For about six years now, Nik and I have driven past the U.S. Steel Yard baseball stadium in Gary, Indiana, home to the Independent League’s SouthShore RailCats. Each time we’d say to each other that we need to see a game. It finally happened this past weekend on Labor Day. I bought a $15 Groupon deal that included two tickets and a $10 “Cat Coin” good at their concession stands. We took the The South Shore Line train from Millennium Station in downtown Chicago to the Gary Metro Center stop where it was a short walk to the stadium.
Playing the El Paso Diablos, it was the final regular season game for the RailCats, and so it was fan appreciation day. Each fan was given a team photo as they entered the stadium and many of the players were out in the entry area signing autographs and posing for pictures. I took advantage of the photo opportunity:
As you’ll notice in the picture above, and pictures below, several of the RailCats players have some amazing facial hair.
Above: The amazing facial hair of pitcher Morgan Coombs.
Above: The amazing Rollie Fingers-esque mustache of pitcher Stephen Hiscock.
Back to the game. Our tickets were behind the RailCats dugout, and we decided to sit in the first row until someone asked us to move. We never had to move and we thoroughly enjoyed the game. The stadium is nice and the environment is definitely family friendly with a lot of on-field contests during the game. Unfortunately, the RailCats lost 4-1, but the team is playoff bound, and hopefully it’s not another six years before Nik and I see another game there.
Nice to see the tradition of a rookie carrying the pink backpack of supplies to the bullpen lives on in the Independent Leagues.
*Full set of pictures can be found on my Flickr page.