Dashing for Diamonds on the Diamond

Baseball Ross and I are moving to Dunedin, a town right next to Clearwater. Ironically we’ll be the same distance from Brighthouse Field where the Threshers play, but we’ll be coming from the North, instead of the South.

I mention this because Dunedin has it’s own Florida State League team, the Dunedin Blue Jays. They are affiliated with the Toronto Blue Jays. Their stadium is only a few blocks from our new house and we are trying to get to know the team as they are so close to the house.

Dunedin is much different from Brighthouse. Unfortunately, they usually only draw about 100-200 fans per game, much different from the 800-1000 or so that attend most Threshers game. Ross and I usually get a laugh as they now have a Booster Club section, but we have never seen more than six people sitting there. Dunedin, however, has lower ticket prices than Clearwater. For SIX BUCKS, you get to sit anywhere in the stadium, if you like sitting behind the plate, it’s a savings of 3.50 per ticket, per game.

Dunedin doesn’t have the on field, between innings entertainment like Clearwater does. They have some, but not as involved and not as frequent. What they DO have is iPad Friday. The first Friday of each month this season, they’ve given away a brand new iPad during the 8th inning. With the attendance at the games, (you must have purchased a ticket, people with comp tickets are not eligible) a 1 in 200 or so chance at an iPad isn’t too shabby.

Alas, we were at all but one of the games and we didn’t win. *pouts* Last night in addition to the iPad giveaway, it was Ladies Night. At the gate there were two Jays players handing out carnations to every lady in attendance. Ladies were also given a free raffle ticket. The ticket was good for the raffle where they gave away more than THIRTY prizes from local stores. There were things like an hour long massage, six months of haircuts, cookie baskets, MaryKay cosmetics and more. (sadly, I didn’t win anything)

The most fun thing was…what you might call the “Dash for the Diamonds”. After the game, ladies who had signed a waiver (guess they were expecting us to kill each other) would take the field. They covered the entire outfield with 500 jewelry boxes. There were 18 smaller prizes and one box contained a diamond ring!

The rules were simple, we had 3 minutes to grab as many boxes as you could…

If you have seen the movie, “The Hunger Games”, this was just like the “launch” scene at the beginning of the Games, where Katness Everdeen and her competitors run toward the cornucopia to grab supplies and weapons. It really felt like that except instead of being 15 and fighting our lives, most of us were middle aged and praying not to blow out a knee.

READY, SET, GO!

Ladies dash for diamonds…notice the 2 ladies in the middle, one in yellow and one in purple who fell!

At least 2 ladies wiped out soon after starting the dash.

Scrambling to grab jewelry boxes, would I get one? More importantly, would I survive?

While they allotted 3 minutes to grab the boxes the whole thing was over in about 30 seconds!

I was proud of myself, not only did I not fall, I managed to grab six boxes. Sadly, I didn’t win one of their prizes, however,  I got to go home with the best prize of all…Baseball Ross!!!!

While I didn’t win, I did have a blast! It really was fun, the ladies that participated in the dash really seemed to have fun with it and we all had a laugh.

I think I’m going to like my new home town.

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Things are just Ducky

When you go to a ballgame, you never know what you might see…or that you might actually get to save a life…or in this case eight lives.

When Ross and I got to Bright House there was a momma duck racing back and forth just in front of the fountain. She was in obvious distress. I looked to the side and there was the problem, her ducklings had fallen down in a storm drain.

The one of the grounds crew had gotten a tractor and lifted the grate off the drain while a City of Clearwater Police Officer used a rake to keep them from swimming down into the drainpipe.

City of Clearwater Police Officer uses a rake to keep the ducklings from getting lost down the drainpipe

After that, the groundskeeper took the rake since his arms were a little longer and it allowed him to scoop the leaf-rake under the ducklings and up they came, one by one.

A Bird in Hand

Momma was waiting

Momma Duck waits for her babies

At one point several ducklings scampered onto the rake and I jumped in to help. I helped carry three of the eight babies over to where Momma was waiting

Momma! Where are you?

After all 8 were saved, the grate was put back on and we headed into the game, quite happy to have helped to save eight little lives.

Waddling off into the sunset

Final Tune-Ups for Lakewood and Clearwater

It really wasn’t publicized and by the size of the crowd, or lack thereof, that was obvious. I found out from a friend on Facebook of all places…The price for the last tune up before Lakewood leaves for Greenville South Carolina was right too…FREE.

There was roughly a hundred people at Brighthouse and we were lucky, the weather was wonderful; so cool, no humidity. These were the die-hards, season ticket holders, family and pitchers charting for the night. It’s the kind of night I love to watch baseball. You can really get lost in the game. The people there are really into the game, there’s no crying baby in front of you, no kid kicking the back of your seat, just people who love the game.

We met some dear friends and settled in.

My only complaint and one I’ve now complained not once, but twice to the Threshers is that there STILL isn’t a roster printed. So on top of the Threshers not having names on their jerseys, there was no list to coordinate the numbers with the names. So after a couple of innings, we gave up guessing who each player might be. The BlueClaws players were still wearing their Phillies spring training jerseys which had their names on them so that worked. By late today, I was told by the Threshers that there should be an official roster announced by tomorrow. Yeah, within 24 hours of the first pitch of the season and we still won’t know who’s on the team! Sheesh!

Now the first pitcher for the Threshers, him I knew, Mike Stutes was pitching to rehab his sore shoulder.

Mike Stutes pitching with the Threshers in a rehab appearance

Stutes pitched a strong inning…a four out inning. Yep, they kept him on for an additional batter so that he got enough pitches in. He looked good.

My friends who are season ticket holders went to chat with some of their other friends and soon called me over. The father of Bryan Morgado was sitting with them. Bryan, who will be starting the year with Lakewood, was scheduled to pitch. Morgado looked sharp. He had command. He pitched between 92-94 mph and looked like the top left handed reliever of the future.

Bryan Morgado winds up

Percival Garner pitched four strong shutout innings for Clearwater as well.

Cameron Rupp for the Threshers and Kyrell Hudson for the BlueClaws each had long homers. Aaron Altherr had two hits for Lakewood.

It was a fun night and while the final score really doesn’t matter, in fact, they played an extra inning to get a pitcher his work, the final was 7-1.

So that’s tonight’s wrap up. I’ve got a lot going on this week and hope to keep you updated….