Through the Deep South

“Rounding third and heading for home” – Joe Nuxhall

Hard to believe somebody actually came up with this saying, it seems like it just is part of baseball, but it is attributed to Nuxhall, longtime broadcaster with the Reds. It was actually part of his radio sign-off, preceded by “This is the old left-hander…” Probably most people today think of it as the line from John Fogerty’s song, “Centerfield” which was played at every game we saw on this roadtrip.

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Above is a picture of the baseball bat shaped guitar that Fogerty played the song with at some Hall of Fame event.

Tonight finds us in Pensacola, the last night away from Houston. The game tonight is sold out, so we’ll have to return to catch the Blue Wahoos another day. Tomorrow we add the mother-in-law to the car and drive the very familiar I-10 toward home.

A quick recap of the last few days…

We left Charlotte for Augusta, GA by way of Columbia, SC. Columbia was the last Flying Saucer stop of the trip.

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The Saucer is one block away from the state capitol complex. The Capitol is surrounded by many monuments and lush plantings, including the largest Magnolia tree (by trunk diameter) that I have ever seen; no mention of it being a state champion tree though. We were reading a plaque marking the spot of the statehouse that Sherman burned and husband said out loud, “Sounds like they don’t like Sherman around here.” A man about our age in a suit (legislator?) was walking briskly by us and didn’t break stride as he turned to us and stated, “Not at all.” South Carolinians know how to hold a grudge. The Confederate battle flag still flys over a Civil War Memorial on the site, but around the next side of the building is a very impressive monument dedicated to the contributions and history of African-Americans. And I’m glad to see they fly the Columbia UFO card (see above) over the Capitol itself.

We went for a hike in Congaree National Park, glad that we visited this swamp/river bottom land when it wasn’t prime mosquito season. They actually have a mosquito meter at the visitor center with the highest reading being “war zone.”

Then it was on to Augusta and the Green Jackets game. Although the Green Jackets couldn’t break through the Drott curse and give us a win, it was Thirsty Thursday with $1 beers. The stadium is small, with only about 8 rows of box seats at field level around the plate and out to first and third base. Then there are covered grandstands, seats behind the plate switching to metal bleachers down the lines. I imagine the shade is welcome in the heat of summer. Although concessions are located outside the seating area, there are wide concourses between the three grandstand areas that give the stadium a comfortable, open feel.

I’ll touch on the Augusta-Atlanta drive in my next post.

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