This afternoon I had the distinct pleasure of attending a Columbus Clippers game in their new ballpark, Huntington Park, for the first time with my younger brother Trent, my father, Victor and my nephew, AJ, aka Victor the third. All in all it was a great experience, and I will never forget some things that have been replaced since the Clippers used to play at Cooper Stadium: there is no longer the "Columbus Clippers ring your bell" chant, instead it's "Columbus Clippers...our team, our town(I know that's been around for a while, but bear (sp) with me as I said before, this is the first Clippers game I have been to in a while), the players have their own theme songs (I found it particularly ironic that catcher Lou Marson's was TNT by AC/DC as it appeared he had the lowest batting average of the whole team, but maybe he's just in a slump), and there were several mascot races today I found rather amusing. The $3 hotdog and $8 cup of beer tasted like...well...any other hot dog or cup of beer I guess. It was my nephew's second baseball game(as he continually reminded me), although his first in Columbus, Ohio, and I think he really enjoyed himself as well. He had a hotdog, a large soda, ice cream dots, and some cotton candy, although I should have known he wasn't going to finish the cotton candy the moment I bought it for him, seeing as how at 6 years of age his stomach is a lot smaller than mine. It really helped that the weather had cooled off somewhat before the start of the game; I had half expected us to be so hot we would have left in the second inning, but we ended up staying til the top of the eighth.
As for the action on the field, the Clippers started as very gracious hosts to the visting Pawtucket team, spotting them an early 2-0 lead. The turning point came in the fourth inning, when the Clippers scored 4 runs, capped by a base clearing double by designated hitter Jordan Brown. Columbus' pitching seemed to hold up decent, but I am still puzzled as to why they pulled starter Hector Carrasco so early when he only had given up 2 runs on two hits. Who knows, maybe the Indians are getting ready to call him up and this was just a warmup. More interesting to me was the appearance of middle reliever Jeremy Sowers, who was the first to spell Carrasco, who just last season had been a starter for the Indians. I guess I should follow Cleveland a little more, but lately the only team from that city I have had any interest in is the Browns. Has always been my favortie pro team and will always be my favorite pro team. But I digress. The Clippers put on a valiant effort, and my first trip to the new stadium was a victory. Maybe one day I will be reading about Jose Constanza or Luis Valbuena or Nick Welgarz making an impact for the Cleveland Indians as they battle for the playoffs, but today it was good just to see them lead the hometown Clippers to a win. As the saying goes..Columbus Clippers...our team, our town.