Get Balls And Autographs at Appalachian Power Park

The Get Balls And Autographs at Appalachian Power Park
by Malcolm MacMillan
  • Stand along the sidewalk during batting practice
  • Outfield concourse gives great shot at HRs during game
Standing on the concourse behind the outfield fence gives you a great shot at snagging a home run ball.

At any level of baseball, batting practice gives you your best shot at snagging a baseball. BP is long over by the time the gates at Appalachian Power Park open 30 minutes before first pitch, but with the right approach, you shouldn’t have trouble adding a ball to your collection anyway. Get to the park a couple hours early so you’re there during BP, and find a spot along Smith Street or Morris Street, which intersect behind center field. Along each street, the sidewalk is directly behind the ballpark’s outfield concourse, and it won’t be long before balls are coming your way. Home runs don’t have to clear the fence separating you from the park; once they sail over the outfield fence, they’ll bounce off the concrete concourse and fly out into the street, where you can chase them down – after watching for passing cars, of course.

Once the game begins, sitting or standing along the concourse behind the outfield fence puts you in prime position for grabbing a home run ball. If you’d rather have a shot at a foul ball, the open concourse that runs down each baseline is a spot to patrol. For long foul balls, check out the Backyard Grill picnic area in the left field corner.

It’s easy to add to your autograph collection during your visit to Appalachian Power Park. South Atlantic League players are often happy to sign before and after the game, and with a spot close to either dugout (West Virginia is on the first base side) you’re bound to get a handful of signatures. Ballpark ushers allow anyone to hang out around the dugouts before the game, but will ask you to return to your ticketed seat about 20 minutes before first pitch.

After checking out the layout of Appalachian Power Park online before my visit, I knew the park would give me a good shot at snagging a home run ball. I spent a couple innings on the concourse behind the left field fence, and had my chance on a long home run by Greensboro Grasshoppers catcher Tony Caldwell. I couldn’t quite get to the ball in time, and it bounced out into the road. Lucky for me, a passing pedestrian grabbed it and tossed it to me.