Tuesday, August 14, 2018

Minor League Baseball Experience - Greenville Drive

A few weeks ago I had the pleasure of taking my wife along with me while I visited some of my work locations out of town. We left the kids with the in-laws and headed down I-85 to Greenville, SC for a few days.

Being that my work basically paid for the hotel and our meals, we had a little extra to spend on entertainment. One evening we finally got around to seeing Jurassic World: Lost Kingdom at the local theater. For the next evening we wanted to do something a little different and my wife, who's great at finding inexpensive things to do when we travel, noticed the Greenville Drive had a home game. If you aren't familiar with lower A baseball, the Drive are part of the Boston Red Sox organization and used to be part of the Braves organization. We made the short drive to downtown, found a large municipal parking lot where we parked for free, then a short walk over to the stadium.

Upon walking up to the stadium I noticed a little house across the street from the entrance. I had saw earlier on TripAdvisor I believe that there was a "Shoeless Joe" Jackson museum, but I didn't bother to see where it exactly was. Turns out it was right at the stadium. I took a picture of the historical marker outside the house/museum.

Very cool...I had no idea that Joe Jackson had Carolina roots! I wished the museum had been open, but according to the sign out front it appears it's only open to tours by appointment. Too bad...

I was very impressed with Fluor Field, granted though I've only ever attended two other minor league baseball parks before. By the way, if you're interested Fluor is one of the world's largest engineering, procurement, fabrication, construction and maintenance companies in the world. Now I can see why this ballpark was so nice...Fluor has money!!

Just inside the gates before we walked up the stairs to the main concourse was the Greenville Hall of fame if you will. Basically information plaques of some better known players that made their way through Greenville. Of course is the aforementioned "Shoeless Joe" Jackson, but others such as Tommy Lasorda, Jim Rice and my man John Smoltz! Always fun to learn some of the legends that passed through or got their starts in these smaller cities and venues.

Upon walking in I couldn't help but to notice the buildings that lined part of the outfield. We ended up sitting over near that section and it appeared as if the right side of the building were condos. How awesome would it be to walk out on your tiny patio/balcony and watch a baseball game on a cool evening?! At first I didn't notice Greenville's version of the Big Green Monster, but I would see it better once I got to our seats.

The view was so cool that my wife insisted we take a selfie after entering the stadium. That of course is my wife on the left.

Unfortunately I was given one of the programs for the evening so I really was flying blind. I really had no idea who any of the players were and had to rely on the Public Announcer guy and the info placed on the scoreboard. I did notice that the left fielder was none other than Jordan Wren, son of former Braves General Manager (and current front office executive for the Red Sox). If nothing else we had a great view of the mini Green Monster in left field!

The Drive were playing the Hickory Crawdads that evening and I was pretty much clueless as to who those players were as well. However none of that stopped me from hitting the team store during the 7 inning stretch to see if they had any baseball cards for sale. After all, this is a trading card blog so I have to tie in cards in some way!

At first I didn't see anything outside of hats, t-shirts, foam fingers and mini bats...then on the counter right by the register I saw approximately 3 or 4 2018 team sets left. I grabbed one for $10 and made my way back to my seat. I didn't end up opening the plastic wrapped stack of cards until I returned home. The design is rather nice and at 30 cards I felt it was a good deal. Who knows, perhaps one of these players will be the Red Sox's next Mookie Betts? I may eventually do a post just on this team set if I feel there is enough interest.

Overall it was a great evening of fun. The weather was beautiful with low humidity, it was a new experience for my wife and I, the food was good and everything was pretty affordable. I end up in Greenville several times a year, but I'm usually by myself and so busy with work that I often don't have time to do much else. I'm glad for at least this once I was able to carve out a little free time while on the road and what better way to be entertained than by taking in a baseball game?


  1. Wow. That's one heck of a minor league ballpark.

  2. Very cool trip. The Red Sox 2017 #1 Draft Pick Jay Groome is on the Greenville roster, but he's out for the season. Still, if that pack includes him, he's a good prospect.

  3. Yes, I was very impressed with just how nice and up kept the stadium and the grounds were.

  4. Nice looking ballpark...yes, reveal the cards!

  5. My new parent company has a big office there. I'll have to check out the park if I ever find myself visiting.

  6. The financial outlook holds varied challenges for many organizations. Collections