29 years ago today Bill & Sue stopped at two parks…McDonough Park in Geneva, New York and Falcon Park in nearby Auburn.
But despite the fact that we didn’t see nearly enough baseball in either one of them I’ve actually got quite a bit to say about those stops and have run out of time this evening.
However, Tropical Storm Fay promises a wet Saturday in Northern New England tomorrow, a good day to catch up on some historical baseball footage. Look for Geneva and Auburn and maybe even a Trifecta with Utica tomorrow.
Tonight’s Stop on the Low Mileage Tour doesn’t really count as an official stop, we would see this ballpark twice more before the season was over.
But the 1991 All Star Game was one of the amazing highlights of a season that really had it all. Tonight’s video, while short because we didn’t bring our camera into Skydome that night, still tells the story perfectly.
Among all the things I miss about major league baseball this summer, I might miss the All Star Game most of all. The game would have taken place in Los Angeles next Tuesday but has been canceled this year as players try to prepare for their abbreviated season. To me, it’s not only the best of all the major league sports all star contests, its a highlight of the summer. I hope you enjoy just a couple of minutes of looking back on a true mid-summer classic.
It’s back to the roots tomorrow…back into the United States, back to the Short Season-A New York-Penn League and an old ballpark in the Finger Lakes of New York, McDonough Park – the 1991 home of the Geneva Cubs.
Our mini family reunion tour ended after our three days in New England and as we reached ballpark #100 of “Bill & Sue’s Excellent Adventure” on a lovely summer evening in the suburbs of Albany, New York, it felt like we had turned another corner on the trip.
The Albany-Colonie Yankees lasted just three more years after we saw them but although the Capital District did not have a long run as the Double-A home of their downstate major league affiliate, the A-C Yankees did have a very successful run. In nine seasons they won their division pennant four times and three league championships including one in the year we saw them.
Here’s a great story from ESPN.com about the fascinating history of the Troy Haymakers.
The Haymakers don’t play in Troy anymore but the Tri-City ValleyCats of the New York-Penn League do.
And here’s the link to the Atlas Obscura profile of the Shaker Village that I mentioned in the video.
The Low Mileage Tour is leaving the country tomorrow, it’s on to the Major League All Star game in Toronto, where we were 29 years ago Thursday.
As was true of our stop in Pittsfield, MA the previous night, we were visiting with friends while we were near our homes in the Northeast and thus didn’t shoot as much video as we might have of stop #99 on “Bill & Sue’s Excellent Adventure.”
However, I shot quite a bit more when I returned to McCoy Stadium 12 years and three days later and since it provides a nice summary of how much had changed at the park in that time, I’ve included footage from both tours in tonight’s look at the Pawtucket Red Sox.
July 8, 1991 brought us to a ballpark that is no more in Colonie, NY – the home of the Albany-Colonie Yankees was magical stop #100 on the Excellent Adventure.
It’s a short post tonight as we get back into the swing of things. If you haven’t yet watched my Mid-Season Ode to Minor League Baseball I hope you will.
But this is a short post for a short video. There were many things I could have talked about on the video from historic Wahconah Park, a ballpark on the National Register of Historic Places.
I had other priorities, though. As you will see, both Sue and I had friends and family that came to visit us during one of our few stops in New England and thus, while I regret not having a better video history of this stop on our trip, I don’t regret our choice to spend most of our time with them and not recording video at all.
There isn’t much baseball footage in this one but its a good story anyway.
Tomorrow it’s off to the last of our three New England Minor League stops in 1991 – McCoy Stadium, the home of the Pawtucket Red Sox.
You can still catch a game at Wahconah Park, at least in a normal season. The Pittsfield Suns have canceled their 2020 season amid the Coronavirus but hope to be back in the Futures Collegiate Baseball League next summer.
Well, it turns out that I’m making the Gone with the Wind of Baseball Videos…or perhaps Heaven’s Gate. In any case, its at 20 minutes and counting but still not done so the video will have to wait until tomorrow.
It’s all the fault of Baseball America Magazine. They had this post on their twitter feed this week with the simple question…What does Minor League Baseball Mean to you? It turns out it’s taking me a while to answer that one.
We are going to hit the pause button again today on the Low Mileage Tour. The next video is coming along nicely but it is going to be a little longer than usual and is not quite ready yet.
It should be ready to publish tomorrow afternoon as we head into the 4th of July Weekend. After that, however, I’m going to take a couple of days to hang out with my family…do some camping in the yard and imagine that I’m listening to the dulcet tones of Joe Angel on the radio.
A new video and next week’s schedule coming tomorrow. Have a good evening
What has looked inevitable for weeks finally became official yesterday..Minor League Baseball’s 2020 season is over before it began..there will be no minor league baseball played in 160 towns across the country this year.
Here are three good stories about this
First this one from the New York Times (above) It does a nice job explaining where we are and how we got here.
This next one is from Forbes last month. It provides important context to the back story behind the story of how the Major League draft went from 40 to just five rounds last month.
Finally there is this story from ESPN, which asks and answers some important questions about what this means for Minor League Baseball.
But the closing paragraph in the ESPN piece is worth highlighting here
You won’t be surprised to know that I have some pretty strong feelings about this. I spent the whole day writing and I will turn it into a video tomorrow but am going to need some more time to do it justice.
Suffice it to say for now, I fully intend to continue with the Low Mileage Series this summer, in fact my resolve is even greater than it was before this news became official. But I am very worried about what 18 months without fans will do to the landscape of Minor League Baseball I fell in love with on our Excellent Adventure. I think its likely that the communities that will need minor league baseball the most in the months and years ahead, are also those at the greatest risk of losing it. I want to do everything I can with this series to try to help mitigate that risk.
We arrived at Thurman Munson Stadium just south of Canton, Ohio on a blazing hot Sunday at the end of June.
There frankly, wasn’t a ton to recommend Thurman Munson Memorial Stadium except the legend of the man who it was named for and there wasn’t much evidence of him in sight..
It could be that, it could be that we were tired and looking forward to seeing our families after three months on the road or it was probably a bit of both but something happened that day that hardly ever happened on our Excellent Adventure, we were ready to go long before a 15-3 game finally ended.
This video includes a look at Thurman Munson Stadium in Akron but also a brief look at Akron’s Canal Park, a vast improvement, which I saw on the 2003 Extra Innings Tour.
July begins tomorrow the same way it did for us in 1991, with a trip down to Columbus, Ohio to see the Columbus Clippers play. Enjoy the evening!