A look from Spokane

As the Hawks get set for the final game (and rubber game) of the series at Avista Stadium, it’s time to take a quick look at life here in Spokane – as the first two games here have had monster crowds of 6,913 and 7,012, the first crowd over 7,000 fans in the Northwest League since August 1, 2009 (7,088 fans for a game in Spokane against Eugene).

Before we get into life here in the Inland Northwest – big news coming out of Los Angeles today, as two former Hawks, Brett Jackson (who hit .330 with a homer and 15 RBI in 2009) and Josh Vitters (who earned Northwest League All-Star honors in 2008 after .312 with five homers, 37 RBI, 25 doubles and a 25-game hit streak) were called up by the Cubs.  Both made their Major League debuts – Jackson (pictured left, courtesy MLB) going 2-for-4 and Vitters flying out in a pinch hit role, becoming the 98th and 99th former Boise Hawks to play in MLB.  Jackson also becomes the first member of the 2009 class to make it to The Show.

Back to here in Spokane, one of the neat things at the ballpark that has been added in the past couple years is “The Depot” – a group area in right-center field where fans are able to sit right on top of the action.

The group area is a part of the larger “Grotto” that was built at Avista Stadium during the 2004 season – a true homer porch that was elevated so fans can sit and mill while watching the game.  It is only 296 to the right field corner – where Dong-Yub Kim hit a solo homer in the series opener that might have gone 305 feet total.

I checked out the concession prices here in Spokane – as one of the things that fans in Boise complained about when we had our “Rant” a month ago was that it was too pricey for hot dogs, beer, pizza, and sodas at Memorial Stadium.  Beer here at Avista Stadium is $5.50, Sodas are either $3.00 or $4.00, while a simple hot dog (which I am not a fan of their hot dogs) are $3.00.  A slice of pizza (which is from Pizza Pipeline, which used to have Boise locations) is $5.00.  Their condiment bar is basic, with ketchup, mustard, some relish, onions, and sauerkraut – no pickles or peppers.  Another downer is the basic pre-game meal option – a hot dog, a hamburger, or a chicken sandwich (just 1), nothing else added (though their PR man Bud is awesome and brought me some popcorn on Friday night), though the soda fountain in the booth (with cold water) is a plus.

Took a four-plus mile walk each of the last two days from Georgio’s Gym – where we have held our team lifts each of the past two days, walking down Sprague Avenue back to the hotel.  I was amazed at how many businesses have gone under here in Spokane, along with the concentration of tattoo parlors and Asian restaurants.  I did come across one of the more unique businesses – the White Elephant Toyland, complete with a huge white elephant on top.  There was a Jimmy John’s, a 5-Guys Burger, and your typical fast food joints along the route.

NOTES – Dong-Yub Kim left the game in the fourth inning with a knee sprain, he is day-to-day…Matt Iannazzo was solid last night, tossing 2 2/3 innings of shutout relief…he has not allowed a run on the road this season, but has a 27.00 ERA in Boise…Marco Hernandez had a bunt single last night, extending his hit streak to a team-high nine games – the third longest current hit streak in the league…the team will not overnight to Everett, they will spend the evening in Spokane and travel across the state of Washington tomorrow morning for the 7:05 p.m. game.

 

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