Just recently the minor league baseball website, milb.com, hosted a “Food Fight” between all the stadiums in the minor leagues. This rumble featured items like the BBQ Sundae, the Nuke Dog, and our very own Homeplate Burger. Watching this little competition the last couple weeks got me thinking. To those of you that don’t know me on a more personal level, I’m a Chef by profession. I have made food my life and source of passions. I am a former Food Service Director for a Multi-Million dollar assisted living facility. So, naturally this caught my attention. I decided to do a food review of my own in regards to the stadium concessions.
Greensboro Grasshopper’s 1/2 lb Homeplate Burger
To start with… where is Patrick Taylor and why is he not popping at the ballpark? He became a staple at the park. You had Guilford, Spaz, and Taylormade Kettle Corn. You have kettle corn in the ballpark, but it just isn’t the same. If you just want popcorn its there. But if you want to support a local business that happens to be a supperb guy, Taylormade was the way to go. I would be all for a rally to speak to Donald Moore about renegotiating his contract out there. He seems to have sacrificed quality for profit. And the new kettle corn people are cheaper, but as in most things, you get what you pay for. Until Pat is back in the ballpark serving up good quality corn, I say skip the kettle corn for now.
Pita Delite is in the ballpark now. Okay, let me clarify that. Pita Delite has two items on a concessions stand window. You have the Chicken Salad Pita and a Steak and Cheese Pita. I was skeptical at first, however the steak and cheese was very refreshing. It was also nice to add a little variety to the mix, not just another ordinary hot dog at the ballpark.
The BEST VALUE IN THE BALLPARK this season is probably the Grasshopper Dogs. The stadium guys pick out one hot dog to showcase and feature during each home stand. The Grasshopper Dog is my personal favorite. This monster of a dog reminds me of my trip to Charleston last year to cover the All Star Game for you guys. Charleston had 86 different types of hot dogs and ingredients for your dogs. The Grasshopper Dog boast a large bun, a mound of slaw, squirts of mustard, stadium sauce, and baked beans all piled high on a gorgeous made hot dog bun. Bring your bib, this one’s messy, you won’t need a napkin because this one is finger licking good!
I spoke to Derek Hart just recently. He’s the warehouse manager at the stadium. His favorite concessions are the Giacammos sausages and the walking taco. I have had niether of those. I’ll have to try them my next trip out to the ballpark.
One thing I would like to see out at the stadium more is better support of the local businesses. The cost to advertise is so high that you weed out all the local guys and end up with a corporate ballpark. Taylormade Kettle Corn, here in greensboro, was dropped and a food distributor from Michigan is offering Kettle Corn with their Sno-Cones instead. Jets Pizza “k zone” is now corporately sponsored by Papa Johns. Jets Pizza is located off New Garden Road less than 5 miles from the stadium.
Like a fine wine, the concessions only enhance the dinner portion of the evening, which is baseball. If you find yourself at a Grasshopper game this week, try a Grasshopper Dog. Let us know what you think. Whether its a cheese steak in your hand or a nice cold beer on a hot summer day, ITS A GREAT TIME TO BE A HOPPER!
Note: We would love to hear from you. Leave a comment letting us know your favorite snacks at the ballpark. Or perhaps your least favorite?
Hey HoppersFans! Jordan here with an update on the newest addition to the HopperFan community. Some of you might have noticed I’ve been a little MIA lately on the blog. My wife and I were expecting a baby girl to arrive middle of June. All Star weekend to be exact. Adeline, had other plans. In fact, she was welcomed into the world, May 1st, 2013. Because she was born so early she had to spend some time in the NICU to prepare her for life on the outside. The nurses in the NICU were incredible, and after 3.5 weeks I’m happy to report SHE’S HOME! This was a very difficult time for my wife and I and because of your thoughts and prayers, our baby girl is home.
It has been several weeks since Greg or I have been able to make it to the ballpark. We are both planning on being there for Thursday nights game. Please come by and talk to Greg and myself. Before the game you are likely to find us at the Papa Johns K Zone. It will be odd being back at the ballpark, but we are looking forward to the sounds of bats cracking, the smell of hot dogs sizzling at “THE DOG POUND”, and watching the best baseball team in the minor leagues with great friends! So from the first pitch to the final out, IT’S STILL A GREAT TIME TO BE A HOPPER!
I was a little late arriving to the ballpark, but I was in attendance at tonights game. As you can see from the image above, so was about half of Greensboro. Huge turn out at tonights game. I was in the restroom, and heard the start of “The Harlem Shake.” I thought to myself what in the world am I about to miss!? I walked out to the top of section 112, and low and behold, the bat boy and one of the pitchers is down on the field having a dance off! The bat boy would continue to entertain all night. He is known for his break dancing skills and performs at sporting events and venues. He goes by the handle, BBOY McCOY. Check his website out and look for him on YouTube at some of his amazing dance moves. The Hoppers started out the night HOTT! Starting with a 3-2 first inning lead. Again, we had three by the end of one. Lakewood would then claw their way to another 8 runs to finish the game 10-3. Click here for a full recap and box score of the game. Also don’t forget to check out Bill Hass’ blog at “BILL ON BASEBALL.” If you are unable to be at a game tune in to greensborosports.com and listen to the live audio feed there.
It was great to be in the ballpark again, after being away for a couple weeks. It was nice to talk to Don Moore from Greensborosports.com, Derek Hart the Warehouse Manager at the Stadium, Bryan Jones and Robert Stutts from the K -Zone, and Murray White of the Grasshoppers. It is always great to see you guys. Thanks for all you do, rather it’s selling tickets, stocking hot dog buns, or just sitting in the stands cheering on my beloved Grasshoppers. Everything you guys do, adds to the experience at the ballpark. You guys make this A GREAT TIME TO BE A HOPPER!
HopperFan Corespondent Jordan with Baby Addie
Some of you I’m sure have noticed the absence of score updates, blogs, photos, etc. The reason that is because my wife and I welcomed a sweet beautiful baby girl into the world. Adeline Marie Stowe was born Wednesday night at 7:43pm. She weighed 3 lbs and 12 oz. She was 14 inches long. For those of you that have a hard time with measurements, as do I, thats a tad bigger than a foot long hot dog at the stadium. This came as a complete and udder surprise to my wife and I, as she was 6 weeks early. Shanna was have some blood pressure issues and the doctor performed an emergency C-Section. Addie will be having to stay in the NICU for a while, while she grows and better develops. It is as a friend that I ask for your sincerest thoughts and prayers for my family during this time. I have no idea the struggle to come, but I know it will not be an easy one. Some of you may remember, HoppersFan Greg ushered in a beautiful baby girl named Rorie, last baseball season. She also had to stay in the NICU for a while. Greg has been a tremendous friend and brother through all this. He has helped me through a lot these last couple days. I would not have met Greg, had it not been for the Grasshoppers. It is because of that, that I believe that God can use anything, even baseball.
I will try to keep you guys up to date on all your Hoppers News, scores, and updates. Please fill free to also check out Bill Hass’ “BILL ON BASEBALL” and our friends over at GREENSBOROSPORTS.COM. During this time of transition, we are really calling on the “HOPPERSFAN ARMY”. Please send us stories, photos, call and we’ll do fan interviews. Let us know what you are thinking. We are reaching out to you guys the fans.
When I was holding Addie earlier I thought I could already hear her saying, WOO WOO daddy, WOO WOO! Life is much more than baseball, but IT’S A GREAT TIME TO BE A HOPPER! Thank you guys for your prayers and continued support!
Wow! What a night at the ballpark! I don’t know where to begin… So I’ll start from the beginning of my night out there. As I walked up to the K zone tonight, where I was mostly hanging out, I saw a familiar face of my friend and Greensborosports.com radio host, Andy Durham. Andy wanted to take some time and interview Don Moore and myself. Don about the Hoppers and the Papa John’s K Zone and myself about the blog. So if you caught any of the pregame on the radio, you heard yours truly! That was a great start to the night to say the least. I love going out to the ballpark and seeing friends, and now, i guess family. After three years at the ballpark, I call it my second home. Which would make all of you, the fans, family.
As I was sitting up at the K Zone I witnessed only my second ever GRAND SLAM out of the park. Too bad it was for the opposing team. I decided then, it was a good time to move to the brighter pastures. So to speak. I’m rather superstitious about that. Thats why it doesn’t matter what my seat is, I generally am not going to sit in it. I walk around and mingle with people, talk to fans, players, coaches, families, friends, and most importantly, the vendors. And I love the Dog Pound this year at the park! If you haven’t had a Chicago Dog or a Milwaukee Brat you are missing out! Tonights special dog was the grasshopper dog. It consisted of a hot dog, slaw, baked beans, stadium sauce, and spicy mustard. I definitely miss Pat with the Taylor Made Kettle Corn. With offerings like the steak and Cheese from Pita Delite and the scrumptious pizza from Hungry Howie’s, I think we will be okay!
Onto the game… Ramon Del Orbe would start the night on the mound for the Hoppers. He pitched 4 innings, allowed 7 hits, and slung 4 strikeouts. Sadly though, one of the 7 hits allowed was the Grand Slam home run. He was quickly replaced by Jheyson Manzueta. He pitched 3 innings, allowed 2 hits, and no strikeouts.
The excitement for this game came in the bottom of the 8th inning. Here’s the scenario, Hoppers down by 1. The score is 5-4 Sand Gnats lead the game. Jesus Solorzano steps up and smashes a solo home run tying the game at 5 apiece. Cody Keefer would then triple on a fly ball to center fielder Brandon Nimmo causing Matt Juengel to score. This would make the Hoppers up by one. And you know the saying, it’s not over till it’s over… well the Hoppers were not ready for it to be over tonight! In the top of the 9th, the Sand Gnats were just like the bugs they are, and just would not go away. They would score 3 more times in the 9th inning. Putting them ahead 8-6 heading into the bottom of the ninth inning. We have called them this several times on this blog, but the HEART ATTACK HOPPERS have struck again. With one out, down by 2, Viosergy Rosa would belt a three run walk off home run to win the game! That made the final score 9-8. HOPPERS WIN! HOPPERS WIN! HOPPERS WIN!
This was definitely an amazing night at the ballpark. Please don’t forget in order to listen by way of radio you must go through our friends at greensborosports.com.
Walk off Home runs, grand slams, hot dogs, and friends… thats what makes tonight… A GREAT TIME TO BE A HOPPER!
Many of you remember Jose Fernandez as the guy that showed up from Cuba to sling fastballs at the upwards of 100 mph. Jose also holds the distinction of providing the SAL League with their first no hitter of the season. And first ever in Greensboro’s history. You may also remember him from earlier in Spring Training he slung a 101mph fastball at Giancarlo Stanton’s helmet. Stanton was treated and later returned to swing another day. Jose is the number one prospect for the Miami Marlins Organization and was expected to start the 2013 season with the Marlins. He was sent down to the Minors Camp March 13. He is expected to start for the Jacksonville Suns.
“He was impressive,” manager Mike Redmond said. “He was exactly how everybody described him. Everybody said that I’d be impressed, and I was impressed with everything — the way he handled himself, the way he pitched, his command, his presence. His mound presence is great. You can tell he’s a competitor. He wants it. And that’s what you want. Those are the type of guys you want in the organization. His day will come.”
“I’m 20 years old,” Fernandez said. “I just can’t be upset. I pitched six innings, didn’t give up a run. I knew, I was going to get sent down, I was ready for it. … They told me, ‘Hopefully this is the last time.'”
Our second installment of this super fan segment finds me talking to one of our Thursday night and Monday night regulars, Lee Clark. Lee is a super guy as well. He is currently working at Ruby Tuesday and he lives in Kernersville, NC. To our far away fans, Kernersville is about 30 minutes outside of Greensboro. You may ask, why is he a fan on Monday and Thursday nights. I’ll tell you why, one dollar beer and hot dogs! I first met Lee back in 2011, up on Natty’s Hill through a then mutual friend of ours, Jonathon Flournoy. I had the opportunity to chat with him a bit recently, and he had this to say…
HoppersFan: How long have you been coming to the ballpark?
Clark: I’ve been coming to the ballpark since it opened.
HoppersFan: What has been your favorite giveaway?
Clark: My favorite giveaway was the replica championship rings
HoppersFan: What was your favorite in between inning game?
Clark: The burger build that I won after falling flat on my face at the very beginning (which I have video of…)
HoppersFan: Do you have a favorite Grasshopper player?
Clark: Has to be woooooosterrrr lol or marcell ozuna
HoppersFan: Is there a particular person on staff or fan in the stands you want to give a shout out to?
Clark: Of course i’d love to give a shout out to my Thirsty Thursday crew. We sit at the same spot on the hill every Thursday zack, lauren, flournoy, and alex.
This concludes this segment highlighting our super fans. If you would like to be included in our Super Fan spotlight please contact me via our facebook page. Our Next installment will be Monday evening when we highlight Debbie Rodriguez. She is a Texas Ranger by birth, Miami Marlin by choice. She is a season ticket holder as well. You can usually find her with a sign or at the tunnel ready to throw an encouraging word at our Grasshoppers. She is a super fan for sure. Till Monday… WOOT WOO! IT’S A GREAT TIME TO BE A HOPPER!