If you can appreciate a nice, smoked chicken wing (like most of us Americans), then you should’ve undoubtedly been inside of Salem Memorial Ballpark on Thursday evening!
Three top caliber Roanoke restaurants brought their signature wings and sauces out to Salem for fans to enjoy while the Red Sox looked to steal game two, of four, away from the Frederick Keys.
With all three suppliers combined, there were about 12 cases of chicken wings and each case weighed close to 160 pounds. I tried my best to get an idea of how many individual wings were actually cooked but even with the assistance of Red Sox facilities coordinator, Matt Bird, we weren’t able to come away with an exact number.
Too many to count, literally.
It was also $1 beer night at LewisGale Field…meaning wings AND beer!
The wings, the beers and the 3,226 fans in attendance made for an intriguing night with the Salem Sox despite the 5-3 loss.
As I sat in the press box with my window cracked, there seemed to constantly be something happening below on the main concourse. Typically there’s a decent crowd on hand but tonight there seemed to be something more.
Naturally, I walked down to check it out and less than five minutes lapsed and I saw two people bickering about whose wings were better.
The fact that workers had to eventually separate them after things escalated gave me a good indicator of how serious some were about their wings and which sauces are better.
But, to put all individual opinions to rest and to reach a consensus, each fan that ate was required to vote for the wings in three separate categories and here were the results…
Most Creative- Corned Beef & Company
The Hottest- Billy’s Barn
The Overall Best (trophy included)- Allsports Café
After the wing-awards were given out and fans had settled into their seats with full stomachs, there was still plenty of baseball to be played.
Though things may have slipped away from the hands of fans tonight (due to wing sauce), Fredrick would not let that happen to them. The Keys took and early lead (2-1) in the fourth and then never let go of it from there.
Salem made an exciting attempt at a comeback in the seventh inning, led by the bottom of the batting order, but failed to overcome the Keys throughout the course of the evening.
Salem out hit the Keys with 10 hits yet still couldn’t find a way to gain ground in the runs column. Salem also managed five errors on the night on both sides of the ball, which is very atypical of the Sox and may have been what kept the guys off their game.
Friday will be the next chance for the Sox to get back at the Keys. The probable starter for the Sox on Friday is Mike Augliera (6-6) who will look to lead the team from the rubber.
Friday night’s promotion will be a visit from the Utility Man! Also, members of the Silver Sluggers will get free admission along with a player poster giveaway to the first 500 fans in attendance.
Though I’m optimistic of said Utility Man, I think it is going to be hard to beat the Wing Fling promo and the crowd that came for it.
For the record, I’ll say that Wing Fling has been the best promo I have seen since covering the Sox.
Also, be on the look out for the next “Insider Extra” here on The Roanoker blog with Salem’s very own Aussie, Stefan Welch.