A humdinger in Jacksonville
Now that was one helluva ballgame. For those of you who missed it, Jacksonville and West Tennessee played scoreless ball for nearly eight innings before the Suns snuck home a run to win 1-0 and even this baby up at one game apiece. I don’t care what anyone says about the longball. Give me this kind of game at any level, with two starters dealing, and I’m a happy man.
The series now moves to the booming metropolis of Jackson, Tenn., which I have to get to by flying to Memphis and then driving 80+ miles. It could be worse. I could be going with the players, who actually boarded their buses postgame tonight and drove all night to West Tenn’s town so they could have a full day off tomorrow. I’ll be thinking of them as I sleep in the cozy hotel along the St. John’s river here tonight.
The river, they say, is the heart of the city. I can’t say I got a real good feel for Jacksonville, other than it was freakin’ hot today (97 degrees). The riverfront area looks kind of nice, but it seemed that just beyond that lay a city kind of wanting to be big time and not quite getting there. And it sure is football crazy. Once that season gets underway, the Suns have a hard time getting fans to come out to the Baseball Grounds (a very nice retro-style newer ballpark with some big league feel to it). Even though they led the Southern League in attendance during the regular season, they only had 2,700 or so at Game 1 and 3,300 here tonight for the final home game of the season. In some ways, the team gets hurt by playing into September. Go figure.
No time to really reflect on it, though. It’ll be time to pack up and head for Tennessee tomorrow. Talk to you from there soon. — Jonathan Mayo