Lake Erie Crushers Game

I'm a huge baseball fan, but the lack of salary caps in the Majors keeps me from attending games out of protest.  When Alex Rodriguez alone makes the same salary as the ENTIRE Pittsburgh organization combined, something is wrong.  Until they implement salary caps, the best teams will always remain the best, the mediocre teams will never be able to become true contenders, and the poor teams will always be poor.  It breaks my heart, but I will not attend games, or give any money to Major League Baseball due to this.

But I digress....this leads me to the Lake Erie Crushers.  They are a Frontier League (not associated with MLB) team in Avon, Ohio.  They have a beautiful stadium, great fans, and they are a lot of fun to watch.

Here's the stadium....(these are a little dramatic, as a storm had just passed, leaving some great clouds to photograph)

The best tickets in the house are a whopping $18.  When we go to the games, we usually buy $9 seats, and they are still wonderful.  You can be in the third row, right behind home plate, or right on the third or first base side for this price. 

Five of us went to a game last night.  Including dinner, the total bill was around $80.  A single decent ticket to a major league game can be this cost alone!

I love the Frontier League based on these items....
1.  These players have heart.  The minimum salary is not good.  As a result, most players live with host families.  They are playing because they love the game!
2.  Talent is evenly distributed.  Each team is limited to three "Veterans" (players with 3 or more years of professional experience).
3.  Play level is still pretty high.  We've seen some serious dingers leave the park, and a lot of pitchers are getting above 90 mph.  With most seats being only about 50-100 feet from home plate, it's a wonderful experience to see great baseball that close.

So the Lake Erie Crushers made the playoffs in spite of some real setbacks this year involving their best players being injured.  Last night was the third of the five-game division series against the Joliet Slammers.  They were down 2 games, so this game was do-or-die.

Josh Roberts took the mound for us....

Unfortunately, he struggled containing the Slammers offense.

I didn't get as many good shots as I would have liked.  I got some decent shots until it started to get really dark.  Then with no sunlight at all, and my camera relying only on the stadium lights, my ISO's got so high that all of my photos were pretty grainy, so I hesitate to post them.  I'm hoping to attend more day games next year, so I can have some more time for good shots.

So the Crushers lost 5-2, ending their season.

But overall the Crushers had a great year.  They battled back from being 10 games under .500 and needing two wins to make the playoffs, and pulled it off.  They made the playoffs for the second time in three years, and ended the season with the third best record in the Frontier League.

More fun than the Majors, if you ask me!


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