On Friday, July 25th the Saints began a three game series against the Redhawks in Fargo. Yes, in Fargo. Which means that I took my first ever Saints road trip with good friend Bill Tyler, and that this is my first ever Saints road trip blog. While the Saints didn't win the series (they lost 2-1), the weekend was an otherwise complete success in my book.
We began the trip by picking up our tickets and our media passes for the weekend. WooHoo! I got a media pass! (Sorry, I'm still kinda giddy about it.) We then watched the Saints win the game 3-2 as the pitching staff shutout the Redhawks from the second inning on. During the game Bill taught me how to anti cheer against the home teams chants (da da da da dada, strikeout!). It's a great feeling cheering as loud as you can when your the visitor and your team is winning. Because our seats for the game were in the 2nd row behind the Saints dugout one of the first (of many) nice aspects of Newman Outdoor Field I noticed is that the fan seating starts at field level. This gives the game, and stadium a big league feel, and provides an excellent view of the action for spectators. The evening ended with a couple beers and some great stories at a bar called The Boiler Room in downtown Fargo with Bill and Redhawks GM, Josh Bucholtz, who's a good friend of Bill's. My MVP for the game is, Nick Barnese (6.1IP, 2ER, 8K).
Saturday was all about baseball, just baseball. We started the day with a stop at the Roger Maris Museum in the West Acres Shopping Center. I was thinking the same thing, a baseball museum in a mall? But, they did a very nice job of displaying trophies, jerseys, home run balls from his historic 1961 season, and many other items along with a short video about him. From there it was on to the ballpark for a tour and to watch the Saints batting practice before the game. Being this was my first time at Newman Outdoor Field, or at any stadium having a media pass, Bill made sure we made it to every corner of the ballpark inside and on the field. Then Saints bp started. I was standing on the field next to Ole Sheldon and George Tsamis while the Saints took bp (remember, I'm a huge baseball nerd and this was my first time)! It was awesome! Another very cool thing that happened was having Angelo Songco wear my GoPro on his hat during bp (video coming soon). Again, awesome! About the only part of the day that wasn't was the Saints losing the game 9-4, being done in by a six run sixth inning by Fargo. The night ended again with Bill and Josh this time on the new rooftop patio at a Buffalo Wild Wings that opened recently. What a great day. My MVP for the game is, Jake Talyor (2-4, RBI, 3B).
The final game of the road trip was played Sunday afternoon and did not go the Saints way from the start. The Redhawks scored eight runs in the second inning, then withstood a couple late rally efforts from the Saints to win 13-5. Being an earlier game, and we were leaving for home after it ended, the day was just a nice afternoon spent watching baseball in a very nice stadium. My MVP for the game is, Henry Wrigley (2-4, 2R, 2RBI, HR, BB).
And that ends my first ever Saints road trip. We came, we saw, we had a great time. Special thanks to the Redhawks and Josh Bucholtz for being great hosts and helping me to see a stadium like never before. And also to Bill Tyler for an awesome overall experience. What a weekend!
The Saints next returned to home Midway Thursday, July 31st for three games against the league leading Wichita Wingnuts. Keep a look out for my next blog coming soon.