Greetings from Midland, Texas!
According to popular legend, Midland’s name is a derivation of “Midway,” the original name given to the point located approximately half the distance between El Paso and Fort Worth as the iron horse flew. Legend continues that “Midland” was adopted as the town name not long after the discovery was made of a number of other small Texas towns named Midway. Undoubtedly, that resulted in some very confusing days for the Pony Express riders before it all got sorted out.
Does that answer your question of what I’m doing in Midland? No it does not.
Am I here to visit what is reported to be the childhood home of the 43rd President of the United States? Hardly, but since I’m already here...
Baseball is what brings me to this part of the country- specifically, Double A baseball. After a couple of seasons of a buddy telling me how enjoyable ballgames are here in Midland, I decided to accept his offer to take a road trip over to check it out.
My first impression is that Citibank Ballpark is a very nice facility. The fans that turn out to support the Midland RockHounds, are typical, if not fewer in number that what I would have expected. It is now my understanding that that majority of the quarter-million people in this area are most likely too busy sitting at home watching Friday Night Lights on tv and getting pumped up for the high school football season than to be bothered to head out to enjoy a baseball game.
It is reported that Midland receives approximately 14.8 inches of precipitation each year. Personal experience suggests that the vast majority of that amount arrives in the form of a single thunderstorm in the late morning/early afternoon hours each May 2nd. Thankfully the field at Citibank Ballpark drains quickly!
A quick glance around reveals very little in the way of scenery beyond a forest of mesquite and a never-ending sea of oil derelicts and pumpjacks. Although I’m in no position to write a travel brochure for the city, it is worth noting to my “Hollywood” readers that Midland’s seemingly abandoned business district would provide a prime location for the long overdue remake of Omega Man.
The Midland RockHounds defeated the Corpus Christi Hooks in each of the three games I attended. The overall production was eerily similar to the Isotopes games in spite of the differences. It was very pleasant to attend a few games as a fan, collect a handful of Texas League baseballs during batting practice and get several baseball cards autographed. I would definitely recommend that anyone passing through the area schedule an evening to take in a ballgame here in the Permian Basin.