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So what are you going to do now?Posted Tuesday, June 15, 2010, at 2:51 PM
With the end of the high school spring sports season comes that void that many fans find themselves facing.
If you're like me, you don't have a little one at home to take back and forth to practice and for summer league games.
So that means you're left with an emptiness, an abyss in your sports fans side that very few things can really seem to fill.
Well, take heart my friends, there is always something to do in the Wabash Valley when it comes to sports.
Let's look at this from an expanding perspective, you know the kind that says get out your map, draw a circle and go from there.
We sports fans in this area have a unique opportunity. We have the benefit of all kinds of levels of sports to choose from when it comes to picking a venue.
We can go north or south, east or west and find something to keep us entertained.
To the north we have the Indianapolis Indians AAA affiliate of the Pittsburgh Pirates.
While most of you are aware and probably familiar with the Indians, bet you didn't know that next month a local tie will more than likely be at Victory Field when the Charlotte Knights (AAA affiliate of the Chicago White Sox) pay a visit.
Now retired Linton-Stockton baseball coach Bart Berns' son-in-law Matt Zeleski is a pitcher for the Knights and brings a local interest to the July 23-26 series.
If that's not enough of a reason to drive to Victory Field, then take into consideration the promotions going on during the series.
On Friday, July 23 it's fireworks night, on Saturday it's among other things Autograph Night, where the players and coaches of the Indians line the concourse and sign autographs prior to the start of the game.
Then there's Sunday's game which features a thing called jersey pillow being given away, it might be worth the trip just to see what that is. Then when the series wraps up on Monday it's dollar menu night where hot dogs, peanuts, popcorn, chips and Cracker Jacks are all just a dollar.
While the Minor League Baseball schedule and pitching rotations are so fickle that Zeleski may pitch for Charlotte, it's hard to tell when, so choose your days wisely.
OK, so maybe that isn't your thing, or maybe you don't want to drive the distance to Indy, understandable.
Take into consideration checking out a game played by the newest entry into the summer collegiate leagues known as the Terre Haute Rex.
For those of you who aren't familiar with the Rex, they are a Terre Haute-based entry into the Prospect League -- a wooden bat collegiate summer league that includes teams from Ohio, Pennsylvania, Missouri, West Virginia, Tennessee, Indiana, and Illinois.
According to the team's website tickets are $5 and games are played at Bob Warn Field in Terre Haute.
The head coach is former major league catcher and Terre Haute car salesman Brian Dorsett.
Finally, if you're in for a short daytrip to the south you can pay a visit to Evansville and the Evansville Otters of the independent Frontier League.
It offers fans the chance to watch baseball at what most scouts and others consider to be a high A or low AA level.
Just to keep things short, I'll mention some other non-baseball-related venues or ideas such as auto racing at the various dirt tracks in the area, including Linton's own Bakersfield Raceway Park that features both dirt track sprints, stocks and go-karts.
Stocks and sprints are the featured performers on Friday nights, while the go-kart racers take to the track on select Saturday's throughout the summer.
For straight-liners (drag racing for you non-gearheads) there's several venues offering shows throughout the summer including, but not limited to, Raceway Park in Indianapolis and the granddaddy of all drag races, the U.S. Nationals over Labor Day when the summer comes to an unofficial close.
And for more of a local flavor there's Lyons Raceway Park (formerly known as E.T. Raceway) which offers NHRA as well as other sanctioned events on most weekends.
Well, I hope this gives you an idea or two as far as keeping you entertained this summer.
Rick is a sports writer with the Greene County Daily World. He can be reached at (812) 847-4487 or by E-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org .
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