Wednesday, February 16, 2005

Report on Fan Fest

I got there just at 10 A.M., a dozen or so cars ahead of me at the entrance - $5 for parking, the receipt which then can be applied for ticket purchases, though only
for today. There is a coupon for Papa John's Pizza on the receipt, but it expired last October. A very large crowd, larger than some Tuesday evening regular season
games, was there. Outside the one gate opened to the stadium, there were fans using pitching and batting cages, and an area to take a photo with a Marlins player - all
with lengthy lines of people trailing out from them, as was the case with all such attractions today. The big tent near the gate was where players signing autographs
were holed up while a long line of coupon holders streamed in, having just come from a long line at the autograph-coupon stand. Billy the Marlin was there desparately
trying not to poke someone's eye out, taking pictures with people and mime-ing around. Many booths staffed with people hawking products and services, like Ameriquest and
some garage-shelving company. Many Marlins Mermaids were there, sprouting out of their orange jumpsuits. One of the more intriguing booths was selling new and slightly
used Marlins merchandise for 'donations' - new fitted caps were $10 (I got one), and you could buy used batting-practice caps and jerseys of specific players past and
present (perfect for DNA extraction) for a range of prices. There were no caps available from the greatest Marlin of all time,
Dennis Springer
, so I passed on the deal. Many radio stations had a presence, with WQBA and WQAM broadcasting live from their own booths - Salsa 98 occupied the big tent
to the east, with a mixmaster producing bumping-and-grinding in varying quanities. There were areas for little kids to swing and throw. The ticket line was guided in a
serpentine way in front of the ticket windows and then stretched out past the Casey statue. Much activity on the outside of the stadium, but inside, as opposed to past
years, not much was happening. They had the Memorabilia Show in the Club section, and the areas where only 'VIP's could enter. But the field was still scarred from football
markings, the sprinklers were on, the goal posts were still up, the only indicator of baseball being 4 white squares with little flags indicating the bases.
Nothing else on-field. Maybe more things happened later. I left at 11 o'clock. Oh, yes, they did have a few cases of historical artifacts outside near the elevator entrance, with a display
of Roberto Clemente minor-league paraphinalia that held the interest for a bit. And there was a case with the two World Series trophies placed side by side (the 2003 one is
smaller than 1997's).

Marlins Do Final Grasshopper Inspection

(News-Record)

Thursday, February 03, 2005

More

McKeon Not Oldest Manager in Pro Ball (Pioneer Press)

Phillies Should Improve This Year(Straight Flushing)

Mets Not As Improved As It Seems? (Flushing Local)

Pierre and Willis Attend Speed School - Doesn't Seem To Help (PBPost)