Way back in 2011, I made it to Birmingham, Alabama, hoping to see an Atlanta Braves game at Turner Field. Back then, I wasn’t aware of how amazing Minor League Baseball was, and when my Grandparents said we couldn’t make the three hour drive, we settled on my first MiLB game ever- at the old Regions Park:
Regions Park lies in the suburbs of Birmingham, in a town called Hoover. This game started a tradition- I visit Birmingham every year for the Fourth of July and the Barons. The following year, the Barons announced their move to a new, modern downtown facility called “Regions Field.” My last game at Regions Park was on 7/3/2012, and this year, with the name changed to “Hoover Metropolitan Stadium” and the Barons gone, I made my way to a new ballpark:
The little kid on the bottom right would be my cousin, Gavin. This was the first view I got of Regions Field. I went to get my ticket print-out exchanged for a ticket stub, and Minor League baseball continues to amaze me:
There is a ticket stub on top (sorry about the blurriness). When I went to Tropicana Field, the ticket office didn’t even know what a ticket stub was. A Double-A baseball team can put a bit of information into a computer and print out a ticket stub (I don’t know what it is about those, but they are cool). On the bottom, there are two pocket schedules. I think the Barons should have put something about Regions Field on the front, but they still look great.
I walked pass the kid’s play area:
The Barons Executive Entry:
These photos were all taken down the third base line. As you can see, the Baron’s logo is painted on the brick:
There is a 3rd base entry closer to the Kid’s play place:
I went to the Home Plate Entrance, which is next to the ticket office:
I didn’t actually walk down there, but I crossed the street for a quick picture of the outside of Regions Field:
If you’ve noticed, I have been getting autographs on crappy Official League baseballs instead of Major League Balls. I had one left, so I decided to head over to the Barons Team Store to get a logo ball:
I was actually in a rush. We got there about 5 minutes after the gates opened, and getting the ticket added about 5 minutes. I ran inside to get my baseball:
The team shop had everything from shirts to caps to pennants. I would go back in there for more stuff, as you will see later.
I went down to the Barons dugout to try and get a practice ball- and I got two as the players walked in:
I gave one of them to my cousin, and we went to get some food:
When I went to Regions Park back in 2011, I got a mystery meat hamburger. The hot dog that I got at this game tasted great, and the fries were amazing. It was much better than the food I had at the last stadium.
Soon after eating, Britt Burns and the starting pitcher came out to warm up. Gavin and I got Burns to sign (or those of you who don’t know, he is the Barons pitching coach). I didn’t take a lot of player photo’s because of my crappy camera and the low light, but I have a few. Therefore, there is no photo of Britt Burns.
Gavin and I walked over to the dugout to get more autographs, and several players came over to sign. Trayce Thompson gave me my 100th autograph of the year:
I took that picture of him instead of getting a picture with him because there were several other players signing to my left. Babe Ruff, the Barons mascot, came by in a car:
Then, he came back to sign a couple of autographs and take a picture with my cousin:
Jared Mitchell was the one of the last Barons to sign, and as the other players were walking in, I snapped this picture of him:
The game started, and I pretty much stayed in my seat for the majority of the game to visit with my Grandparents. I walked around the stadium to take some photos:
This is the view from center field. As you can see, there is a scoreboard on the left side of the picture for any fans in the outfield.
This is the view from the kid’s play area, which is actually called the “Brighthouse Family Fun Park”, located down the third base line:
There is also a small, replica baseball diamond in center field:
Here is the view from behind home plate:
The tall white, glass building to the right is Birmingham’s Children’s Hospital. Here is another look at it:
Here are some shots of Regions Field’s scoreboard:
I’m not entirely sure what all of the buildings are, but I know the building closest to the scoreboard is a Wells Fargo building and the black one next to it is for Regions Bank. As you can see, you can sit underneath the scoreboard:
You can also walk behind it:
Here are some sunset photos:
There are some batting cages in right field:
The Barons would go on to win the game by a final of 6-4, and after the game, I went to the Barons dugout to try and get the line-up card from Julio Vinas, the manager. He said that he kept it for managerial purposes, so I didn’t get it. Then, a kid next to me got a broken bat, and I came very close to getting one myself. I asked a player for one, and he was going to hand it to me before he took it back to the locker room. Vinas was signing autographs, but my Grandfather likes to go to bed at 8:00, and as you can imagine, he was tired (it was around 10:00 and we had a 1/2 hour drive). I decided to skip Vinas’s autograph and leave. Here are my autographs:
From top to bottom:
Gary Ward on a 1990 Topps
The two balls that I kept were not photographed, and because this is going up so late, I’m not going to add it. The other two went to my cousin, and one of them was game-used foul ball that hit someone’s camera (the camera man was in the dugout). The other ball that I kept was a 3rd out ball, and when I caught it, these kids who were behind my seats were saying, “Here, Here, Throw it here!” I had already given away one ball, and these kids were yelling in my ears and kicking my seat, so there was no way they were getting the ball.
Here are the souvenir cups I got:
I also got this Ice-Cream helmet:
The Barons Souvenir Program:
That was about it. Thanks to all of the players for the baseballs/autographs, and thanks for reading!
I went to Montgomery the following day, so expect a post up soon with pictures of Riverwalk Stadium. I didn’t go to a game, but I tried to take as many pictures as possible in a 15-20 minute time frame (my Grandmother goes down there once a month for meetings, and we needed to get lunch).