At long last, my post on the trip to Louisville. I know you’ve all been waiting impatiently for my description of my time there.
I have to say that I really liked the city. For me, I look for uniqueness, atmosphere, vibrance and, of course, good eats, in any urban area I visit. L’ville did well on all fronts, in my opinion.
One of the dishes the city is know for is called “Hot Brown” and I got to sample the dish at a place called Bistro301 my first night in town. While it lends itself to some pretty off-color jokes about Big Brown and what’s become of him, it’s tasty fare. Here’s the description from the restaurant’s menu:
Our rendition of a Kentucky classic. Smoked turkey, bacon, tomato, Parmesan
and Jack cheese. Finished with Mornay sauce and served golden brown.
What could be bad, right?
The Bats did a wonderful job hosting, including a terrific All-Star Gala at the Louisville Slugger Museum & Factory. What a great location! I got the chance to get a “behind the scenes” look at the bat vault, which basically had a version of pretty much every model of bat the company has ever made. Considering they started making bats in 1884, just imagine how much lumber was there. Just picking up a bat like the all-time greats used was such a thrill and it was amazing to consider how much bats have changed — and stayed the same — over the years. The highlight of the gala (kids, turn away at this point, please) may have been the Official All-Star Cocktail. I figure if we can have the release on our site, I can talk about it here, right? Check out the link if you want the recipe. Lets just say it was quite refreshing and a good time was had by all.
The All-Star Game itself actually turned out to be an exciting contest, with a ton of runs scored late. The game rosters didn’t have a ton of “prospects,” but there were some great performances nonetheless. Luis Pena may have caused the biggest buzz, hitting triple digits on the radar gun on more than one occasion, though Pawtucket’s Chris Carter certainly got folks in the stadium (which is beautiful, by the way, and the folks in Louisville packed the house not only for the game, but for the Home Run Derby on Monday night as well.) going when he turned around one of those Pena heaters for a two-run homer in the ninth to make the score close. For me, personally, I had a great time as I got the opportunity to serve as ESPN’s sideline reporter for the game. I had a blast and hope those of you who checked it out thought I didn’t stink.
Next year, the game is in Portland (Oregon, not Maine) and they’ll have a lot to live up to. I’ve been to two Triple-A All-Star Games now: the one here in Louisville and last year in Albuquerque and both clubs did a fantastic job putting on a great show. Let’s hope it continues in the Pacific Northwest in 2009…
I’ll be back soon with a report on my trip to Los Angeles (not really Minors-related, but who cares?).