Sunday, August 28, 2011

Myrtle Beach Trip Report

After my trip to Phoenix, my dad and I flew up to Myrtle Beach and met up with my mom, sister, grandma, and granddad, at my grandparents’ condo in Myrtle Beach. My family goes up there once every year, and I always really enjoy the trip. This week I have posted my trip report.


Myrtle Beach Pelicans:

A couple of days before the end of our trip, my dad, granddad, and I went to see the Myrtle Beach Pelicans play. The Pelicans are, for the first time, the High-A affiliate of the Rangers this year (in previous years they were a Braves affiliate). We go see a Pelicans game every summer, so I was very excited to see the Rangers’ prospects there.

It ended up being an amazing night.

I had gotten to know Chuck Greenberg, the Pelicans’ owner, from his days with the Rangers last year (my interview with Chuck last August is at http://texasrangerstrades.blogspot.com/2010/08/chuck-greenberg-interview.html). I shot him an e-mail the day before I went to the game to see if he would be there, and while he said no, he wasn’t in town, he did get me in touch with the Pelicans’ GM, Scott Brown. Scott was extremely nice and set me up to be on the Pelicans’ pre-game show on the jumbotron. However, since it was raining that day (causing a 40 minute rain delay), the pre-game show never happened. Instead, I talked with the Pelicans’ radio play-by-play broadcaster, Tyler Maun, who also does the pre-game show, before the game. He told me that he’d like to have me on the radio for part of the game, which is broadcast on the Myrtle Beach ESPN radio station. Obviously, I was excited.

He told me to come up in the bottom of the 2nd, so I watched the first inning from our seats. At the top of the 2nd, we made our way up to the press box and found the radio booth. After the top of the inning, Tyler invited me into the booth, gave me a headset, and started interviewing me when the inning resumed. I was on the air with him through the end of the 3rd inning, so I got to be on the broadcast for an inning and a half. It was so much fun and I really, really enjoyed it. While I was on air, I realized that Tyler Maun was a very good play-by-play guy, with a good voice for it and skilled at providing descriptions of the plays. He is also a very nice person with deep baseball knowledgeable. I think he should be considered for the open broadcasting spot for the Rangers this off-season.

I put a couple of segments of my time on the radio broadcast on YouTube here and here.

A couple of innings after we got back to our seats, Scott Brown (the Pelicans GM) came to our seats to introduce himself. He is really great guy and very friendly. We talked with him for a little while, and then he took me down to the gift shop and gave me a Pelicans t-shirt (actually, a shirt from the Rangers spring training game in the stadium earlier in the year), which was really nice of him.

We also realized that Jon Daniels was at the game, as we saw him sitting a few rows in front of us. I said hello to him and was able to talk with him for a few minutes between innings. He was in the area for a few days, watching Hickory and Myrtle Beach.

It was just an all-around great night. I would like to thank Chuck, Scott, and Tyler for all of their friendliness and hospitality. I was amazed at how generous everyone was.

However, while my night was great, the Pelicans’ night wasn’t so great. The Pelicans lost to the Kinston Indians 9-3, and Kennil Gomez had a very poor start for Myrtle Beach, going 4.2 innings, allowing 7 runs, 4 earned, on 5 hits, 2 walks, and 3 hit batsmen. The offense didn’t do much either, as Vincent DiFazio was the only one who had a good night at the plate, going 2-for-4 with a home run.

If you’re ever in South Carolina, I recommend seeing a Pelicans game. They have a very nice ballpark. It’s one of the better minor league parks I have been to. They have very wide seats there, which is nice. They also have a good amusement area out in left field for small kids, with a bounce house. They have lots of Pelicans history along the concourse, including a spot where they have a plaque for every Pelican who has ever played in the major leagues and banners showing every Opening Day line-up the Pelicans have ever had. It’s always a fun experience.


Putt-Putt:

Every year when we go down to Myrtle Beach, my dad, granddad, and I have a putt-putt competition. Myrtle Beach has what has to be about the best putt-putt in the world. This year we went to 9 different courses, which were:

1. Mutiny Bay – a pirate-themed course with a show in which a pirate ship on the water and a fort shoot cannonballs at each other, making big splashes in the water, and in which the fort eventually gets hit and shoots up fire.

2. Mayday – an airplane-themed course with some very tough holes, and lots of much-needed shade.

3. Dinosaur Adventure – obviously a dinosaur themed course, which really isn’t all that good, as there is no shade, and just a few dinosaurs, only one of which moves.

4. Dragon’s Lair – a medieval times themed course, which is really awesome, as you play in a castle with turrets for some of the holes. There is also a hole with a jester that makes jokes and laughs at you, and there is a show with a dragon.

5. Molten Mountain – this one is volcano-themed, and has half of its holes indoors and air-conditioned, which makes it fantastic.

6. Lost Treasure – in this course you go through ancient ruins and dinosaur fossils and old pirate towns, and kind of follow in an archaeologist’s, named Professor Hacker, footsteps. You start every game by taking a small ride on a mine train through caves, where you see explorers digging for gold. The ride drops you off at the first hole.

7. Captain Hook – a Peter Pan themed course, in which you play holes in the Lost Boys’ cave, or in Captain Hook’s boat (complete with an audio-animatronic Captain Hook and crocodile), or by an audio-animatronic Peter Pan. It is a very neat course. In one cave, you can hear Tinker Bell calling out for help. If you follow the voice, it takes you to Captain Hook’s cabin, where you can see an animated Tinker Bell trapped under glass, asking you to free her.

8. Jurassic Golf – this one is themed after Jurassic Park and is very, very neat, with many moving dinosaurs, and almost every hole is by either water, a dinosaur, or some sort of rock formation.

9. Hawaiian Rumble – another volcano-themed course, but this one only has 18 holes.

The competition was great this year, especially since I won. We use a point system, based on first and second place finishes. I was down by 1 point on my granddad going into the last day, but I had a great putting day to come back and win the tournament for the second straight year.


Other:

When we first arrived, our first meal was Georgio’s Pizza, like it is every year. Georgio’s is probably the best pizza I’ve ever had. I ate sausage and pepperoni pizza.

Staying with food and pizza, we also ate at Ultimate California Pizza on our trip (which is not associated with California Pizza Kitchen). We also go there every year, and their pizza is great, too, although not quite up to Georgio’s caliber. I got the Hollywood, which is a pizza with 4 different meats.

Obviously we went down to the beach every day, since we were staying in Myrtle Beach in a condo with an ocean-view. We normally would do putt-putt in the morning, hang around in the afternoon when the beach was packed and hot, and then go down to the beach in the evening. Most nights when we would go down to the beach, my 6-year-old sister, Kate, and I, would play in the sand, jump waves, and then go into the lazy river before going back up to the room.

One afternoon, my mom, dad, sister, and I went to Pirate’s Voyage, a dinner show where pirates have competitions. Unfortunately, our side lost, but I have a sneaking suspicion that the outcome was decided beforehand. Anyways, the food was good, and my little sister really enjoyed it.

Unfortunately, it was eventually time to come home and start school again. But it was a great way to end the summer.

Come back next week for my August Awards.

3 comments:

Lynn Leaming said...

Sounds like another fun trip!! Hope you have a great school year!!

Lynn Leaming said...

How fun watching your videos with Tyler Maun. He was definitely multi tasking as he talked with you! You did a great job just hanging with him and answering the questions! You asked how I was doing....we are doing pretty good. Can't believe that summer is over. I am looking forward to Fall and the cooler temperatures and the trees turning colors :-) Still didn't make it to a SkySox game but I do have it on my "to do" list!!

grantlovesbaseball said...

Hi Mrs. Lynn,

The trip was great, but being on the radio was definitely the best part. Summer always goes by so quick. I'm excited about tomorrow, the high is 83 degrees. School has been fine so far, but I'm ready for it to be over already. Thanks.

Grant