Saturday, July 2, 2016

TAKE ME OUT TO THE BALLGAME

Play Ball!
The Walla Walla Sweets baseball club, named after Walla Walla's famous sweet onions, is a wood-bat collegiate summer baseball league. They are part of the East Division of the West Coast League, which includes teams from the North and South Divisions such as the Bellingham Bells of Washington state and the Victoria Harbourcats of British Columbia, Canada, to the Bend Elks and Gresham Greywolves both of Oregon. 
The Sweets, seen here dressed in their throw-back uniforms, watch the game from the dugout.

 The ballpark is part of Walla Walla's Borleske Stadium and seats at capacity 2,376 fans. 

Even on a hot summer evening, the fans are (mostly) shielded from the setting sun in this east-facing setting. 
Come nightfall the area is well illuminated to keep the game going well into extra innings, if necessary.

 "Hey Batter, Batter!"

According to Jim Caple a senior writer for ESPN, "Today's Walla Walla Sweets play on the same diamond 
as Hall of Famers Ozzie Smith and Tony Gywnn once played, as well as actor Kurt Russell and quarterback Drew Bledsoe. 
It's also where Walla Walla's baseball team once was managed by Cliff Ditto, 
perhaps the most serendipitous managerial name in baseball history, " 
which is a reference to Ditto's management of the Walla Walla Padres baseball team from 1973-1978.

A Yakima Valley Pippin swings at a low ball while his teammate waits in the on-deck circle.
In the background stands "Borleske Blue," the park's signature 16' tall x 40' long hand-operated scoreboard.

Looking out from inside the scoreboard. 
Photo courtesy of Walla Walla Sweets 2010

The bat connects with the ball and the Sweets' runner is off to first base.


In the opposite corner of the ballpark from Borleske Blue, an electronic sign also keeps track of the score. 
This sign was bulit as a cooperative effort between Walla Walla Community College (construction), 
Walla Walla University (engineering) and Whitman College (foundation).

By the way, the Walla Walla Sweets went on to beat the Yakima Pippins 3-2 in 11 innings.