I logged on today to post, to try to catch up, but first I took a quick peek at the Syracuse Chiefs blog and was happy to see that Dave has had the great fortune of experiencing the fan-friendly ballpark in Binghamton. I left a long comment that I hope he okays for posting. Here's what I wrote:
A long time ago, I used to use the experiences I had at MacArthur Stadium serve as my benchmarks for evaluating other ballparks. After that stadium fell and the new one was built in Syracuse, I gave up. Years later someone introduced me to the B-Mets.
From day one I have been blown away by what a great fan experience this team provides, and over the past decade they have just continued to get better and better at it.
There is an infectious sense of fun at the Binghamton ballpark, something I have praised repeatedly in my own blog, while giving a repeatedly thumbs down on the experience in Syracuse.
If Syracuse should land the Mets' PD contract, they will need to step up the enjoyment and fan-friendliness if they want to win over the fans that will begin making the trek from Binghamton to Syracuse to follow the boys of summer up the minor league rungs.
When I say "My Guys" I'm usually referring to the B-Mets, or to individual B-Mets who have moved on, and generally upward, but on a recent sunny Saturday, My Guys meant, well, My Guys.
I attended a game on campus and had a good time cheering on the team, which included three young men who had been in my baseball class in the fall. All three of them made a point of greeting me, and one went out of his way to thank me for coming to support the team. That this particular young man has Derek Jeter as his favorite ballplayer is not surprising.
I struck me as I was walking to my car after the games that these young men really are My Guys. And I look forward to having more young men, maybe some day a young woman or two, participate in my class and play for the college' team.
Recently the Hall of Fame announced that Dale Petrosky was leaving as president, an announcement that I greeted happily. Under Petrosky, the Hall because a much more serious museum and a serious and scholarly research facility, good things. But it also became a little to serious about itself, and there were conservative, right-wing elements introduced to the Hall that made it less the National Baseball Hall of Fame and more the Republican Baseball Hall of Fame. Employees were pushed toward professionalism, but to an overbearing point. Military service by Hall of Famers was honored in excess. Petrosky cancelled an event meant to commerate one of the best baseball films ever made, Bull Durham, because he, or perhaps Board Chair Jane Clark Forbes, was concerned that the film's stars, Susan Sarandon and Tim Robbins, would make it a political event by voicing dissent toward the then-recently begun Iraq war. Petrosky instead denied them and baseball fans the opportunity to celebrate a love of The Game, he turned it into a political protest. While Petrosky brought much good to the Hall, it is good now that he is no longer at the helm.
I've looked and I've looked, but I have yet to find Earl Snyder listed on any organized baseball team's roster, as a player or a coach.
I miss Earl.