Baseball begins in Southern West Virginia

And there’s the pitch . . . the swing . . .  and it’s a hit!   The thrill of baseball has returned to West Virginia.

America’s favorite pastime has began for the 2013 season at Appalachian Power Park in Charleston, WV.  Fans flood the stadium to root,

Power Park

Power Park

root, root for the minor league Power team, a Class A affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.

One avid regular adds to the entertainment: “The Toast Man” —- perches behind home plate each game with his toaster, flinging toasted bread into the crowd, taunting the opposing team’s struck out players with a “You are toast!”

There are also crowd participation games between innings, where fans can be selected to play for prizes. And anyone can buy a tennis ball to hawk into a bucket on the pitcher’s mound at the end of the game. Sink it, and you win!

Kids getting antsy? Let them race around the field in the kids’ parade, then take them to the Fun Zone for games and obstacle courses. Stop the fuzzy team mascot, Chuck, for a photo or high-five.

Throughout the season, April through August,  there are special offers and events during the game, including the Big 12 special games. You can check the promotions schedule for a complete list of what’s coming up at Power Park.

Thursday night games bring $1 beers for Thirsty Thursdays. the cups fill from the bottom, so each includes a Power magnet you can take home. Fridays always feature a fireworks show and autograph session with the players after the game.

In addition to  Chuck’s, who sells premium hot dogs (including organic options and sausages) and concession stands, you can wine and dine on fine Italian cuisine at Paterno’s at the Park.

Make it all-inclusive, with dinner, snacks and drinks for $25 (plus game ticket) on the Party Deck. Cookout foods, pretzels, sodas, draft beers and wine are all-you-can-eat throughout the game. (Sometimes, they also give out free tee shirts).

The Power isn’t the only team taking a swing at glory in WV.  Stay tuned for posts about  the West Virginia Miners in Beckley who will step up to the plate in late May.  In June we will cover  both the Princeton Rays  (affiliate team of the Tampa Bay Rays) and the Bluefield Blue Jays (affiliate of the Toronto Blue Jays).

So what is left to say? Play ball!

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