• Alabama,  ballparks,  Georgia,  Massachusetts,  Mississippi,  New Hampshire

    Reviewing my 2017 ballpark resolutions

    As 2017 comes to a close, it’s time for the annual review of my New Year’s resolutions.  Unlike people who resolve to lose weight or be kinder to others, which are all great goals, mine focus on travel and more specifically they focus on baseball travel. My first resolution for 2017 was… In 2017, I resolve to see a @FisherCats or @PortlandSeaDogs game with @joshpahigian. #PlayBall — Steven Ericson (@geoSteven) January 1, 2017 While attending the American Association of Geographers (AAG) Annual Meeting in Boston in April, I organized a field trip to see the Portland Sea Dogs and got to meet Josh at the game.  It was great getting…

  • craft beer,  Mississippi

    A pint at Slowboat Brewing in Laurel, Miss.

    A town of less than 20,000 people in rural Mississippi wouldn’t strike many people as being a community with a craft brewery.  If you haven’t heard of Laurel, Miss., then let me introduce you to that town of less than 20,000 people in rural Mississippi with its own craft brewery. Slowboat Brewing Company is owned by Kenny and Carrie Mann, a husband and wife team who spent many years as homebrewers before opening Slowboat in 2015.  The brewery aims to be a community gathering space, which is clear from its open layout about multiple seating spaces.  However, before life as a craft brewery the building served many purposes from a…

  • Mississippi

    Five things to do on the Mississippi Gulf Coast besides beaches and casinos

    When many people think of the Mississippi Gulf Coast as a vacation destination they likely think about the beaches and casinos.  However, there’s a lot more to do besides relaxing on the beach or trying to hit it big at the casino.  Here’s five things you can do on the Mississippi Gulf Coast besides beaches and casinos. Ohr-O’Keefe Museum of Art (386 Beach Boulevard, Biloxi, MS 39530) Known as the “Mad Potter of Biloxi,” George E. Ohr created ceramic works that clashed with the aesthetics of 19th century American ideals.  In 2009, Ohr received recognition for his genius when New York’s Metropolitan Museum of Art included some of his pieces…

  • craft beer,  Mississippi

    A pint at Chandeleur Island Brewing in Gulfport, Miss.

    Like many commercial brewers, Cammack and Cain Roberds started as homebrewers before making the jump to professional brewing.  In 2012, after Mississippi changed its law to increase the permissible ABV level from 6.25% to 10.1%, the Roberds decided it was time to open their brewery.  After finding a historic building in downtown Gulfport, Chandeleur Island Brewing Company opened in 2014. Despite the brewery’s location in Gulfport, its name comes from the Chandeleur Islands (pronounced: “shan-duh-leer”), which are a set of barrier islands along the coast of Louisiana (actually the easternmost point in the state).  The Chandeleur Islands are a well-known sport fishing area and part of the Breton National Wildlife…

  • craft beer,  Mississippi

    A pint at Lazy Magnolia Brewing in Kiln, Miss.

    There isn’t a long history of current craft beer in Mississippi, but it all starts with Mark and Leslie Henderson.  After Mark served an apprenticeship at Crescent City Brewhouse in New Orleans, the couple opened Lazy Magnolia Brewing Company in rural Kiln in 2005.  The brewery temporarily closed following the impact of Hurricane Katrina on the Gulf Coast, but the brewery was up and running within a month. Since its opening Lazy Magnolia has fought an uphill battle to brew and distribute craft beer within the state.  However, the changes in Mississippi’s beer laws wouldn’t have happened without Mark and Leslie opening Lazy Magnolia.  Given the brewery’s role in Mississippi…

  • craft beer,  Mississippi

    A pint at Southern Prohibition Brewing in Hattiesburg, Miss.

    Mississippi: The final frontier… of craft beer. Maybe it’s a bit of an exaggeration to claim that Mississippi is the final frontier of craft beer, but it’s that attitude that the folks at Southern Prohibition Brewing channeled when starting the brewery in 2013.  A sentence on their website describes the reasoning behind their name because “our name is a daily reminder of the hurdles that exist as a craft brewery located in South Mississippi.” Despite some of the hurdles that exist to brewing craft beer in the American South, Southern Prohibition has cleared many of them to create a widely-known regional brand and more importantly, a fun and enjoyable taproom in…

  • craft beer,  Mississippi

    A pint at Biloxi Brewing in Biloxi, Miss.

    Like many other microbrewery owners, Mark Cowley started as a homebrewer before seeking investors and opening his own brewery.  However, unlike a lot of American homebrewers, Mark got his start in England while serving in the U.S. Air Force during the 1990s when craft breweries were exploding onto the scene across the pond.  Eventually after a transfer to the Mississippi Gulf Coast and following his retirement as a weather forecaster for the Air Force, Mark finally opened Biloxi Brewing Company. The story behind the brewery’s location is also quite compelling, but let’s start with what people see when they arrive at the brewery. Usually a door doesn’t merit a closeup…

  • ballparks,  Mississippi

    My night with the Biloxi Shuckers – July 14, 2017

    The newest stadium in the Southern League opened nearly two years ago to much fanfare, as the stadium endured numerous construction delays and the team played its first 25 home games on the road at a number of different ballparks (read more here).  So I was thrilled when I finally got to attend a Biloxi Shuckers home game this summer. However, I did not plan the date to attend the game.  My wife Katie scoured the Shuckers promotional scheduled picked the date because the team was giving away a bobblehead commemorating outfielder Brett Phillips chasing away an opossum (see video here). So after visiting Biloxi Brewing Company, which is just…

  • craft beer,  Mississippi

    A pint at Lucky Town Brewing in Jackson, Miss.

    At the end of June, my wife and I made a road trip from our home in Alabama to visit her parents in Tulsa, Okla.  Driving straight through would take about nine hours excluding stops, so we decided to extend the trip with a few stops along the way.  My wife suggested we stop for a Mississippi Braves game so we could pick up a Dansby Swanson bobblehead (see it here).  Additionally, it meant we got to explore our first Mississippi brewery together: Lucky Town Brewing Company. On the day we arrived, we were limited in what we could do at the brewery because Mississippi law prevented people from directly…

  • Alabama,  ballparks,  Georgia,  Maine,  Mississippi

    Revealing my 2017 ballpark resolutions

    I’m now into year three of writing baseball-travel resolutions (read 2015’s resolutions here; read 2016’s resolutions here).  These resolutions/goals mostly focus on attending Minor League Baseball games, but sometimes I add a Major League Baseball goal. The first resolution for 2017… In 2017, I resolve to see a @FisherCats or @PortlandSeaDogs game with @joshpahigian. #PlayBall — Steven Ericson (@geoSteven) January 1, 2017 Over the past few years, I’ve gotten to interact with Josh Pahigian, who has written numerous books about attending MLB and MiLB games (see his Amazon author page here).  He lives in Portland, Maine, and teaches at the University of New England.  During this past season he reached out…