We finally made it out to our first Boise Hawks game! The Hawks are the Class A Short Season affiliate of the Colorado Rockies. We chose Friday, July 12, because it was the weekend before my son Wilson’s birthday and it was also a fireworks night.
As you can imagine, the baseball here in the Northwest League isn’t always the most balanced, but it sure is entertaining. The Hawks hosted the Hillsboro Hops (Arizona Diamondbacks affiliate) and Wilson sure had a time trying to figure out the difference between the two teams. It took the picture in the program and identifying the jersey colors before he finally got ahold of the concept.
We got to the game just a few minutes before the national anthem, because Wilson had previously requested his own popcorn. Who am I to turn down that face? We found what we thought were our seats (more on that in a minute) and settled in just in time for the anthem and first pitch.
Something that’s interesting about Memorial Stadium in Boise, ID is that the seating goes right up to the warning track and the only thing separating the fans from the field is netting. There’s not even a backstop of any variety, just a 3-inch curb with netting. Without the backstop, you always feel very close to the field. It’s excellent. Another fun feature at Memorial Stadium is a hawks nest on top of one of the light poles in left field. Obviously by design, it appeared the nest houses two or three hawks that fly around the field during the game.
We sat about four rows up behind home plate. The whole time I thought, “These seats are way too good for what we paid. Are we in the right spot?” I flipped through the program to see if I could find a seating chart and couldn’t find anything. Nobody came to sit in our seats. Even if they had, they might have simply found another seat in the row next to, behind, or in front of us, because section wasn’t even close to full and there were plenty of open seats to be had. So, we stayed put. As it turns out, our tickets were for the section above where we were sitting, but I didn’t find this out until after we left.
I mentioned in the first episode of the Baseball Together podcast that MiLB games are a lot of fun and one reason is the lack of seating enforcement. Well, there’s a firsthand account of the flimsy seating chart at an MiLB game.
Anyway, by the time we hit the middle of the fourth inning it was hot and way past Wilson’s bedtime so he said he was tired and ready to go home. I convinced him to stick out the bottom half of the fourth inning before leaving, which he did, then we headed home. By this time the game was well out of hand as the Hops had taken a commanding 11-0 lead with all the scoring having come in the first two innings.
I’m always bummed to leave a game early, but it worked out. Even though it was an evening in the mid-90s, cloud cover had moved in during the bottom of the third and just as we pulled out of the parking lot the rain hit. With no real cover to be found at the ballpark, we would have been soaked. No fireworks that night, but we made sure to make a stop for a snickerdoodle on the way home to make up for it.
I’m confident we’ll be back. For the price we paid and the intimacy of the stadium, the atmosphere at a Boise Hawks game can’t be beat.