I’ve lived in Mobile, Alabama for about 6 years now and almost every day I pass by Hank Aaron Stadium, home of the Mobile Bay Bears minor league baseball team. I often wondered what going to a game would be like; but I’m not a huge baseball fan, so other things to do always came up.
A few weeks ago, thanks to Harbor Communications, my wife received some complimentary tickets to a Bay Bears game and we decided to go catch a game.
The Bears used to be affiliated with the San Diego Padres; but in recent years are the Minor League team for the Arizona Diamond Backs. On this particular outing they were playing a series against the Mississippi Braves.
We arrived at the stadium and had VIP parking, but I honestly couldn’t see a difference in our placement to the proximity of the stadium with any other parking; although I think the advantage was in exiting the park after a crowded game.
“The Hank” is family friendly and there is lots to do on the grounds of the stadium, even before you step inside. Playgrounds, including those air-filled Moon Bounce thingies that kids love, and even a mini-waterslide were available to entertain the kids not interested in baseball. I’ll add here, that during the winter, the Stadium grounds is home to a snow machine for all those Gulf Coast kids that don’t get to play in the snow normally.
We had the privilege of eating some free hot dogs at the Stadium Club, but the concession stands throughout the underside halls of the stadium were plentiful with pizza, burgers, nachos, lemonade and beer. All the necessary elements of enjoying the game. Of course, stadium food brings with it; stadium prices. I suppose this the necessary evil of enjoying the game.
Boredom was not an option at the game. Besides the action within the innings of play, there was numerous promotions, contests, and even a mini-Mardi Gras-style parade between innings. I chocked these contests and giveaways as “filler” for the radio broadcast commercial breaks.
I had read a review of the Stadium at Ball Park Reviews and the review had stated the seating and viewing limitations of the stadium, but I didn’t witness anyone complaining. We had seats along the first base line just past the first baseman and on into the outfield. First baseman, Brandon James Burgess, quickly became our “favorite” player after he committed an error and then recovered for a fine game.
Foul ball catches excited the crowd and a few home runs got everybody to
Our only problem during the game was a spectator several rows from us who had consumed an ample supply of beer before and during the game. I think I could have “booked” several bets with some fans around us on when the obnoxious spectator would have been punched, passed out, or asked to leave the grounds.
The Bears beat the Braves, 7-3, while we were there; and later went on to win the series.
My fanaticism for baseball is usually reserved for never missing an airing of “Field Of Dreams” and always crying at the end of the movie; but I could get used to attending a few games of The Mobile Bay Bears each season.
If you live close to the Gulf Coast, make a weekend of it and come see the Bay Bears play…you might even get close enough to catch a baseball, and get an autograph from someone that may play in the “Majors” in the future.