Who’s in for a Squirrels/FredNats double-dip?
My buddy Jerry Carter has another scheme in mind involving baseball.
Jerry and I first met because of another of his schemes, back in 2008, when he was trying to get people to take in a game at each Valley League ballpark over the course of that summer.
I caught up with Jerry in Waynesboro, talked through most of the game, and the next year, when he took over the ownership of the Waynesboro Generals, he asked my wife, Crystal, and me to help him run the team.
I’m hoping this next venture of his doesn’t end up with me helping run a minor league baseball team.
I’m only half-kidding, though actually, yeah, this idea of Jerry’s is pretty benign.
Jerry was inspired by an article that he saw on Augusta Free Press a couple of weeks ago about legislation making its way through Congress aimed at giving a boost to minor league baseball teams across the U.S. trying to recover from the 2020 season missed due to the pandemic.
The article listed the nine teams in Virginia that were impacted, from the Appalachian League, which is made up of former MiLB teams that are now part of the MLB and USA Baseball Prospect Development Pipeline, all the way to the Triple-A Norfolk Tides.
Jerry, being Jerry, decided that a few road trips were in order; yep, you guessed it, he’s visiting each of the nine home parks, to get a feel for the teams, the people behind them, the communities around them.
I’ve been helping chronicle the adventure on our Street Knowledge podcast.
The first two installments are worth a listen, not so much for insight into how to best defend against a bunt, or what pitch you should throw to the three-hole hitter on a 2-2 count with a base open, but for what gameday is like in Pulaski, Bristol, Bluefield, the very edge of the outskirts of the pipeline to The Show.
Which is what gets us to where we are today.
Jerry is planning a double-dip on Wednesday, July 28, the last two legs of his trip being Richmond, home of the Double-A Flying Squirrels, and Fredericksburg, home of the Low-A Nationals.
The schedule for both that day provides the opportunity to take in the Squirrels game, which is set to start at 12:05 p.m., then make the drive up I-95, which on paper is just under an hour, in time to tailgate ahead of the 7:05 p.m. start for the FredNats.
Harkening back to his 2008 tour of the VBL, Jerry is hoping to have some folks tag along to make the day a little more memorable.
It’d be a long day, even if you live in the general area – we’re talking two baseball games, 60 miles apart, an hour drive, at least, up 95.
Lunch is ballpark food, dinner is ballpark food.
OK, there are worse things.
The payoff would be if Jerry Carter’s unbridled enthusiasm would happen to rub off on you at some point on that otherwise long, hot baseball day.
If you’re interested in taking part, drop Jerry a line at email@example.com.
Story by Chris Graham