Apr 14, 2022 - Sports

Sights and sounds from the Clippers home opener

The view of Huntington Park with the Columbus skyline in the background.

The view of Huntington Park from the Tansky Club section. Photos: Tyler Buchanan/Axios

There's a memorable line from the book "Where Nobody Knows Your Name" about Triple-A baseball: No one on the field actually wants to be there.

  • Only one step below the Major Leagues, 125 miles separates fame at Cleveland's Progressive Field and relative obscurity at Columbus' Huntington Park.
  • Players, coaches and even umpires wish they were up there in Cleveland instead.

Driving the news: The book's title is no joke. The Columbus Clippers and Syracuse Mets wore nameless jerseys at Tuesday's home opener, meaning you really had to be paying attention to know who's who.

⚾️ The game featured players who long for stardom, a day in the sun or to just keep hanging on. Here are three:

  • Gabriel Arias, a top shortstop prospect whose call-up to the Guardians is a matter of when, not if.
  • Mitchell Tolman, a steady infielder who has played 589 games for eight minor league teams but not one for a MLB club.
  • Mike Montgomery, a 32-year-old lefty who pitched the final out in the Chicago Cubs' World Series win over Cleveland in 2016 but has spent the past few years toiling in the minors and Korea.

In the stands: On Opening Day, fans enjoyed $6 seats, 10-cent hot dogs and, finally, proper spring weather.

  • A man carried a entire tray of hot dogs that would've required taking out a second mortgage at any Major League stadium.
  • A child waited patiently near the bullpen for a relief pitcher to finish warming up to ask for the baseball.
  • My wife and I watched other families as much as the game … realized by next year's home opener we'll have our first-born with us … and agreed that while players may rightfully wish they were somewhere else, there were few other places we'd rather be.
A view of Huntington Park from the outfield section.
A view of Huntington Park from the left field bleachers.

If you go: The Clippers are at home through Sunday. There are drink deals tonight for Thirsty Thursday, and the Easter Bunny will be available for photo opps this weekend.

  • Tickets: $8-21.

For the record: The Clippers (5-3) won Wednesday night's game 5-0 — again. It was the same score as Tuesday's home opener.

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