Take Me Out to the Ballgame
By Lani Gering & Bob Tagert/ Game Photos by Joseph Noyes
“Minor League Baseball throughout our country brings families together for an affordable family fun night out and we are so proud to be a piece of that puzzle in Bowie. You get to see the future of the game of baseball on the field while enjoying a night that has something for everyone in the family from the stands.” – Adam Pohl, Baysox Director of Marketing.
As we pondered where to take a Road Trip in June that would be fitting for the July issue, our first inclination was to either head up to the Blue Ridge where temps will be cooler or to the Bay to be near the water. However, we went full circle right back home to concentrate on a bit of Americana that is in keeping with this month’s theme – Baseball, Hot Dogs, Apple Pie and Chevrolet – in our own backyard!
Baseball has always been my sport of choice due to my late father’s influence. He loved it and introduced me to names the likes of Willie Mays, Don Drysdale and Sandy Koufax in my early years. I also ended up married to a big sports fan who put together a 3 week honeymoon trek that encompassed seeing the Rangers, the Red Sox, the Phillies, the Cardinals and the Royals! My friends thought I was crazy. While the marriage ended, my love of the sport has never waned. Bob is a dedicated rugby guy but baseball ranks right up there with his favorites as well.
While we are big fans of the Nationals, we decided that catching a minor league game would be more affordable and convenient for our readers who are looking for something to do with the whole family. We picked the Bowie Baysox since their ballpark is an easy 20 mile drive from Alexandria and has a ton of FREE parking. The ticket prices range from $10 – $20 and there really isn’t a bad seat in the house. They also have several *promo nights that include some nice perks. Tickets can be purchased in advance by calling 301-464-4865 or on the website at baysox.com as well as purchased at the stadium. DO NOT order them from a secondary site! I inadvertently did and ended up getting charged $49 per seat (should have been $18) in addition to a $15 fee for each ticket.
Prince George’s Stadium is a very nice venue and as mentioned above, easily accessible from the Beltway. We were both very impressed with the layout but had a bit of a hard time finding our seats. The numbering system for the seats in the 100 section (close to the field) on the concourse isn’t marked. We had to ask one of the ushers to point us in the right direction. We had great seats next to the Baysox dugout and three rows up from the backstop netting. We were also impressed with the concessions. The hot dogs are $4.25 and the peanuts $5 and the 16 ounce brews are $9. We are pretty much purists when it comes to ballpark eats so neither of us paid any attention to what the nachos and burgers and fries cost. The dogs were good, the peanuts fresh and the beer cold!
Another option for game day/night fare is The Baysox Diamond View Restaurant located on the suite level. This is a full service restaurant is open to any Box (100 level) & Reserved Seat (200 level) ticket holders, Fielder’s Choice or Flex Pack ticket holders. The restaurant opens one hour before the start of games and is open through the end of the game. Fans are invited to watch the game in the climate-controlled suite where a-la-carte food and drink service is available for purchase. Seating in the Diamond View Restaurant is on a first-come, first-seated basis for all fans with appropriate tickets who are interested in watching the game from the climate controlled suite-level. Reservations cannot be made. It is also a popular venue for private parties as was the case when we were there so we didn’t get to check it out.
The Baysox have been the Double-A Affiliate of the Baltimore Orioles since 1993 and they remain the longest standing Orioles affiliate. Another interesting factoid is that the outfield dimensions at Prince George’s Stadium are the same as the original home of the Orioles – Memorial Stadium – where they played from 1954 to 1991.
I was curious as to what a “Baysox” mascot would be and then came “Louie from Bowie” and…I’m still not sure what he is other than a furry/hairy green thing that dances around the park. Guess it’s not any odder than the “Philly Phanatic”. The Baysox also have an on field emcee named Evan. He keeps the crowd involved and announces all of the contests and winners that take place during the game – and there are several. The guy has a boatload of energy for sure.
The night we were at the game they were playing the Richmond Flying Squirrels. They are the Double-A Affiliate of the San Francisco Giants. It was a good game and the Baysox were victorious by one run after going into an extra inning! While the Richmond mascot wasn’t in the house, the logo on their hats is a very scary looking squirrel with a superman-like cape on. The other teams in the league have intriguing mascots as well – Rubber Ducks, Rumble Ponies, Yard Goats, Fisher Cats. Just to see what these guys uniforms look like would be worth the trip to a game.
The Stadium is very family oriented in general and in addition to the game itself there is a special area called the “Kids Zone” to keep little ones occupied. The vintage carousel caught my eye and there is a HUGE inflated slide and a moon bounce along with a speed of pitch game in the Zone. Entrance to these is $1.00.
If you are looking for a fun afternoon/evening with the family this summer, consider heading out to a Baysox game. As a matter of fact, they are hosting an *“Alexandria Community Night” on July 23rd when the Baysox play the Nationals Double-A Affiliate, Harrisburg Senators!
For information on upcoming Baysox promotions and events check them out on Facebook or pull up their website at baysox.com.