So, now that I have attended two games at Swayze field (the Sunday
backwards jog through a corn field with your pants down game against Bama and the Saturday Kentucky game), I thought I'd give my two copper worth of the Rebel's new shag pad.
For the Bama game, I sat in right field. Considering it was the Sunday after spring break and my guess is that students were still coming back from vacation, the crowd in right field wasn't too big. This didn't change the inebriated activity that goes down on a weekly basis in right field. Many students had brought their brooms with them in hopes of a Bama sweep. If you don't recall, Bama was up 8-0 after the first inning, and by then, all the brooms had been drunk-chunked towards the bottom of the chain link fence.
Harassment of the opposing right-fielder has always been a long tradition for the student section. Now, with the opposing bullpen jutting out into right field, the pitching staff gets to know what it's like to be facebook stalked and have all your family's names, interests, hobbies, favorite movies, quotes, etc. rattled off from a pre-printed list and yelled at them in an insulting fashion.
Other new additions to right field include Crawfish from the Levee. I've actually had their crawfish before via sorority crawfish parties and it's really good, but I was not about to pay $15 for a plate which I guess composed of no more than 1.5 lbs of crawfish plus corn and taters.They are also building what looks like a bathroom for the right field fans so they can finally get rid of the 10 port a jons they have out there.
I was very glad to see that the Rebel center and right fielder still practice the tradition of throwing their warm up ball between innings to the student section to hold. Students then write little messages of encouragement on the ball for the players to read (ie, If you shoot for the moon, even if you miss you'll land amongst the stars...Bama fans take wads of processed houndstooth hats up the ass, etc). Overall, right field still remains the student section atmosphere you came to know and love, leaving you not to worry as much about your view of the plate and scoreboard (because you don't really have one).
For the Kentucky game, I sat in the stadium. I sat in two different places: far down the 1st base line, almost all the way at the top and 3rd base line, 3 rows up from where the diamond girl sits. Both spots were great with easy views of the field. Personally, I prefer to sit up higher because I can see more, but sitting close to the field has an allure to it as well. I really like how the left field stands connect to the stadium now as well. There's about 20 concession stands now too so almost never a line. To be perfectly honest though, I don't ever see us filling the stadium seat for seat until it comes time to hosting a regional (or April 24-26, see below). The stadium is just THAT big.
Swayze is just one of those ballparks that has a great environment. After the Saturday Bama game, one of the baseball radio guys talked to one of the Snyder freshmen during a postgame interview. Matt/Mike talked about watching the Super Regional series against Texas and how he thought it would be a great experience to play in that kind of atmosphere and it was one of the contributing factors for him deciding to come play here. The Snyder twins coming from Virginia is just an example of how Swayze's expansion can and will improve our recruitment as well.
So, go ahead and mark your calendars....April 24-26. Ole Miss will host Georgia PLUS that's Double Decker weekend (music and art festival on the square if you didn't know). This will be a huge weekend in Oxford as well as for Ole Miss baseball. The stadium will be packed and energized and grand pappy's old cough medicine will be flowing more than ever in right field considering UGA will more than likely still be a top five team rolling in. You shoud be there...I know I will be.