Sunday, August 17, 2014

Portland Sea Dogs STAR WARS Night

Saturday, August 16th was the first Annual STAR WARS night for the Portland Sea Dogs, a minor league baseball team.

Saturday I made the 130 mile drive down to Portland for this event.  Also participating would be two Stormtroopers from the 501st and the Mandalorian Mercs.  

For me, one of the biggest challenges of an event is parking close enough.  Well, I got a great spot but was also's notorious for receiving foul balls!  However, it worked out great, close to our setup spot and at the end of the day, no damage to the van!

We had a pretty nice changing room and myself, R2, the Mercs and our troopers got all prepped...

The Portland Sea Dogs ball games are very family friendly with a lot of kid events before and during the game.  The plan was to greet the crowd once the gates opened, then get prepped for the pre-game parade with all the kids that dressed in Star Wars garb.  

We spent some time on the sidelines while the costume parade took shape.  For me, I hadn't planned on R2 doing this but after managing to drive up on the dirt perimeter track, R2 drove quite well.

R2 up on the clay track perimeter

Look, packed clay and I'm leaving tracks in the dirt!
With everyone formed up, we followed the parade around the park.  

And we drove so very, very well until...the final turn, coming from right field on down to the dugout.  The center wheel casters (roller blade wheels) sunk in about 4 inches into the loose dirt.  Thankfully R2-D2 didn't face-plant itself, the drive wheels simply dug into the dirt too.  The center foot shell was in the dirt too, it was that deep.  With the help of the staff, we tried backing R2 up and going forward elsewhere in the dirt track, but it was all loose turf.  So, we picked R2 up and drove back on the grass (which went really well!)

Parade done, it was time for the players to come out!  The Sea Dog players were sporting "Chewbecca-style" jerseys, which will later be auctioned off, with the proceeds going to Make A Wish. was game on!  In extra innings, the Sea Dogs won, 1-0!

After the game, there was an impressive fireworks display with Star Wars music blaring.  A real treat for all us Star Wars fans!

We all stuck around for more pictures with the fans and after many hours on our feet, got ready to head for home.

Dome removed for transport...less bouncing around that could damage the electronics.  All packed up for the ride home.

Overall, R2 performed well!  The center foot sinking into the dirt has caused some issues with the caster bearing jamming up, so R2 has made a few sudden stops due to that.  R2 is about due to have that center foot caster dismantled and inspected to see how bad the bearings look.  Those bearings allow the center wheels to swivel around and may be due for a replacement.

More pictures are available on the Sea Dogs Facebook page