Panoramic shot from the top row behind home plate at Midway
On July 18th the Saints and Airhogs began a rare five game series at Midway. A five game series you may ask? The series was expected to be four games, but one of the games in Grand Prairie the week before was rained out and scheduled as part of a double header Friday night. The Saints would end up taking three of the five games from the Airhogs and winning the series.
The series opener was played on a hot and humid Thursday night. Willie Cabrera didn't mind though, as he continued his hot hitting at Midway this year. Cabrera hit two, two run home runs to lead the Saints to an exciting late inning victory (his second home run gave the Saints a 6-5 lead in the seventh inning). The Saints won the game 8-5. The promotion for the night was Just how many people have kissed the Blarney Stone anyway? St. Patrick's Day in July presented by Ryan Companies. The Saints wore green jerseys (complete with Irish names on the back, i.e. O'Cabrera) that were auctioned off during the game to the highest bidding fans in a silent auction. My MVP is Willie Cabrera (3-5, 2R, 4RBI, 2HR)
Friday night was the above mentioned double header due to a rain out in Grand Prairie the week before. In the first game it was Brandon Tripp who provided the offensive fireworks for the Saints. Tripp hit a two run home run in the second, and added a RBI single in the fourth inning. The Saints won the first game 4-3. The second game didn't turn out as well for the Saints. They took a 2-0 lead in the fourth inning, but the Airhogs answered with five in the fifth and never looked back winning the game 11-3. There were a couple promotions at the ballpark for these two games. First was Friday night Fireworks presented by Xcel Energy, always a good show. The second was the replay of the 75th anniversary celebration of the classic Abbott and Costello comedy routine "Who's on first" (the first try at this promotion was rained out). During the second game the Saints wore black jerseys with question marks for numbers and the players last names were replaced with names from the routine, i.e. Who, What, I Don't Know. These jerseys were also auctioned off during the game like the St. Patrick's Day jerseys at Thursday's game. This promotion proved to be a lot of fun for the fans and announcers alike. P.A. announcers Lee and Halsey played up the players names, just like the routine does, for the whole game. Very entertaining, and a great job by both of them with the bit. This was by far my favorite promotion the Saints have done this season and will be hard to be topped. My MVP of the first game is Brandon Tripp (2-3, R, 3RBI, HR); MVP for the second game is Jose Hernandez (1-3, R, 2RBI, HR)
Saturday's game was highlighted by Saints pitcher Mark Hamburger. Hamburger threw a three hit, 134 pitch (huge amount by today's standard) gem of a complete game shutout to lead the Saints to a 4-0 victory. This was Hamburger's second complete game shutout against the Airhogs in the last nine days. The promotion for the night was "Many more days until Star Wars Episode 7 it is. Celebrate anyway with Parsons electric we will." During the game the Saints had many characters from the Star Wars movies represented, from Stadium Correspondent Brian dressed as a Storm Trooper, to the Nerd in a Darth Vader Helmet. After the game a special night was planned for local Scout Troops that had attended the game. The scouts and troop leaders were able to pitch tents in the outfield to watch a screening of the original Star Wars movie on the outfield jumbo tron as they camped out over night at Midway. We ended up in the outfield watching the last half of the movie after we were invited in to one of the camp sites by a troop leader we met in the parking lot while attending the 10th Inning Stretch with Kevin and Bill. It was amazing seeing all of the kids camping out and getting a kick out of watching a movie that came out in 1977. My MVP is Mark Hamburger (9IP, 3H, 4K)
Sunday's series finally was another game that didn't go the Saints way. They were down by three after the first inning, and by a score of 5-1 after seven innings. Ole Sheldon did his best to get the Saints back into the game with a 2 run home run in the eighth. But that is as close as the Saints would get, losing the game by a score of 5-3. The promotion for the day was "A celebration of Margaret Thatcher's Contributions on National Ice Cream Day". The first 500 kids in the gate each received a free ice cream treat. At the beginning of the game we were upgraded to the Flex Perks seats next to the Saints dugout. Thanks Coach! This proved to be an extra fun game to be in these seats. First because photographer Betsy (@bitsybetsy) was behind the seats again taking pictures. Betsy is a fun person, and takes incredible photos of the game and players. Second because there was another photographer who was near our seats named Lou "The Photo Guy" Michaels. Lou has been a photographer for over fifty years taking awesome pictures of everything you can imagine. He is also very entertaining, and great to talk to. Third because in the seventh inning Saints Manager George Tsamis was ejected from the game (that's not the fun part), but our view of the argument that was the cause for his ejection was awesome from these seats. By the way George was right, the Airhogs runner was out at second, the ump missed the call. Way to fight the good fight George! My MVP is Ole Sheldon (2-4, R, 3RBI, HR)
The Saints next home stand begins on Friday July 26th against the Gary SouthShore Railcats. I hope to see you all there!