Excellent Adventure Day # 51
A Hot Night at Heaton
Mention Augusta to me and my mind goes straight to the magical golf tournament, the Masters, held there each spring. On today’s version of the Low Mileage Tour on the 435 Voices podcast, you’ll hear from a guy who’s covered that tournament 41 times. When I think of the Augusta National, I think fancy.
But the Augusta Pirates of the South Atlantic League, while now called the Green Jackets after the famous jacket given each spring to the winner of the Masters, played in a stadium that was not fancy at all. Heaton Stadium was upgraded significantly in subsequent years and Lake Olmstead Stadium was on the same site when I visited in 2003. The team has since moved into a shiny brand new stadium just across the state line. But on that steamy May night in 1991 we arrived at a park that was a collection of buildings and bleachers placed around a baseball diamond more than what you would consider a stadium.
Still, a lively crowd watched their Augusta Pirates pound out 11 hits on the way to a 7-4 victory over the Sumter Flyers and the fans had a great time. That’s what Minor League baseball is all about.
This video is shorter than most. As I explain in the intro, I think I was weary that night and Sue doesn’t show up in the footage at all. If you listen closely during the segment on the Augusta media you will hear Rondell White being introduced for the visiting Sumter Flyers, a Montreal Expos affiliate. He was hitting just .238 going into that game but ended up in Montreal just two seasons later and spent 15 years in the major leagues. My favorite bit of video, though, is the kids with giant sized water guns having a water shootout right next to the visiting bullpen.
…”Give me Just a Little More Time“
There aren’t many things to regret about our magical 1991 season but I do wish we had a chance to see more of each town we visited. Quite often the only glimpse of the surrounding area was from our seats. I hope to go back some day and once tourist sites are safely reopened here are a few sites I’d check out if I had a whole day or better yet a week!
Until We Meet Again
Who knows how long it will be until we can collectively be taken out to the ballgame again but in the meantime here is an important page where you can do some good, find some important content and help us all get to the other side of this difficult season.
In the On Deck Circle: The Charleston Rainbows