When we found out about the Battle of the Sexes III it was what made us go to Stratford and see the Brakettes in general. But it wasn't until I actually purchased tickets- some months later- that I saw there was a day game as well. Since I had already taken the day off from work, I decided we might as well go to the day game if only because it might be our only chance to see the Bluefish at home on a Sunday this season. We got to the Ballpark at Harbor Yard with enough time to buy tickets for this game and then pick up our tickets for the next game as well, though it took more time to pick up our tickets at will call since people were in front of us and unaware there was also a night game.
We've seen the Bluefish play at New Britain Stadium twice this season and so seeing the Bees play in Bridgeport felt pretty cool. There isn't yet a team in the Atlantic League that I don't really want to see, but the fact that this was a way for us to see the Bees on the road (as we saw the Westerners on the road the night before) just made it that much more of a fun game for us, since it is that little bit of Connecticut rivalry.
While the Bluefish made several pitching changes throughout the game, the Bees left in their one and only pitcher for whatever reason and that might have been their mistake. At one point, the Bluefish were up 6-1 with bases loaded and Anthony Giansanti hit a grandslam, which was what made the final score and I feel could have been avoided with a simple pitching change. We did, however, get to see the Bluefish debut of John Church and that was something else to make this all worthwhile.
This was a good game to go to if you're a fan of the Bluefish because it was such a dominant win and the weather wasn't too bad either, as you could find shade once in a while and not stay in the sun for too long and be okay. Quentin and I found BB pretty early on and we got him to sign his card which we purchased as part of the team set from the last game and then after we took a photo BB tried to eat Quentin's head which Quentin just thought was hilarious.
Speaking of the gear shop, we purchased two baseballs upon arrival- one for the Atlantic League in general and one with the Bluefish logo on it for autographs. We went back to the gear shop a second time and they had a deal where you could get a baseball, train whistle and mini-bat for $10 and since Quentin wanted the train whistle we ended up doing that and the cashier was nice enough to let us substitute a different baseball into the deal so we now have just about all of the Bluefish baseballs they make and I'm okay with that.
After the game it was time for kids to run the bases. I was a little bit frustrated because we knew we weren't going to to bottom of the ninth and just before the Bluefish called for kids to line up to run the bases, Gina decided she had to go wash her hands for whatever reason. As Quentin and I waited in line to run the bases, I saw the players sitting up high for the autograph session (all the while they're doing that launch a ball thing). I was just hoping we wouldn't miss the autograph session.
The kids started running on the first base side and then after they touched home plate they were to come back up on the first base side just on the other side of the Bluefish dugout. This seemed to complicate things as parents/legal guardians couldn't just walk in front of the dugout to watch their child but had to go through the stands. I got stuck behind some old guy who appeared to be walking and then just stopped and I had to give him a loud "Excuse me" to get him going again. Also, when Quentin was done running the bases he looked kind of like he was lost and almost was going to wander into the Bluefish dugout, so shout out to the Bluefish employee who was holding the gate open but not actually paying any attention to our children.
We hustled up the steps and found that the autograph line wasn't that long- if it even existed at all- and so the funny thing is that by Quentin running the bases we might have actually missed a lot of the people wanting autographs which made it easier for us. I initially had picked up Quentin because he seemed tired but once he saw what was going on he wanted me to put him back down and so I did, so it really became more about Quentin handing everyone the ball to sign than anything else-- the way it should be.
The last time we saw the Bluefish was at the Ballpark at Harbor Yard but the two times before that we saw them play in New Britain and both of those times we saw Endy Chavez, I believe, but we have yet to see Endy Chavez play at the Ballpark at Harbor Yard. Still, he was in the autograph line and so I asked him something like "Endy, can Quentin take a picture with you?" and he replied something like, "Yes, of course" when he saw Quentin was a kid, so we got to live out one of my dreams of sorts as Quentin met a former Met and just all around great player.
I feel like the Atlantic League is so much fun because as I was talking to Gina about after the game it just feels like the players have to have some sense of connection with the fans. You know, you can't be a part of the Atlantic League and think that you're better than everyone else and be all like, "Oh, I'm too good to take part in these autograph sessions", and especially when it comes to the children. If there exists a book out there about who/how/why the Atlantic League was formed can someone please tell me? Next season we're likely going to be visiting teams in the Atlantic League who aren't in Connecticut and if we do so it will be on a Sunday for sure. We also will have to come back to the Ballpark at Harbor Yard at least one Sunday next season as well because it's just too much fun to miss.