When team spirit soars sky-high it lands in Almost Heaven. Cheer on these Mountain State teams this summer:
Bluefield Blue Jays at Bowen Field
Nicknamed “Nature’s Air-Conditioned City,” at 2,611 feet above sea level, Bluefield experiences unusually cool summers with the temperature very rarely reaching 90 degrees, which makes it the perfect place cool down your baseball fever. Watch the Bluefield Blue Jays, rookie affiliates of the Toronto Blue Jays, take on their opponents on historic Bowen Field. Home games have a classic vibe. Instead of booming sound effects and distracting glitz, Bowen Field has simple concessions and games. Sack races, dances and meeting mascot Baby Bird are highlights.
While you’re in town, be sure to climb up to the East River Mountain Overlook, which provides beautiful views of Bluefield, the surrounding mountains and makes for the perfect stunning picture. Get a bite to eat at one of the local’s favorite restaurants for a taste of Bluefield like the RailYard, Big Whiskey BBQ Co. and the Blue Spoon Café.
Princeton Rays at H.P. Hunnicutt Field
12 miles away from Bluefield, Tampa Bay’s rookie-level affiliate, the Princeton Rays, are back in action this summer. If you can, enjoy one of the most intense rivalries of America’s favorite pastime at a home game between the Blue Jays and the Rays. Whichever team wins more of the 11-game season series between the two cities takes home the coveted Mercer Cup. For added fun be sure to meet the team’s mascot, Roscoe the Rooster. He makes his roost at Hunnicutt field, where he emerges during games and interacts with fans with corny jokes and horseplay.
During your trip, stop by the charming nearby town of Bramwell and take a driving tour along “Millionaire Row,” a section of affluent homes that are a picturesque reminder of the area’s rich history. Enjoy a light lunch at The Corner Shop then drive and explore Princeton before the game for countless historic sites including the Princeton Railroad Museum, Mercer County War Museum, or the Clay Memorial Park.
West Virginia Black Bears at Monongalia County Ballpark
A minor league team based in Granville, the West Virginia Black Bears are named after the state animal of West Virginia. While you’re at the game, say hello to Cooper the Bear, the bold, brave and funny mascot for the Black Bears. At home games during the summer, the ballpark hosts entertaining themed events including Bark in the Park, allowing fans to bring in their dogs along to the game and Bobble-head Night, where fans receive a bobble-head of featured star players. After the game every Sunday, kids are invited to run the bases to close out the game day festivities.
Before you make your way to the game, take in the heavenly outdoors by hiking one of several trails at local favorite Coopers Rock State Forest, or check out the panoramic views at Dorsey’s Knob, one of the highest points in Monongalia County.
West Virginia Power at Appalachian Power Park
West Virginia’s capital city of Charleston is home to the West Virginia Power, the Class A South Atlantic League affiliate of the Seattle Mariners. A trip to Power Park means affordable fun for the whole family, with plenty of crowd-pleasing promotions throughout the season. Be sure to stick around for the post-game fireworks show.
Make the most of your trip to Charleston and experience the vibrant downtown museums, shops, art galleries, restaurants and live music scene. Stay close to town by visiting Kanawha State Forest, a short 7-mile drive, for hiking, mountain biking or cross-country skiing. Choose any one of the 14 hiking trails or 9 mountain biking trails winding through the 9,300-acre forest.
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