Tales From the Road 2010: First Stop in Norfolk

The Gwinnett
Braves took the long bus trip from Charlotte to Norfolk on Sunday for the
second stop in our 12 game; three city road trip.  We left after the Sunday afternoon game at
about 6:00 p.m. and arrived in downtown Norfolk at 11:30 p.m.

The G-Braves
take two buses.  How the team breaks down
who rides on what bus is still up for debate. 
As I see it, and this comes from now my second year of being with the
team, bus one is for the staff and whatever player would like to be there.  Bus two is for everyone else.  For some reason, the Hispanic players on the
team always ride the first bus with the staff. 
Go figure.

The bus ride
over–on bus one—was complete with two DVD movies:   Cinderella Man with Russell Crowe and Pirates
of the Caribbean with Johnny Depp.  I
spoiled the end of Cinderella Man for everyone when I announced that James J.
Braddock went on to win the heavyweight title over Max Baer.  Most were ticked I had given away the ending,
but I thought most people already knew about Braddock.  I mean its history.  Anyway…

I love being
in Norfolk, Virginia.  Before you scoff,
let me tell you that I’m sincere.

Harbor Park in
downtown Norfolk is big Triple A ballpark and well kept (except maybe for the
playing surface).  We stay in a pretty nice
hotel which is walking distance to the park; and the cookies in the press box
are the best in the league.  Also, Ian
who is the media relations guy with the Norfolk Tides is really good at his
job, and that makes mine easier.  Plus,
they have a small brass band that plays during the pregame, and that is

One of the
drawbacks to playing here, especially in the early months when the weather is
cooler and school is still in session, is the fact a lot of loud drunks come to
the game.  And they are pretty
vocal.  Last season, Brian Barton, the
G-Braves rightfielder, had to be restrained from going into the stands after a

But it is
also a military town.  It has the largest
Naval Base in the country.  So there is a
lot of pride here to go with the drunks. 
Again, go figure.

Finally, the
one thing that I do not like about playing here is the mascot.  It’s called Rip Tide.  At Gwinnett we have a groundhog.  In Durham, they have a bull.  In Charlotte, they have a dragon.  But in Norfolk, I cannot figure out what Rip
Tide is.  The closest guess is that is
Grover from Sesame Street at age 60, 400 pounds later.

Next stop

One comment

  1. zombar

    Speaking of loud drunks, we have more than our share at Gwinnett Stadium.

    I’m a front-row, home run club GBraves season ticket holder, and I’ve been shocked at the level of heckling and general nastiness our home fans have shown. In one game, fans even loudly booed Fernando Perez of the Durham Bulls when he got injured and had to leave the game. What kind of people BOO an injured player?

    The Atlanta Braves have such a stellar reputation around the bigs for being a classy organization, so I hope that the GBraves organization will find ways to lead the Gwinnett fans into a similar attitude. Isn’t that the kind of fans we want anyway?

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