Excellent Adventure Day # 52
Magic in Charleston
It was another hot day as we headed east from Augusta and arrived in the beautiful city of Charleston. It was my first trip to the city, though I’ve been back several times since, and I fell in love with the place.
College Park wasn’t the oldest or the newest. It wasn’t the fanciest or even the quirkiest stadium we saw. It was a good crowd though nowhere near the largest we would be part of that season in the minor leagues. But College Park and the Charleston Rainbows captivated me and I routinely listed it among my favorite stops as the season went on and reporters would ask which parks we liked best.
The Rainbows moved out of College Park a few years after we visited and Joseph P Riley Stadium, the home of the Charleston RiverDogs as the team is now called, is a fantastic new park in its own right with a bunch of stuff you won’t see anywhere else. But College Park had an element of mystique to it. It is in a residential neighborhood so right across the street are a row of houses and a church steeple rises over the outfield wall. The outfield fences came together at odd angles (shades of Fenway) and there was color everywhere…from the rainbow stripe painted along the walls of the stadium to the flower beds inside.
The visiting Columbia Mets were having a fine season that year (they ended up winning the SAL championship) and they ended up winning that night 7-5; Second baseman Fernando Vina was in the leadoff spot and third baseman Butch Huskey hit fourth for the Mets.
Twelve years later when I went back to Charleston on my Extra Innings Tour in 2003, I shot about a half hour of video tape at Joseph P Riley Stadium on a Kid’s Day matinee that started at 10:30 in the morning. That’s a cool park and I’m glad I have the tape but I’m sorry to say I don’t have nearly as much from College Park in 1991. We filmed a bunch in the afternoon before the game but have almost no game footage. We do, however have a filled-in scorecard, which tells me we were enjoying the evening so much we didn’t get out the video camera until the end. Mea culpa.
…”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 – Sunday: The Fayetteville Generals
Tomorrow morning look for a new episode of the Low Mileage Tour on 435 Voices podcast. I’ll be visiting with Melissa Azevedo, who was working for the Rainbows during our 1991 visit and worked for the Rainbows and then Riverdogs every year since.
Later Sunday the Low Mileage Tour moves on to Fayetteville, NC – the home in 1991 of the Fayetteville Generals.