Thursday, January 21, 2010

The 2009 Minor League Baseball Season Finally Ended Today

One of my goals during the 2009 Minor League baseball season in Florida (Class A Advanced - the Florida State League) was to watch a game between each of the 12 teams in the league played in each of the 11 stadiums they call home. The reason 12 teams play in 11 stadiums is that both the Palm Beach Cardinals and the Jupiter Hammerheads play in Roger Dean Stadium in Jupiter. But I digress.

Besides seeing a game in each of the stadiums I also wanted to purchase a baseball cap that was identical to the caps that the players wore on the field (does the phrase "simple things for simple minds" fit here?). I wanted to get both as proof that I saw the games and was in each of the stadiums so I kept the tickets for each stadium.

The 2009 season was the final season for the hapless Sarasota Reds. They played their final home game in Ed Smith stadium on September 3 and then played the last game of their existence in Port Charlotte against the Stone Crabs on September 6. I kept the tickets for each of those games.

Rather than have these tickets sitting around collecting dust and maybe getting lost I took them to a local frame shop to have the collection matted and framed so I could hang them on my wall as a constant reminder of what a great summer I had in 2009 watching endless baseball in person.

The frame shop called yesterday to inform me that the framing job was completed. I picked it up this afternoon after lunch. The photo above taken with my Blackberry doesn't really do it justice but all the tickets are there including those for the final games of the Sarasota Reds lives.

The Reds are gone now. They have moved to nearby Bradenton and become an affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates. In 2010 they will be known as the Bradenton Marauders. I'm trying to get season tickets (72 games) for the Marauders season. Still I don't think anything will compare with the incomparable 2009 season traveling around the state heckling teams, watching the Reds lose more than random chance would suggest, and ultimately getting the idea for my first novel that is almost completed.

But who knows. Maybe the Marauders will suck like the Reds did and I'll get another idea for a follow on book.

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