Day 3 of #calledup brought us to Reading, Pa. to watch the Fightin Phils take on the New Hampshire Fisher Cats. The Fightins are the Double-A Affiliate of the Philadelphia Phillies and are the third Phillies team we’ve seen this week.
The stadium has a haphazard style (fans undoubtedly say “eclectic”). The entrance from the main gate feels like a midway, with lots of food areas packed in to the left and right. It opens on to a small courtyard with more food and some kids games. From there you head into the concourse, which passes underneath the main seating area and is packed with even more food as well as restrooms and easy access to the giftshop.
The main seating area, which dates back to its construction in 1950, consists of cool 1950s modern plastic seats. The vintage cup holders will accommodate your 18 oz. beer … but forget about the 32 oz. There’s no upper deck seating in this 9,000 seat stadium, but there is a large overhang over the main area to keep the sun off.
From there it turns into a mishmash. Beyond the concourse there’s a picnic area (complete with small bar!) jammed in under the bleachers, followed by a boardwalk-style outfield bar that doesn’t really fit the visual style of the stadium. Admittedly, our home field of Coca Cola Park has packed in its own questionable amenities (*cough* Bacon Strip) but CCP retains its cohesion. It’s not that it’s old — the CrossCutter’s Historic Bowman Field is even older, but it retains its early 1900s charm. FirstEnergy Stadium just felt sort of “meh”.
It was great seeing Derrick Mitchell playing again (a former IronPig sent down to AA), particularly his lead-off home run. It was down hill from there, with uneven pitching and blown plays throughout the game. The Fightins kept up their last place ways, losing to the Fisher Cats 5-1.