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Harrisburg Senators

At 1:00 PM we were rolling out of Hatboro, Pennsylvania and driving west on the Pennsylvania Turnpike toward Harrisburg. Harrisburg is the capital city of the state of Pennsylvania. At 3 PM we checked into a motel in a small town named Mechanicsburg that’s a few miles southwest of Harrisburg. At Mechanicsburg we had lunch and relaxed for an hour or two at the motel before heading into Harrisburg.

Shortly before 6 PM we drove from our motel in Mechanicsburg to Harrisburg, about 10 miles away, to attend a 7 PM Eastern League class AA game between the Harrisburg Senators and the Altoona Curve.

The Harrisburg Senators play their home games on City Island in the middle of the Susquehanna River. From the island and ballpark you have a view of downtown Harrisburg across the river. They are making renovations to their ballpark now and I think it will be an excellent ballpark when they are finished.

We sat directly behind home plate. That’s unusual for us. We like to avoid the crowded parts of the ballpark, and there’s usually a crowd behind home plate. The large netting is another reason to avoid home plate seats. But we went against the grain and sat behind the plate anyway. The netting didn’t bother us much, and we knew there wouldn’t be large crowds anywhere in this ballpark tonight.

The announced attendance was 1,721. I would have guessed quite a bit lower. Maybe 900, and only if they counted some of us twice.

The Harrisburg Senators and Altoona Curve were both struggling badly coming into this night’s game. Of course, there were individual players that weren’t struggling. The starting pitcher for Harrisburg, Ross Detwiler, pitched 5 excellent innings in which he allowed just 1 run on only 3 hits and no walks while striking out 9 Altoona batters. Unfortunately, Harrisburg couldn’t score at all so Detwiler took a tough loss. A few days later Detwiler received the best form of consolation: He was called up the major leagues, skipping AAA ball to go directly from AA to the majors. At the time I write this, he’s in the starting rotation of the Washington Nationals.

On this night, Detwiler took a loss. Altoona did more damage to the Harrisburg bullpen than they did to Detwiler. Altoona defeated Harrisburg by a final score of 5-0. Box Score

The Harrisburg Senators baseball experience was enjoyable. They are doing a good job on the ballpark renovations. The ballpark location on an island in the river is excellent. The one thing that the Harrisburg Senators need the most work on is the team roster. The team is pretty bad. Still, if I lived in this area I would attend frequently.

After the game we drove back to our motel in Mechanicsburg and got some sleep. In the morning we’ll drive to the Steel City.