Thursday, April 07, 2005

Baseball's Back in Ohio -- Three Times Over

The weather may be wet and gray, but that is not going to kill my mood today.

It is a joyous week as baseball is back and I have had two opening days – with the third staring me in the face – already this week.

Of course, the Indians and Reds opened on Monday and both played very well. Joe Randa’s walk-off home run off course made the Reds look a little better, but both teams played very good games. Then last night, the United League of Moderate Gamers, a Strat-O-Matic baseball league I’m in opened the season and I won my first (and maybe last series) of the year.

Today is the official opening day for Minor League Baseball with the six Ohio squads opening. Columbus Clippers, the AAA affiliate of the New York Yankees, is on the road to open the season, but returns home next week. Already ordered my tickets for April 18 when the team takes on Charlotte for Dime-A-Dog night. Baseball and cheap hot dogs, what else could a married man want?

The infamous Toledo Mud Hens (AAA, Detroit) have become a house-hold name thanks to their unique nickname and Toledo native Jamie Farr donning the team’s colors on M*A*S*H.

The Indians have three affiliates in Ohio, Akron Aeros (AA), Lake County Captains (Low-A) in Eastlake, and Mahoning Valley Scrappers (Short Season-A) in Niles. The Reds have their High-A affiliate in Dayton where the Dragons often sell-out.

Coming later this summer is professional independent baseball action in Chillicothe where the Paints are a founding member of the Frontier League. In addition, some of the best college players in the Midwest take part in the Great Lakes Baseball League, a wood-bat college league, based in Delaware. The league has teams in Toledo – playing at the old home of the Mud Hens Ned Skelton Stadium – Delaware, Columbus, Athens, Celina, Indianapolis, and Canton.

So grab a lawn chair and get-out and support baseball in Ohio!
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