Tuesday, December 25, 2012

NCBBBQ Tour Stop #9 & #10 : Greater Charlotte

Date : September 2nd 2009

Lexington BBQ #1
Carolina Beer Company
Kannapolis Intimidators
Charlotte Knights

Attendees: Me

So this is it.  The end of the road.  And well, I kind of messed it up.  Basically the only way I could manage to visit the last two teams, the Kannapolis Intimidators and the Charlotte Knights, in this same year would be to go to the both on the same night.  In reality this didn't turn out to be true, since Charlotte made the playoffs, but I didn't know this time.  Given that choice made, to drive 45 minutes between games, you had to know that this night would not be the perfect end and well...

OK It started out great.  I hit one of the classic "Western" North Carolina BBQ joints, Lexington BBQ #1. 
Always busy, and it lives up to the hype.  The BBQ is very very good, not the best, but very very good. The sides are exactly as they should be. It's a mecca and frankly you should go. Not much else to say. 
After this it was ALL down hill.

I tried to stop at the Carolina Beer Company but uh oh - they had recently closed their tasting room.  How about that? And it wasn't like I could have known because they updated their web presence about once every couple of months or so.  Turns out this was a prelude to the slow death of the brewing company, one that had at one time been a true brewery and kind of morphed into a bottling company of really blah beers.  Eventually in 2011 they would sell their brands to Foothills Brewery (you may remember them from my Winston-Salem trip) and they've used their skill to make them into some nice brews. Anyway I've gotten off the subject.  Here's a pic of a water tower of the placeI couldn't get into.

Then it was off to the races so to speak.  First to Kannapolis. 
Buy a ticket.  Watch an inning. Over to Charlotte.
Buy a ticket watch a few innings then back to Kannapolis for the last few innings there.

The stadiums? Both pretty standard cookie cutter stuff.  The Charlotte one is interesting because it's really in South Carolina a few miles south of Charlotte and built in the middle of like 40 empty acres so in theory it could be expanded real easy for a major league team.
Now thanks to some terrible attendance numbers they are going to build a stadium closer to downtown. Good theory.  Kannapolis is your standard fare except for one terrible dark secret.

You see, before they were the Kannapolis Intimidators they were the the Piedmont Boll-Weevils.  That's a great name, right? Much better than Kannapolis selling out to the Dale Earnhardt family. That'r right a baseball team named for a NASCAR driver.  North Carolina, right? But that's not the part that sticks in my craw.  You gotta get your money from somewhere.  The thing that bothers me is changing the name killed the greatest team slogan I've ever heard. Here you go

The Piedmont Boll Weevils.  They're Un-Boll-Weevable!

That's FANTASTIC.  If you don't think so, I don't want to know you. The fact that isn't officially used any more is a travesty and frankly will always put the Intimidators on the bottom of my minor league list.

Any way.  Last out!
Shake hands!
And it's over.  It was a hell of a fun summer.

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