The Boise Hawks play a baseball game under the setting sun. Image via Twitter/@TracyTierney99
The Boise Hawks — the Colorado Rockies’ short-season minor league affiliate — has taken to blocking out the sun at games thus far this year, and it’s pretty ingenious.
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The Colorado Rockies have a new minor league affiliate in Boise, Idaho this season — the Northwest League short season Boise Hawks, who opened play on Thursday with a home victory against the Tri-City Dust Devils. And, now, the Boise Hawks have a problem.
Erm, not “now” — they’ve had this problem for the last 20 years — but only now is the team attempting a unique and perhaps disastrous solution to it. But, this is what minor league baseball is all about, right?
So here’s the deal: the sun sets over the third base side of the stadium every game, and blinds fans on the first base side of seating while the game goes on, so much so that people in Boise apparently actively walk away from games if there are only first base seats available right before first pitch.
Now, the Hawks are going to do something about it — with a blimp! Instead of building up a new structure to block the sun (the Hawks don’t have the money to come up to code with the Americans with Disabilities Act), the Hawks are going to float a blimp throughout home games and adjust it on a pulley system to block out the sun for fans on the first base side of the field.
From the Idaho Statesman, more on the, um, choice:
"The Hawks will float the blimp between home plate and the third-base stands in an attempt to create shade for fans along the first-base line. Ropes will tie it to the ground with a pulley system, allowing the club to lower the blimp as the sun sets.“It’s not one of those things where we’re promising every person who sits in the first-base section that you’re going to have some shade,” [Hawks president Todd] Rahr said. “We couldn’t do that. But this is our attempt to try to start solving that problem.”"
According to KTVB in Boise, the Hawks debuted the blimp on Friday night in their second game of the season, and, well:
"The blimp, which was intended to block out the sun for fans sitting near the first-base line, did so for only a handful of patrons."
So… maybe this won’t work out.
Either way, long live minor league baseball, man. Forget the big contracts and the flash of the big leagues (I mean… I’m sure all that’s nice though), this minor league goofiness is the kind of stuff you remember the rest of your life, guys. Enjoy it.