Home » Fun but Dumb, Scraping the Bottom of the Sports Barrel

All-Star is All Relative: A Trip to the Northwoods

19 July 2008 No Comment
On a recent road trip back from a wedding in Minnesota, two weary travelers found themselves exhausted in the middle of nowhere.

Being that it was the All-Star Break, there was a drought in events to keep our attention on the way home. Undeterred, Andrew found a small gem in a small town with the Northwoods League All-Star Game in Madison, WI.

If you want all the hairy details about the Northwoods League, then you need to read Andrew’s Blog. If you want the CliffsNotes version, then just keep reading here.

It took Andrew three explanations, for me to get what this event was but apparently, the Northwoods League is a summer college baseball league. It is a league that allows college kids to “try-out” their professional skills in a competitive venue that protects their eligibility. ie. They are unpaid. The All-Star game means that it was just the best of the kids.

I personally did not care if they were little leaguers out there especially after I realized our tickets were all-you-can-eat-AND-drink. I just needed a break from our drive from Minnesota and the Madison Mallards’ Warner Park “Duck Pond” in Madison was as good as any place to relax.

The cheapest ticket into the game was $7. Andrew was able to scalp outside. A man offered us two, $10 all-you-can-eat-AND-drink tickets to the game. You can’t beat that! There was no negotiation- just a ‘thank you’ and a promise that we would not be crazy drunks and forfeit his season tickets.

The “Duck Pond” is as down-home as you can get. If you want a taste of small town culture, this is a must-see. You are in the heart of Middle America. We had the sense that the entire town was there and that everyone knew each other. It was clear that we were the outsiders.

Our seats were in right field. The area was a hybrid of a bleacher section and a press box with tons of beers on tap and an all-you-can-eat concession stand that had an amazing pulled-pork BBQ sandwich. Highlights included green, Duck Pond Beer and a “Bitter Women’s Ale” which I avoided at all costs.

There is no way I can endorse this event as a ‘must see,’ but on the other hand, there is a sense of nostalgia in attending a Northwoods game. It is a slice of small town culture with some of the simpler things in life- good and plentiful beer, tasty and plentiful food- all against the backdrop of baseball. I would love to say that I watched the game but it was merely ambiance of the small town spectacle. With a manual scoreboard and Quench Gum as a sponsor, I was too distracted by the better things in life.

Leave your response!

Add your comment below, or trackback from your own site. You can also subscribe to these comments via RSS.

Be nice. Keep it clean. Stay on topic. No spam.

You can use these tags:
<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>

This is a Gravatar-enabled weblog. To get your own globally-recognized-avatar, please register at Gravatar.