Macon Magazine

April/May 2018

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2 2 | M A C O N M A G A Z I N E A P R I L / M A Y 2 0 1 8 IN MACON'S CENTRAL CIT Y PARK, a baseball landmark remains. For years, it wasn't exactly the looker in downtown's dynasty of developments. To the naked eye, it wasn't much more than weathered seats with a tendency to flood. But the humble stadium carried a tune that withstood the test of time. A Clint Eastwood movie has been filmed there, Chipper Jones has played there, and the most-people-playing-the-kazoo-at-the- same-time world record attempt even failed there, but now it feels different. e Macon Bacon has a chance to strike a chord with history. Luther Williams Field, the almost 90-year-old stadium, once again sings the sacred sound of Southern baseball. "I think once (Maconites) experience the Macon Bacon, the value and the fun and entertainment will speak for itself. Hopefully, it will catch on as it did in Savannah as the place to be during the summer," said Todd Pund, president of the Macon Bacon. "e Bacon are a part of the Coastal Plain League, a highly competitive summer league for college baseball players, where they use a wood bat and try to impress scouts over the course of the warmer months. Close to 1,400 players have been drafted by Major League teams and over 100 have played in Major League Baseball." Macon families will even welcome players into their homes for the season. Imagine being the host family to future Cy Young Award winner Justin Verlander or two-sport athlete Russell Wilson, two of the CPL's most notable alumni. "e memories and the stories this creates can make lifelong relationships," Pund said. e second-oldest minor league baseball stadium will look a little different and Pund said he hopes it will spark a reaction and that the games will have something for everyone. "Fans can expect a re-freshening of the old, as well as new developments such as the Cabana Suites, Party Deck, Macon Beer Garden and more," he said. "Our goal is not to have any tickets available for walk-up purchase, especially for weekends." He said the Macon Beer Garden has the potential to appeal to people of all ages, especially the younger crowd that is into craft beer. Yash Patel, owner of Macon Beer Company, is eager to see the added spark the Bacon will bring downtown. In fact, the team's official beer from the Macon Beer Company is the "Macon Plays" brew, a lager with maple syrup. Patel also mentioned the possibility of serving a piece of bacon in the beer at the park. "We definitely want to support anything downtown," Patel said, adding that he believes the atmosphere will attract millennials. "You can get good craft beer and hang out with your friends. It's a huge draw." e Macon Bacon will start to sizzle in their first game May 31 on the road against in-state rival and Facebook foe, the Savannah Bananas. Along with their mascot "Kevin," the team will start bringing home the bacon at Luther Williams Field on June 1 against Lexington County. Learn more about the team at Luther Williams Sizzles Again BY HANNAH JETT-MOORE

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