Monday, August 19, 2013

My Backyard - 6 Reasons to Love the Pawtucket Red Sox

Baseball. It's part of our heritage. As American as apple pie.

Peanuts. Cracker Jack. 
Balls and Strikes.  Gloves and Bats.
Three Outs.  Nine Innings.
I love the game. All my friends and family know I'm a lifelong fan. I've been to many a ballgame, both in my backyard and around the country. Nothing like kicking back and enjoying a bit of Americana on a warm, summer afternoon.
The stadiums the boys of summer play in vary from city to city. Small quaint historical playing fields like Fenway. State of the art contemporary Marlins Park. Each team puts its own local flavor on their home. Though I've enjoyed games in many minor and major league parks, in my opinion one of the best places to watch the old pastime lies only a few miles from my hometown. In Pawtucket. McCoy Stadium. Home of baseball's longest game. Home to the AAA minor league affiliate for the best team in the majors, the Boston Red Sox. The reigning International League Champs.

I've been to a few games this season, most recently this past weekend. I was lucky enough to win tickets from Roster (thank you!!) for an exciting PawSox (as they're affectionately known) vs. Buffalo Bisons match-up and yummy BBQ. Hubby and I brought the grandkids along to their first ball game. The kids gripped their little gloves tight as their wide eyes took in the crowd, the pitchers warming up in the bullpen, the monster scoreboard in centerfield. But soon the tantalizing scent of steamed hot dogs and sizzling burgers had them dragging us to the tables laden with mouth watering food.

Later on, as they happily munched away on their ballpark feast, and gazed at the all stars taking their places on the ball field, I reflected on why I love going to a game at McCoy so much and why it's the best deal going.

1.   Location.Location.Location.  McCoy Stadium is easily accessible from anywhere in Rhode Island. Just hop on Route 95. No need to climb aboard a subway or spend hours stuck in freeway gridlock to get to a game only to arrive in the middle of the second inning.

2.  Free Parking. The stadium has ample parking surrounding it. The overflow is directed across the street to a large lot. And after the game there's no problem heading home as the local police are there to make sure everyone exits the lots safely and quickly.

3.  Price.  Ok, so my last trip to the park was a freebie. But ordinarily the tickets are very affordable, with various pricing for the different seating levels. It won't break the bank to bring your family to this park. There are even family packages available on certain nights, like the 4 for $44 deal (4 tickets, 4 bags of chips, 4 hot dogs, 4 drinks). Can't beat that!

4.  Seats. Comfy. And not a bad one in the house. Visitors will have a great view of the all the action from anywhere in the stadium. Whether in the 3 tiers of seats surrounding the infield or the barbeque bleachers along the right field side or the grassy knoll along the left field. (Just be on the lookout for the errant foul ball and the towering home run.)

5.  The Players. The cream of the AAA Red Sox crop. It's here where you can see future hall of famers. Like Jim Rice - Wade Boggs - Carlton Fisk. Up close. Maybe even get an autograph or two. A picture with a player. And occasionally you might get to watch a major leaguer rehabbing his way back up to the parent club. Like a Big Papi. or Dustrin Pedroia.

6.  Fun!! Whether you're a die hard member of Red Sox nation, a fair weather fan, or just looking for a fun night out with the kids. Everyone will enjoy a day at McCoy Stadium. Courtesy of the Pawsox!

Play Ball !!

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