Baseball Review //
Connecticut Twilight League Summer Classic
[6/29/19] @ Dunkin Donuts Park

Photos from the games can be found in a Facebook album located at this link :::

When I found out that the Connecticut Twilight League would be playing games all day at Dunkin Donuts Park for free- on a Saturday- I was in.   These games started at 8 am and ran until I would assume 8 pm, which is 12 hours of baseball (more or less) for anyone interested.    I knew getting up and to Hartford for 8 would be difficult, not just for me but for my son and dad as well, but on top of that I knew that if we did get there that early we would end up leaving earlier so we timed where we there for a block of time during the day.   We spent about six and a half hours at Dunkin Donuts Park.

We arrived at Dunkin Donuts Park around 11 am and the parking right across the street was $5.   The first plan when we got there was to see what was open and what wasn't.  Certain sections of Dunkin Donuts Parked were closed, so you couldn't really wander around the entire park- which I kind of wanted to do- but I understand that it makes less to clean at the end of the night.   The team shop was open and they *still* don't have the Chompers plush they didn't have when I was there some odd weeks ago and that's disappointing.  I also found a table where we made a donation (to the league) and got stickers, pins and a coaster!

The second game was in progress when we entered the stadium, as we had completely missed the first, and it was between the Ridges and Singing Surgeons.   It was around the top of the 3rd when we got there because the Ridges had this big six run inning, which was basically the first thing we saw on the field when we got there.   This seemed like something the Surgeons never really recovered from and then at one point the game was called due to time.   I suppose that just meant that they had to get the field ready for the next game, but I didn't hear that at all during the rest of the day.

I'm not sure who was doing the announcing over the loudspeakers there but there were times when what he would say was wrong.   This was especially apparent in the next game between the Indians and the Orioles.   At one point, they let the music keep playing when the game had started back up, but my favorite was when they announced a pitching change for the Indians... who... didn't... change... their... pitcher.   Now pitching? More like still pitching.

For the Indians-Orioles game we moved from behind home plate closer to the first base side because I was hoping sitting behind the Orioles would help them to win.   It did not.  Spoilers: We sat behind the teams that lost, so, sorry about that.    The Indians and Orioles had a competitive game though where neither of them really felt out of it and you'd hope they would both do something to gain that upper hand.  At one point, they played John Cena's theme for a batter and one of the infielders said "You can't see me" which I found to be funny.

During this game, Quentin was also wandering around and a ball popped up off of the roof behind us, dropped down, bounced and landed near him.   He was a few sections over from where my dad and I were so I had to go over and make sure he didn't get hit, but yes, I do enjoy that Dunkin Donuts Park is mostly surrounded by netting so this is not such a big concern.

In between games we ate food, which was nice because it wasn't too expensive.   I only spent about $25 on food throughout the day, which is fine because a) I would've spent more than that on plush mascots if the team store had Chompers and b) we didn't pay to go to the game as it was free entry for all.   I've always kind of believed in this theory- with baseball- of getting people into the gate for a low price ($5 or less) and then once they're in there, they pay for novelties and food and such and *that's* how you get them.  If you're paying $35 per ticket, you're less likely to spend $10 on a hot dog.   Just something for the majors to think about.

After the Indians-Orioles game, two things happened that I couldn't believe.  For one thing, we had been there for nearly two games and Quentin hadn't asked once if he could go home.   He seemed to be having fun, even if his paying attention to the game was at only about 40%.   On top of that, my dad seemed invested in the games.   I didn't know how he was going to feel about watching the teams (as he puts it "at this level") but even he admitted the Indians pitcher was one of the best he's seen outside of the MLB / Atlantic League.  (That's Anthony Alicki for those scoring at home)

This brought us to our third and final game, the fourth game overall.   It had been a long day so I knew we wouldn't stay until the end, but I wanted to at least make it until the end of the Elmer's Angels-Bristol Knights game.   I was wearing my Bristol Blues hat and I know far too much about Bristol so we sat over on the third base side (then moved closer to home to be in the shade) but, alas, the Knights took the loss. 

The play of the game goes out to Tom Scully of the Angels who hit this deep shot to right field in the corner.    If he was faster, he could've had a triple out of it.   But on his way from first to second he kind of tripped over his own two feet and then got thrown out at second.  It was that classic feeling of him being too far away from second for there to be any doubt he'd be safe, but at the same time since he was going he had that mentality of "Can't turn back now". 

I haven't seen the Connecticut Twilight League since their all-stars played against the New Britain Bees and I might not see them again until their all-stars play against the GHTBL all-stars but if you're in somewhere like Newington and see their teams playing at the high school or Legion Field, go check them out.   It's quality baseball that is probably a lot closer to where you live than you think. 


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