the pictures are actually good, but photobucket renders them otherwise.
the drive was no problem from HB to lake elsinore. it took about 70-80 minutes, and the stadium was a mile from the interstate. parking was simple and cost only $5. we were probably 1/4 mile from the entrance which was only 50 yards from the last row of seats.
there were promotions every half inning and several during play. if gerrard (blaze) struck out, beers were half priced. if joynt (storm) hit a double, section 104 got coupons for dbl/dbls from in n out burger (with tax that's $3.18 fyi).
the players were somewhat accessible with little/no security around them and handfuls of fans wanting autographs.
some very surprising things:
1. there is no coaching staff really. players rotate for both teams as the respective first base coaches. there are three coaches listed for the blaze - mgr, hitting, pitching. i guess that's all you need, but it was funny seeing a 20-yr old "coaching" first when lemon was thrown out twice at first and really once at 2nd (but the tag must have been missed).
2. that leads to my 2nd observation. OMG these guys are GREEN! WOW! i have only watched bb at the major league level - at least for the last 20 years. seeing these guys get the ball around the infield is humorous. it's not intolerable, but i wasn't expecting it. double plays are a rarity, and seeing the chaos that ensues when a ball is hit between 1st/2nd is startling. once no one covered 1st and a couple of other times gac barely made it over. lemon getting on base his first three times was good - right up until he was caught off first, out by at least a step stealing 2nd (called safe) and caught off first. WTF?
cheap night. very fun. i wish we had a (ranger) team close to us - or at least one that played close to us.
my last thought - seeing these young guys (i'm 37) with the world ahead of them is really cool. a few of these guys will eventually realize their dream and play major league ball. that's awesome