the Uni Watch faithful. The other day, I received a missive from Andrew with a new batch of pictures and assorted descriptions of his most recent trip to watch the AL East powerhouse at Disney, so it’s time for an update. Andrew’s account is below.
This year my friends and I decided to take the traditional (read: cheap) route and sit in the grass in the outfield. It was a nice night, so laying out a blanket and watching the game from left field was a nice (and popular) alternative.
One nuance of the park is that the bullpen is actually located directly in front of the grass seating area.
Sitting in the grass was actually kind of a nice change. Disney did a great job of having temporary concession stands located around the outer ring of the grass (the white tents in the pictures.) I was actually kind of surprised with the amount of alcohol being served this year as opposed to last. This year they had the usual ball park choices of beers (all the major domestics), and for some reason they decided to sell Foster’s Oil Cans. They also had full bars set up through-out the park which definitely weren’t there last year.
Before the sun went down it was shining directly in our eyes, so I took the opportunity to walk up towards home plate a get a picture of the batter’s box and home dugout (with temporary advertising for Pepsi and NewEra included). The warm up circle looked to be the same one used the previous year. My guess is that it’s the generic one they use for Atlanta’s spring training games in the stadium.
From the stands you could see the advertising pennants that are a permanent part of the park. Upon closer inspection (aided by the fact that we were sitting right under them), I saw that some of them were temporary coverings, which (due to the Rays-centric nature of them), I assume were just for that series.
The only scoreboard in the place was the one in center field, and like last year it was pretty Spartan in the information it provided. Also, there was a temporary jumbo-tron that showed player intros and between inning commercials. The problem was, from the outfield grass, you couldn’t see the center field scoreboard, and since there weren’t any others, a lot of time was spent figuring out how many balls and strikes there were.
Little kids would play catch on the grass behind the left field wall, until Disney employees (shown here in the orange shirts) would chase them away.The kids were really good at the “wait until they go away, then go right back to doing it” game, so Disney eventually had to have park security (nicknamed “the fun police” by the adults in the crowd) to keep them away.
Anyway, besides that small experience of Disney big brother behavior, they trip was a great time, and not a bad way to spend an evening. I heard attendance was a little lower then last year, but that’s being blamed by the Rays and Disney on the Magic playoff series going on at the same time.
Let’s all give Andrew a nice round of applause for his report from the land of Mickey.
A Quick Aside: If during the second or third inning of last night’s Indians versus Mariners game you heard some dude yelling, “Get a helmet on that first base coach!”, that was me. Seattle’s Eddie Rodriguez was manning first base with just a hat, and being only six rows behind home plate, I decided I could make a difference. Apologies to all children in that section, as my language was not quite as proper as I portrayed it here.
Uni Watch News Ticker: A little birdie named Patrick Wilson points out that some time during spring training, Pat Burrell gave the bird to someone. … Brian Rockwood notes that on April 29, 1913, the Reds had to wear uniforms borrowed from the White Sox because the equipment managers forgot to load the uni’s on the train. It didn’t help the Reds that day, as they lost 7-2. … LeGarrette Blount chose to play football for the Oregon Ducks because — wait, this can’t be right — he liked the uniforms? (A depressing thanks to Greg Riffenburgh and Brett Crane). … Many people chipped in to explain that the quarterback-style wristband on college baseball players is for calling pitches from the dugout without the opposing team being able to pick off the signs. Thanks.