July 7, 2009

Duck Pond


Madison has their own Northwoods League team called the Mallards. It's the same league as the Moondogs, but the Southern division. Though, let me say, the Mallards have a helluva set up compared to the Moondogs. Can't really blame them since the Mallards have a town of, oh, half a million for their fan base and the Moondogs have, what, 50 thousand in the greater Mankato area? But the Mallards have a legit stadium. Oh, the seats are horribly uncomfortable, like where we sat was metal bleachers with backs and arm rests to divide it from the seat next to it. Plus, we had seats directly behind homeplate, which offered a bad view actually because of the backstop net and a metal rod in my way. One more complaint, they played music constantly during the game, except until right before the pitcher threw the ball. It was really distracting and I wish they would have stopped it. It would be pop songs or whatever in little bursts, even during the pitcher's wind up, and right before the pitch was thrown, the song would cut off, then it would start right back up again (unless the ball was hit into play). But, that's about it as far as problems go.

The food and beer set up for the Mallards is great. I was able to partake in a Goose Island IPA and a local brew from the Great Dane brewpub...both were on tap along with about a dozen other beers. And for food? Man. I had a Southern fried tofu sandwich that while bland and served cold...how many places can you get one of them at a ball game? They had other veggie options, too, on top of traditional ballpark fare.

They also have some fun little traditions. One of them is when the other starting lineup is announced, it goes something like this.

Public Address Announcer: "Batting first, playing shortstop, Henry Conklin."
A couple hundred people in the crowd: "Who?"
Public Address Announcer: "Conklin."
A couple hundred people in the crowd, feigning recognition: "Oh."

Maybe they do that elsewhere, but I loved it.

Also, there was the concession guy they call "The Stick Man." He walks around, selling peanuts, sunflower seeds, caramel popcorn and beef jerky sticks. So when he walks around the stadium, he calls out, "Peanuts! Caramel corn! Sunflower seeds!" and then everyone in the section he is in shouts "BEEF STICKS!" along with him. What made it even better was that the kid selling the beef sticks had a huge smile on his face each time a section yelled BEEF STICKS! with him. Oh, he loved it.

They had a lot of other hijinks, too. Like they have a Beer Batter, just like the Moondogs do where if a selected batter from the other team strikes out, beer is half-off for the rest of the inning. At the game we attended, the beer batter struck out twice. Let's see...they had this guy with a keytar who came out into the crowd during one of the half inning, a beer guy dressed like Elvis for some reason. And at one point, they came out and threw burritos at us for some kind of Chipolte giveaway. Oh, and it was a free t-shirt giveaway this game. And mine is an extra large...that fits. I believe the word for that is boo-yah.

I can't wait to go back, but definitely going to sit some other place than where we were. Yipes were those seats torturous where we were. And, now, here's two pictures from the game we attended. The Mallards won 8 to 5 by the way...though we did leave early (seriously, those seats were bad).

Here's a picture from where we sat. Notice the pole.

Emily snapped the below picture before the batter hit a homerun. That ball right there, coming at him, was soon deposited 320 feet away into left-center field. Kind of cool, I think.

viva mallards!

ps...and since the mallards are in the other division from the moondogs, I can root for both teams without worry...unless they meet in the Northwoods League championship, at which time I will be conflicted.

1 comment:

Flynn said...

Nice. I like the baseball.