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Baseball in Charlotte, NC

Jess and I saw our first live professional baseball game of the season over the weekend at the Charlotte Knights' Castle. We figured triple-A is the next best thing to the majors, right? If we couldn't get our Padres fix, could a Knights game ease some of our jonesin' for live baseball?

In search of answers, Jess and I took the drive into South Carolina on Saturday night. The Charlotte Knights play their home games in South Carolina even though Charlotte is actually in North Carolina. Nobody knows why. One thing we did learn is that the original Knights baseball stadium was actually a few blocks away from our current house, but was burnt down by arsonists. What kind of monster would purposely set fire to a baseball park?

This guy wasn't actually at the Knights ballpark, but a few exits past in a city park that had like 8 softball fields on it. I'm pretty sure it's Casey of the infamous Mudville Nine. You know the Tony Gwynn statue they're going to unveil at Petco? I'm hoping they pose Tony exactly like this statue. That's flashy.
That might be tough to see, but it's a banner with Brian Giles' face on it. It was so comforting to see Brian Giles' face. I stood and stared at the banner for a while. Jess had to pull me away.

"It's like he's staring right into my heart," I said.

"Sure it is," Jess said.

"My heart!"
After taking our seats, I flipped through the program a little bit to see if there were any names I recognized. Lo and effing behold, Wiki Gonzalez is staring right back at me. But it's not fat faced Wiki Gonzalez. Instead it's some skinny Wiki Gonzalez.
A picture of fat Wiki for reference.
So I was shocked as you are to see some skinny Wiki Gonzalez, but sure enough, when he stepped out for warm ups, there he was. Skinny as all get out. I thought about getting an autograph, but then I thought about how fat he got after the Padres offered him the contract back in the day and thought better of it.
One thing that was weird was the fact that the Knights had three - count 'em, three - inflated mascots. The Padres just have Frankenfriar. This is a picture of Harry Canary. One "trick" that Harry Canary is able to do is spew white, silly string from his vest. The kids loved having this giant inflated yellow man with glasses shoot his junk all over them, but I thought there was something disgustingly inappropriate about it.

I also had my dukes up just in case one of the rednecks nearby were to look in my direction and make a crack about Harry Canary being me in fifty years. White hair. Big head. Glasses. Politically incorrect yellow skin. I would've had to defend my own honor, but I can't deny the similarities.

The Knights lost the game 4-1, but there were fireworks afterwards and Jess and I were both able to get hot dogs and ice cream, so that was nice. Also, for field box seats it was only $12 so that was really nice. Next time we go, I'll try to get a better picture of Skinny Wiki (he didn't play on Saturday) and a couple of pictures of the other inflated mascots. For now, it was sufficient to satisfy a little bit of the baseball jonesin', but not all of it.