Long Fly Ball

A sporadically updated chronicle of Dave Becker's summer 2005 ramble among Minor League ballparks.

Saturday, July 30, 2005

The thing with feathers

BOISE, Idaho -- I was going to say that the most distinctive thing about Memorial Stadium, home of the Boise Hawks (Northwest League, Single A) is the pricing structure for tickets. Seats along the third base line and behind home plate cost $8. Along first base, it’s $2.

The guy at the ticket booth said it’s because first base gets the late sun, which seemed refreshingly honest compared with the pay-for-shade tactics at some stadiums, but kind of dopey. Hello? There’s this new thing called sunscreen? Might wanna check it out.

After taking my $2 seat (Hey, I prefer first base line, and I’m a sucker for a deal.) I discovered another possible reason for the discount – liberal sprinklings of bird poop from the resident osprey perched on the light pole in line with first base.

Yup, the Hawks have resident birds of prey, which club officials have had the good PR sense not to evict. Watching the big birds circle around their nest added quite of bit of visual intrigue to another typically error-ridden Single A game.
Made me wonder why the Hawks haven’t done more to promote the attraction. I imagine a Raptor Education Night, with concession stand selling some kind of stew or pasta dish labeled Regurgitated Fish Guts and souvenir vendors selling rubber mice on sticks to tempt the birds. And why not add a big sticker to the disclaimer on the back of the ticket, further releasing the club from liability for all wildlife-related incidents. (I got beaned with a rather large chunk of nest during Saturday’s strong winds.)

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