The final part of my Myrtle Beach visit was a second Pelicans game, on Wednesday 7/14. It was apart of Weenie Wednesday, where hot dogs were BOGO! While the first game we scored seats right behind home plate, I opted for tickets in the left field bleacher section for game 2. My wife and I got to sit in the front row, just a few seats away from the foul pole. It would be one of the most memorable games I have ever attended.
Left field is a nice place to be, but a word of warning: we cooked for the first 3 innings. The intense South Carolina sun was setting behind the first base bag, and was right in our face for a bit. I felt bad for the left fielders. Once it dipped behind the stadium roof, it was fine, but just worth noting. Good thing is that we had a giant 48 oz beach cocktail to keep us cool.
For this evening's game, we got to see the Pelicans knock around the baseball en route to a 9-3 win. It featured home runs from Ed Howard and Matt Mervis. I love a good blowout. It was awesome seeing the Pelicans knock the baseball all over the yard. Howard's home run came out to left. While more left-center than where I was sitting, I ducked because I could not see the baseball.
Foodwise, I tried the pizza burger and their Chicago style hot dog. Both were excellent. Check out my full writeup on the food here. The food is the highlight of this place, truly.
Left field was a nice view of the whole stadium. Once that sun went down, you could see all the action in clear form. Despite being a 20 year old minor league stadium, Ticketreturn.com Field does not feel dated, nor is it really ugly in any way. All the seats have good views, and you are always close enough to food or bathrooms.
In left field, you get a full view of the beach area and visitor bullpen. The highlights of this included:
LF Wetzel tossed a foul ball into the beach area and it nailed someone's drink. You could tell because of a massive splash and a scream.
You could see the visitors bullpen the entire game, and get a feel for their routine of getting stretched and ready. This process spans essentially the 3rd inning on. They've got a couple of gadgets and weights out there. My favorite was this one (Cue the song "duel of the fates.")
The coolest part of the entire night was the beginning. Earlier that day, I was fortunate to receive my own private tour of the stadium. During the walkthrough, I was taken to the front office area, and got to meet some of the wizards who make the experience magical. One of the was general manager Ryan Moore. We talked for a few minutes and he surprised me by offering to let me throw out a first pitch, to which I nervously mumbled a yes. My lifelong dream of getting to play baseball in a professional stadium was about to come true.
I got to the park a little early, met up with staff, and got to go onto the field. After a few slatherings of spider tack, I threw a brushback pitch at 40 MPH to Splash the mascot. We got our signs crossed up, so he wasn't ready for the heat.
The funny thing is, Splash's glove is literally at least 3 times bigger than an ordinary glove already. I would have grabbed a picture, but I was too busy being awesome.
Seriously tho, I want to personally extend a thank you to Hunter, Sara, and Ryan. Thank you for making me feel like a VIP and for the chance to throw out a first pitch. That was something I won't ever forget!
Even if not into baseball, a trip to a Pelicans game should be on every Myrtle Beach tourist's to do list. It's a very fun atmosphere in a nice stadium with great food. There's really not much to not like. If I had to say anything negative, it would be a bit of a reach. I guess I just wish it was closer to Chicago. Really, I have nothing bad to say.
Not to keep beating the same drum over and over, but the experience at Ticketreturn.com Field is a great one. It's a nice stadium with great views. Seats are comfortable. The energy in the ballpark rivals MLB level. The food is fantastic. Everything is convenient enough to find. Parking is free. Tickets, food and drink aren't overly expensive. Even if the Pelicans were a terrible on field team, you'd still have a great time at the park.
If you are a Cubs fan, I highly recommend a trip to the A- Pelican affiliates. There's enough Cubs stuff to keep it interesting, while factoring in a clean and convenient stadium experience. It might not be Wrigley, but it's one of the best minor league ballparks you'll ever go to. Check it out!