High among the hills of North Central West Virginia lies Monongalia County Ballpark, home of the West Virginia University baseball team and the minor league West Virginia Blackbears.
It’s a lovely night for a baseball game. The ballpark is built above just about everything else, meaning you have commanding views of the surrounding area.
Tonight’s game is between the Brooklyn Cyclones (a New York Mets affiliate) and the West Virginia Black Bears (a Pittsburgh Pirates affiliate). Readers of this blog may know that I am a huge New York Mets fan, but tonight I’ve got to root with my roots.
The ballpark is well-staffed with plenty of friendly faces and a promotions crew running around tossing tees to the waiting fans.
With a ballpark of this size, there just is not a bad seat in the house. At full capacity, the park seats only 3,500 fans. That means you can get up close to the game’s future stars.
Netting separates the fans from the field – and it’s a good thing tonight! One of the batters have broken their bat and the barrel has become stuck on the first base side.
Pepperoni Roll Race
One of the great silly traditions in baseball are the mascot races. Pittsburgh’s PNC Park has the Pierogi Races. Here in West Virginia at Monongalia County Ballpark, they race the local cultural cuisine – the pepperoni roll.
The pepperoni roll is a meat and bread combination that originated in my hometown of Fairmont, WV at Country Club Bakery. It was a popular food for coal miners to take into the mines for their lunch. Now they’re available at every convenience store in West Virginia and many restaurants have their own spin on it.
Get yours with sauce, cheese and a mix of hot and sweet peppers if you want to eat one the Jon the Road Again way.