We started our family vacation in early July by going to the Seawolves game on July 2. The game, against the Akron Rubberducks, was a night game with fireworks. Seeing the Seawolves was a fun experience.
I was excited to see the Seawolves. As a devout and lifelong Detroit Tigers fan, my goal in life is to see every team in the Tigers system at least once, and at their home park. Erie was on our way to Toronto for the July 7 game with the Tigers, so we popped in to Jerry Uht Park.
I’d mentioned on Twitter that I’d been attending and I discovered how absolutely phenomenal the Seawolves’ social media machine is. The person managing the team’s Twitter account “liked” and “retweeted” tweets within a few hours.
It was an amazing act that few Major League Baseball teams do. It set the tenor for what would turn out to be one of my best experiences at a Minor League or Major League baseball game.
The park is simple. It’s what one expects from a AA affiliate. No frills and every seat is a great one. But what I did notice was how prominent their signage is regarding the dangers of foul balls. Good for them!
As I usually do, I sit my family in the outfield box seats, some of the safest and closest seats to the field. Those who follow me on Twitter and read my work here are all very much aware of my feelings regarding these “hero” parents who sit with their kids in the most dangerous areas and snag a foul ball while holding their kid. I practice what I preach.
I’d bought first row seats a bit closer than usual, but still in an area we could easily manage any fouls that came our way.
Once the game started, I began coaching my 9-year-old daughter on the probable locations of foul balls. One can never be too young to understand the dangers of these souvenirs. It is especially fitting since dad runs the only site dedicated to studying and discussing them.
Meeting Seawolves Superfan Eric Brookhouser
As I live tweeted between at-bats and half innings, a Twitter follower of mine, Eric Brookhouser, replied to a few. He knew we’d be there.
Late in the game—during the 7th inning stretch—I got to meet Eric.
I recommend tracking down Eric when you’re at a Seawolves home game. He is literally a Seawolves historian. He enthralled me with his knowledge of the park and players in it. The field and the Erie Otters hockey rink were quite literally squeezed into virtually the same space; a homoerun over the right field fence would travel only about tend feet beyond the wall. Before the rink was expanded, people could come out to a smoking area behind the rink and catch a part of a Seawolves game. His version was more interesting and more detailed, but what I loved about this is Eric’s passion for the game and for the Seawolves.
He’s promised to write for FoulBallz.com too. Nothing yet. 🙁
I have only one regret: I forgot to get a selfie with Eric. That was my bad; but things can get away from you when you have two young kids with you. Sorry Eric!
While we didn’t get any giveaways, we did get to enjoy a great fireworks display. Considering they are a Double-A team and Jerry Uht is located next to a residential area, they gave a great show. My kids—who had somehow stayed awake for the whole game—loved it.
The next day we were in the Juice Bar in Erie when we saw Clint Frazier (Rubberducks/Indians affiliate). Admittedly, I got excited. The kid’s a top draft pick. Granted, he doesn’t play for a Tigers affiliate, but it’s baseball; the point is seeing these young guys playing and being able to say later that you got to watch him at a Seawolves/Rubberducks game.
If you’re in the area, I strongly recommend a special trip to Jerry Uht Park for a Seawolves game. Tweet about it and try to track down Eric. You won’t be disappointed.