BASEBALL FOR NERDS: A TRIP TO HIGH DESERTPosted: August 8, 2012
This is one from the archives, and when I say archives, I mean last spring. Since I’m living in California, I thought it would be cool to get to all of the minor league parks in the state. If you’d like to keep tally with me, so far I’ve done Lake Elsinore Storm, Rancho Cucamonga Quakes, Inland Empire 66ers, Lancaster JetHawks, and High Desert Mavericks, all part of the High-A California League. Sometimes the ball can be a little rough, but I’ve seen a few guys who’ve made it to the majors, most notably Brandon Belt and Mike Trout. Plus, there’s always the added bonus of the weird people you see in these out-of-the-way towns. Cool times.
I’ve also seen the Fresno Grizzlies (Giants AAA). That leaves five High-A teams and one AAA squad, all in the central and northern parts of the state.
A few things about High Desert. First, and I don’t want to be mean, but it’s a desolate place. I definitely felt a bit uneasy there. Second, the town is actually called Adelanto, and at 2951 feet above sea level, it’s the MiLB park with the fifth highest elevation, according to A Sports Nation Divided. The Mavericks are a Mariners affiliate.
On the night I went (April 16, 2011), Franklin Gutierrez was supposed to be rehabbing, which brought some guy from “the other side of the mountain” out to the game. Boy, was he ever disappointed when Franklin wasn’t in the lineup! The parents of one of the guys from the Lake Elsinore Storm (Padres org, who the Mavericks were playing that night) made an appearance and brought their Orange County attitude with them.
I don’t recall the score, but here’s some photos. While the park has seen better days, the staff was really nice and obliging in my picture requests.