We’ve visited Medellin and Barranquilla, so now it is time for Monteria, Colombia. Monteria is home to the Monteria Leones and is also the cattle raising capital of Colombia. What that means is you can get a really good steak on the cheap. Super cheap relative to the US. I forgot the name of the small restaurant I’d go to, but a typical steak lunch was about $6. Good stuff. There was an oddly placed Chinese food restaurant around the corner from our hotel, but I could only take so much fried rice – they piled it up like a mountain on a plate, which was usually good for lunch and dinner.
Anyways, what the stadium in Monteria lacked in aesthetics, it made up for in atmosphere. This place was packed every game with loud fans – this was my idea of latin winter baseball. And what made it much more interesting was the configuration of the dugout. The fans literally surrounded us because the dugouts are set far back and most of the team sits in chairs on a grass area that is just out of play.
Video and lots of pics below:
The photo above gives a good look at the fans right on our backs. Not only were they “enthusiastic”, but they were ready. Any time a player struck out, they had a little chant ready, although I never did figure out what they were saying. It was much funnier to me when we scored or one of our guys hit a home run, because then the fans would chant “beso, beso” (kiss, kiss) as the player got his congratulatory high-5′s from the rest of the team.
As if they needed it, the fans got those thunderstick things, which I don’t like at all, and there were a few of the dreaded vuvuzelas in there too. Any time a rally got going for Monteria, it would sound a little bit like this:
I have to say, the games were a lot of fun. Monteria seemed like the next best team in the league, and we always knew it would be a challenge and fun atmosphere…a lot different from the often empty stadiums of the Florida State League!
Check out the rest of the photos below. And let me know if you ever see another 14-inning manual scoreboard like they had there.
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