Hooooo!!!!! Last week, I made an unscheduled second visit to the home of Hacksaw Jim Duggan. The first time I was in Glens Falls was to check out the ECHL team playing in the Civic Center and I liked both the arena and the town. It was nice to get a second look at the city during the warm season as the downtown has a decent array of local shops and restaurants. There’s a small museum as well (Chapman Museum) that provides history on the town and I was saddened to just miss it as it closed minutes after I got there. Lucky for my partner on this trip, my seven-year old daughter Shayla, because instead of boring nerdy stuff that I enjoy, she got to go shopping around town for an hour before dinner (picking only one thing to buy was a hard choice).
We then drove a mile away to East Field, a city park that is highlighted by a 7,000-seat stadium. Opened in 1980, Glens Falls has gone down the baseball affiliation rung as they had AA ball, then Single A, then Independent and now Summer-Collegiate. It’s been nearly 20 years of the Golden Eagles / Dragons as the team plays in the PGCBL. Shayla described the ballpark as “the worst place I’ve ever been to” and she’s not far off (it got better for her later in the night). Deteriorating is an understatement as the condition of this stadium is downright dangerous. In a day and age, where teams and cities fabricate the need for renovations, nowhere is that need actually true than East Field. Three separate stands of bleachers are characterized by warped wood, tripping hazards and splinters waiting to happen. Open gaps between rows are legitimately big enough to swallow a toddler. Some seats seriously have caution tape around them. The team that was cobbled together this season also shows that management just doesn’t care all around as the Dragons went into this contest on a 13-game losing streak with a record of 6-36. They of course went down to league-leading Amsterdam 16-6 and that ruined a nice run I had of 12 straight games seeing the home team win. In a league with some great little parks (Elmira, Batavia) this has to be the worst and the folks of Glens Falls deserve to go to a respectable place on a summer night.
Thankfully for Shayla, the event got better. After an ice cream sandwich, we met a superfan of the Amsterdam Mohawks. His family was on hand and the kids played together in the open space by the dugout and this fan was kind of enough to get a player to throw a ball over to Shayla, a keepsake that won her over on the night.