Our baseball double/triple-header started out at the Little League World Series in South Williamsport. What a beautiful ride it is to come up US-15 with so many nice hills. Right before you get to the town, the road takes you up to the top of a hill providing a nice panoramic view. Usually, I’m pretty good with planning these trips, but I failed on this one. I don’t know why I thought, it would be a good idea to arrive 15-30 min before game time. First, the parking is limited, even though the website ‘guide’ said that there are signs directing you on where to park. The only sign I saw was one that had an arrow saying parking straight ahead and I ended up heading toward town. Regardless, we parked on the side of the road, which was fine. By the time we got into the stadium, it was completely full. The outfield seating was generally packed too and this is not the best of ideas with a blazing sun, so we found some shade and watched on the hill from afar. Stupid me not too realize a Sunday Afternoon meant a capacity crowd. It’s just tough to figure when tickets are free (woo-hoo!). Lamade Stadium truly is a wonderful experience. It is a classic old-style and simple ballpark with a completely covered roof. There is seating for 25,000 – 30,000 on the outfield hills and this is one of the more unique settings in sports. There’s essentially two steep hills and one is usually for fans and the other is for kids to slide down on with cardboard. The championship game usually finds the sledding hill packed with fans. The atmosphere is so different than anything I’ve seen before, because kids are the ones playing the game. Overall, had a great time, even though it only lasted about 50 minutes with the mercy rule in effect as San Antonio, TX led Russellville, KY 12-0. I just wish I had a lot more time to watch the game, soak up the atmosphere and wonder around the grounds.
So with the game over very early, it was time for Volunteer Stadium and the International Game (Canada vs Taiwan). That was another mistake in planning. The stadium was packed (even before the main game ended) and there was barely even room to stand. I did spend a little time taking in the game and snapping pictures, getting in the experience…but it was tough. So, we meandered the congregation area in the middle for a little while. There was still an hour and a half until our next game, so it was back to Lamade which was a good idea. Just sitting relaxing in the shaded old stadium was awesome. Overall, we had a good, albeit short time at the Little League World Series, but I should’ve planned it a bit better. The ballparks were very nice and a cool experience to check out. For more details on the ballpark/visit reviews, check out the review to the right.
It was then on to historic Bowman Field, home of the Williamsport Crosscutters, single A affiliate of the Phillies. The short, 10 minute drive across the Susquehanna River to Williamsport was nice as we drove down Millionaire’s Row (a section of historic and huge old homes when the town used to be a Lumber capital). It was great to get to another old ballpark, as its been awhile and I’ve been on a string of new facilities. Always refreshing and very enjoyable for me to see a classic. Bowman Field had most of the old-style features: located in a neighborhood/park area with houses in the outfield, small and tight seating bowl, intimate setting, roof covering most of the seats. Had a good time here, plus was handed free tickets! This was one of the rare times I didn’t buy online and it worked well. Unfortunately, they took my ‘coupon’ and I have to find a way to get a ticket stub (plus, I need to find a souvenir stub from the LLWS). The Cutters blew a 5-0 lead and ended up losing 8-6. This ended my two-game home stadium winning streak. The wife’s favorite part of the game was Baseball Bingo. A pretty cool game, but the PA guy should let fans figure out what the numbers were. The game wrapped up at about 7:45 and it was off to the two hour-plus ride home and the badly timed 3:30 AM alarm for work. Three ballparks in three hours. I think I’ll stick with one in a day next time…but I’m definitely glad that the day worked out and I saw all three nice facilities!