Beyond Destin: Pensacola Blue Wahoos
Destin has a lot to offer, and although its beaches are world-famous and its seafood delicious, there are hundreds of hidden treasures in the surrounding area of Northwest Florida that yield for fun adventures, day trips and weekend getaways. This column which will be featured once a month, will follow the wanderings of reporter, Savannah Vasquez, and explore the many opportunities in Destin’s surrounding area. I invite you to explore with me Beyond Destin.
“Take me out to the ball game, take me out with the crowd, buy me some peanuts and Cracker Jacks, I don’t care if I never get back…”
This famous song by Jack Norworth is the classic seventh inning stretch tune for every professional baseball game. I have always been a baseball fan, and although there are no major league baseball teams in the area, don’t snub your nose to the minor league, as the Pensacola Blue Wahoos offer an up-close and personal baseball experience.
The Pensacola Bayfront Stadium is smaller than major league fields, which means every viewer is closer to the action and therefore has better luck of catching a foul ball, or even a homerun. For as little as $5 you can get a ticket to sit in the grass, or meander the park during the game and enjoy all the baseball you can soak in. Bring a few bucks more and snag a seat in the infield.
The fun of the game starts the moment you enter the stadium, as attendants greet you at the entrance often with free giveaways. The night Cristian and I visited happened to be nationally televised and the theme, “Pink Out Pensacola,” which meant free pink Wahoos T-shirts for everyone, so check the schedule to see what that week’s theme will be.
Once inside the stadium, the smells of popcorn, hotdogs and soft pretzels will make you hungry for some good all-American ballpark fare. If you aren’t hungry, however, there are plenty of free activities to enjoy while you wait for the game to begin such as a pitching station, a poster-making station, and my favorite, simply perusing the gift shop.
After the National Anthem, the game gets underway and the staff keeps the play exciting with foul-ball sound effects, cheer-prompts, sectional giveaways and inning-specific activities for kids. For example, during the fourth inning, kids get the chance to run across the field and chase a giant cockroach in the Roach Run.
Make sure to bring a ball-cap, and a glove, and be ready to root-root-root for the home team because each time the Wahoos are at bat the DJ will announce the batter with a song chosen by that player, followed by their position. It’s a fun way to identify the players and wonder what song you would choose if you were on the team.
After the game, be sure to stick around, as the players are often available to sign items. Hurry on out to the game, as this year’s season is wrapping up this weekend, or mark your calendars for next season, it’s well worth the trip.
"For it’s one two, three strikes your out at the old ball game!"
The Pensacola Blue Wahoos play their home games at the Pensacola Bayfront Stadium located at 351 West Cedar Street in Pensacola. Ticket prices range from $5 to $50 depending on seating area. The last home games of this season are Sept. 3-7 against the Mobile Bay Bears. For more information visit http://www.milb.com/index.jsp?sid=t4124.