The Cats and the Canaries

On Thursday night I went to Raley Field, home of the Sacramento River Cats to see my English football team, Norwich City, play a pre-season friendly.

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It was a night of firsts

The first time I have seen a football game played in baseball park.
The first time I have been to a minor league baseball ground in California.
The first time I have seen Norwich outside of England.
The first time I have drunk a beer whilst in the seats watching a Norwich game.
The first time I have seen Norwich win a pre-season friendly; they won 3-0 against Club Dorados De Sinaloa

The Sacramento River Cats are the AAA affiliate of the Oakland A’s. AAA is the level below the major leagues, so their team includes many players who have worn the green and gold of Oakland this year.

I have been to four other baseball parks in California; all of them in the majors. The one other minor league park was in Peoria, Illinois. Raley Field is an excellent stadium with a good view across the city skyline.

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At games in England, beer cannot be drunk in view of the pitch. There are no such restrictions here, and there was a bar with a wide selection of beers. I had an excellent drink called “Back in Black” from 21st Amendment Brewery in San Francisco. It is a black pale ale, which may sound like a contradiction in terms, but was a fascinating, tasty diversion from the norm; despite the anti-British rhetoric on the brewers web-page.

There were two games at Thursday’s event; hence the different teams on the pitch in the daytime photograph and the more sparsely populated stands.

After a win on Thursday, Norwich’s next game on their West Coast tour is Saturday night against San Jose Earthquakes.

My only quibble was the stadium announcer pronouncing the ‘W’ in Norwich.

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Published in: on 20 July, 2013 at 6:54  Leave a Comment  

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