1/7 down (Crustacean Nation)

~Andrew Buchbinder

Tonight is game #20 of the 2010 season.  It’s tough to believe that somewhere in the whirlwind that the past three weeks have been, we’ve played 19 ballgames this season.  Seasons come along and seasons go so quickly, it is imperative to try to slow things down and breathe every once in a while.

For me, that’s been what this series in Savannah has been all about.  Opening road trip is done, the first homestand of the season is in the books, and now routine can settle in.  There’s no better city to foster a little relaxation than this one.

Savannah oozes history, my other love.  Just being in the ballpark, aptly named ‘Historic Grayson Stadium,’ is a special experience.  Historic Grayson juxtaposes the new and the old perfectly with a new playing surface that has been kept up very well situated within old, yet comfortable confines.

It is impossible to deny the ‘ol southern charm of the ballpark in Savannah.  With the old-fashioned, and probably just old, benches that make up the majority of the stands and the gigantic fans hanging from the grandstand cover that cool everyone off beneath them, it’s almost a ballpark out of one of those great baseball movies that document the game in the good old days.  (A side note, The Natural was on tv this morning… if you haven’t seen it, do so NOW… I’m in the double digits and it gives me goosebumps every time).

It almost feels as if everything moves slower, as if, with the benches and fans, and southern moss hanging from twisty old trees all around, we’ve been transplanted into a quieter, simpler environment.  It’s impossible not to relax.

Not to even mention a great night spent meandering up and down the cobblestone-laden River St., taking advantage of the incredible seafood and fun night life after our day game on Sunday.  With live music at every turn, the sweet, salty breeze blowing in off the water and street performers serenading strangers on the riverwalk, again, it is impossible not to relax.

Entering this trip, I (somewhat) jokingly said that I was happy to come to Savannah in April before it gets so hot down here that the simplest of movements feels like a chore.  Now, with one day remaining in our lone trip to this city, I have a different perspective. 

While I am still happy to not be in the midsummer humidity down here, I’m more thankful that we’re here right now because it provided me a moment to breathe, a moment to experience the unavoidable history of this city and this region, and a moment to slow things down and gain a rejuvenated perspective on this marathon that we’ve embarked on yet again and are already a seventh of the way through.  The beginning of every season is frantic and stressful but also a beautiful thing once you settle into it, and there’s no better way to settle into a campaign than with a trip to Savannah.  Talk to you in a couple hours on The Big Dawg 92.1 FM and Hickorycrawdads.com… Go ‘Dads!

Andrew Buchbinder is entering his second season as director of broadcasting/media relations with the Crawdads.  He previously served in similar capacities with the Bakersfield Condors (ECHL) and the Bakersfield Blaze, the ‘Dads High-A affiliate in the California League

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