Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Trial run

Trial run at the RAP - view from 3rd base (home) dugout
The HarbourCats staff took the cover off the car for all to see tonight, as the staff had a dry run hosting a PBL game between the two hometown sides, the Mariners and the Eagles. Much more important than any stadium activities or ball game was the fact that all donations (it was a free event) went to the Zach Downey fund which helps support the Mariner's player who is currently battling Non-Hodgkins Lymphoma. Here's to hoping it is a winning battle.

On to the game itself. Well, not really the game, but some random musing about the RAP experience. The 862 fans in attendance did remain dry and I think the sun even came out for about 3.5 minutes near the end of the game. I think that is foreshadowing to indicate we are in for a banner year at the yard. Overall, I liked what I saw. I missed baseball. You can write all you want about it, but when you get to the park, you remember all the little things you missed. Below are just a few observations on my first post-Seal, pre-Harbourcat experience:

  • The outfield fence looks miles better than the old snow fence that was wheeled in for the Seals. There is no blackout behind the pitcher in centrefield (to help the batters pick up the pitch), but not sure if that was just for tonight. It sure would be a good thing to have.
  • There were lots of staff members patrolling the field like a flock of secret service men (or is it a herd?), only they were connected with walkie talkies instead of those cool ear things. With this much of a presence, I can't foresee a situation where there is not someone around to attend to anything that may come up during a game.
  • There were no long lines for food or beer. Granted, it was a cool Tuesday night and Victoria was in a lightweight mood, but I did notice an extra beer stand behind the first base stands and I think that will help.
  • Also on concessions, it was interesting to see a new food choice in the Hungry Rooster perogies wagon. I'm not sure if they will be fast enough to keep up with big crowds, but it's a nice change from hot dogs and popcorn.
  • Harvey was there, but he is a passive dude. He interacts well with the kids though and they really love him so I think my calls for a mascot with attitude will not be answered...but he seems to be a great mascot for the younger crowd (which makes sense).
  • If memory serves me correctly, there is more netting up to protect the fans down the first and third base lines from the laser foul balls and a mouthful of bloody Chiclets. Some people will like it, some will complain about the vision being obscured. This is one thing where you'll never please everyone. I'm neutral on it, and I can deal with a bit of netting.
  • There are speakers mounted (on the first base side only, for some reason?) on the poles holding up these nets and while that is cool for the sound system, it does block the view of a battery member for those unfortunate enough to have to sit right in line with it. It shouldn't be a big deal unless there is a sellout and if that happens, it will be a GOOD problem to solve!
  • The old "convict music" walk up tune made an appearance more than once during the evening (ooooooooooooo yeah) which brought back great memories of T-Mac from the Seals. I don't yet have an opinion of the music selection as I know they were just playing around. I did, however, like the fact that they mixed in an ample amount of country. 
  • The is some sketchy sod behind third base that really needs to firm up. Not sure what it is from or what they can do about it, but it will be a hazard for anyone chasing a foul ball behind third.

All in all, I think we are in for a great season. I'm sure there will be hiccups (read as, long lines for beer on hot summer evenings), but if tonight was any indication, the staff seemed to have everything up and running, just waiting for that first pitch next week.

Only 8 more sleeps!


  1. Convict music! ya gotta love it. I miss T-Mac... but looking forward to a new set of baseball traditions with the Harbourcats. Bring it on!

    1. You bet, Anonymous! If last night was any indication, it looks like they will have a lot of staff out for each game to tee up these new HC traditions. We saw a few last night that were similar to the Seals, but let's hope their creativity goes crazy when the season really kicks in.

  2. I was really impressed with the caliber of play shown by the Eagles and Mariners tonight. Well done, gentlemen! It was also nice to see ex-Seals Anthony Pluta and Chris Van Rossum (aka Van Awesome) in uniform at RAP once again. I also got a kick out of the fans who got boisterous in the late innings -- I love the passion of Victoria baseball fans.

    Can't wait for Opening Day!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. I concur...can't wait, I must say! It seems some of our HarbourCats were also at the game too. Check out the HarbourCats (@HarbourCats) twitter feed for details and pics - https://twitter.com/HarbourCats/status/339558414533419008/photo/1.

      Only 7 more sleeps...