It was almost 4 PM when we finished our 5 hour visit to Gettysburg, Pennsylvania and began our 40 minute drive to Hagerstown, Maryland. We took a rural and scenic route.
We arrived in Hagerstown, Maryland and checked in to the Super 8 motel before 5 PM. This day was Mark’s low point with the illness that he caught from me. On this evening, Mark passed on the ballgame in Hagerstown and stayed at the motel to get some rest. That was a smart move. I went with Rob and Joe to the ballgame.
The drive from our motel to Hagerstown’s Municipal Stadium was less than a mile. Municipal Stadium is the home of the Hagerstown Suns of the class A South Atlantic League. Hagerstown was hosting the West Virginia Power at 6:35 PM. The visiting West Virginia team is the same squad that we saw playing as visitors vs. Delmarva, in Salisbury, Maryland, on the previous night.
Hagerstown’s ballpark is old, but not in a good way. It is old in a lousy worn out kind of way. With the poor lighting and ancient facilities, I’d guess that the visiting teams hate playing here.
The distance from home plate to the left field scoreboard is substantially greater than the distance from home plate to center field. You can see a bend in the fence where it pushes back to the scoreboard. I assume that entire seasons go by without seeing a homer hit over that scoreboard.
The competitive phase of the ballgame ended early. By the middle of the 3rd inning West Virginia held an 9-1 lead as Hagerstown’s shoddy defense contributed greatly to their own demise. The final score of this evening’s West Virginia’s victory over Hagerstown was 10-4. Box Score
It was during this game that Rob and I first sampled a regional treat, a lager named Yuengling. Normally I refrain from alcoholic beverages, but what else is there to do when you’re sitting in a 70 year old rust belt stadium watching a 9-1 blow out in the 4th inning? Hagerstown’s poor performance and their antiquated stadium drove me to drink!
I’ve been pretty harsh here in my descriptions Hagerstown Muncipal Stadium, so I thought I should emphasize a few positive points. I enjoyed the game and the experience. The ballpark employees were very friendly, as were the fans seated around us. If I’m ever in Hagerstown again, I’d attend another ballgame there. The old ballpark doesn’t ruin the experience if you are really into the game, and I am definitely into the game. I don’t want or need the modern ‘casual fan’ distractions that are intended to lure non-fans into the ballpark. Those are not the improvements that I’d like to see in Hagerstown. The improvements I have in mind are: Better lighting coverage for the playing field, new seats, new concession areas, new restrooms, a better scoreboard that is not 500 feet from home plate, and do something about the dimensions of the outfield fences.