Take Me Out to the All-Star Smash

I’m writing this from the Tokyo-Narita airport. This airport makes me want to stay in Japan. It’s fantastically organized and spotless. It is hot though. I read somewhere that the Japanese government is keeping buildings at 85 degrees to conserve energy. “Good for them,” I’d thought, not remembering that I would be sitting in a Japanese government building for four hours. Oh well.

But this post isn’t about a Japanese airport. It’s about someplace even hotter: Modesto, California. The problem is that I’m traveling faster than I’m blogging, which is pretty much the best problem in the world.

So Modesto. Not typically a sought after destination, unless you are a minor league baseball fan. Last Tuesday (June 21st) the Modesto Nuts hosted the California-Carolina League All-Star Smash, wherein the top prospects for both leagues battle out their nine innings together. The game is played in different stadiums each year, alternating between the east and west coast. This year it was Modesto’s John Thurman Field turn to host the event.

 

Modesto pulled out all the stops for the 5,000+ fans that were in attendance, from Hall of Famer Rollie Fingers throwing out the first pitch to the fireworks show after the game. California even beat Carolina 6-1, thanks mostly to a typically minor-league 3rd inning which included two walks, a fumbled double-play ball, a hit batter, two singles and a sac fly. Buy hey – we’ll take it!

 

John Thurman Field is located at 601 Neece Drive, Modesto, CA 95351. The area is pretty nice (not always the case for baseball stadiums), tucked near a park and golf course. If you want to avoid the parking fee, plenty of street parking is available.

The stadium features mostly bleacher seating, but those bleachers have backs, so they’re not too bad. The only seat-seats are in the section behind home plate. But no matter where you sit, your less-than-$20 seats will have a great view. Thus the allure of minor league baseball.

If you go to a game, be sure to get an autograph or two. The players are more than happy to oblige, and you never know…they could be major leaguers someday! 

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