Thursday, September 27, 2012

SxSE: War Eagle

Aubie the War Eagle Tiger
Photo by Auburn Alumni Association flickr.com
♦ Samford Stadium At Hitchcock Field At Plainsman Park
  • Opened: 1950, frequent renovations since
  • Capacity: 4,096
  • Named after: Billy and Jimmy Hitchcock, brothers who became two of Auburn's most noteworthy athletic performers during the 1930s
♦ Auburn's Plainsman Park, rated by Baseball America in 2003 as the top baseball facility in the country, was last updated in 2004. Auburn has board approval to renovate Plainsman Park, paid for through private funding.

"We need to improve the player amenities and development areas for our players," said Pawlowski, who isn't certain when construction will begin. "We're trying to do stuff with the locker room, batting cages, and practice infield. You look at some of the best facilities in the country and they happen to be in our own league." (al.com, 5/22/12)

♦ If there's a college rivalry more fierce than Mizzou vs. Kansas, it would be Alabama vs. Auburn.  The baseball teams meet for an annual non-conference rivalry game called the Capital City Classic in Montgomery, Alabama, at Riverwalk Stadium, home of the AA Montgomery Biscuits.

♦ Auburn University Plainsman Parking Lot (auppl.com) is, without a doubt, my favorite internet site in all the SEC.  Perhaps I like it so much because it's the only other true fan blog (besides SimmonsField.com) I've found in the SEC.  The AUPPL blogger-in-chief does a lot of opinion blogging, plus a lot of stat analysis.  Good reading.  In August, Kevin Ives, the AUPPL blogger, joined the newly minted College and Magnolia, the new Auburn blog on the SBN Network.  So we may be seeing more of his commentary at the new place.

A Love Song for (Auburn) Baseball (Auburn University Plainsman Parking Lot)
The closest temple where I can express my love for the game remains at the corner of Donahue and Heisman. The oddball on Auburn’s campus. It’s the last bastion of the common fan; all-inclusive and a place where everyone and anyone can watch a game. College students have begun filling up the parking deck; catching a game without a ticket while enjoying libations and the liberation of a sunny Saturday. I sit in my normal spot inside the stadium where I just chuckle and think that, when I was a student, that would be exactly where I would be. I’d be perched in that concrete stack like bats in a cave. Also from my seat, I can look out past the outfield and see kids playing on the grassy hill. Blankets laid out for couples. A grill fired up. A radio turned to Rod and Andy. Sitting in a unique spot. If Plainsman Park is the sun and all of my personal fandom revolves around it then these fans are the corona. Just on the outside. Still halfway in the game and halfway enjoying just another day. Flaring up bright and hot as the game itself gets more intense.

The hill is flanked by two uniquely different but disarmingly similar features of Plainsman Park: the mini-Monster and the “K Korner”. Even the most casual baseball fans recognize the Monster and it’s homage to its big brother in Fenway. Personally, it’s the last line of armor for Auburn’s defense. An opposing player may have just knocked a bottle rocket to left field, surely it’s gone and it will be runs on the board, but the Monster has other ideas. It wants the Left Fielder to have a chance. So, with a mighty DONK he spits the ball back in to play…where some lazy runner is tagged out at 2nd Base.

The “K Korner” sits on the opposite end of the outfield. Another turret of protection. Housing only the truest of Auburn baseball fans. Sometimes loud and rowdy. Often polite and knowledgeable. They serve a greater purpose of providing fan interaction and getting into the minds of opposing right fielders
♦ Best joke: When a minor fire broke out at Auburn’s football dorms, about 20 books had been lost in the fire. This prompted Steve Spurrier to reply “the real tragedy is that 15 of them had not been colored yet.”  (gamedayr.com)

♦ Auburn's mascot is the Tiger, but they also pay homage to "The War Eagle".  There's at least four different stories explaining the origin of the War Eagle, which is the subject of the official Battle Cry and Fight Song:

War Eagle!
War... Eagle, fly down the field.
Ever to conquer, never to yield.
War... Eagle, fearless and true.
Fight on, you orange and blue.
Go! Go! Go!
On to vict'ry, strike up the band.
Give 'em hell, give 'em hell;
Stand up and yell, Hey!
War...Eagle win for Auburn,
Power of Dixie Land!

This is Auburn Baseball





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