Even the best kept secrets eventually get spilled. The Leesburg Lightning is no exception.
Among the power hitters, double plays and curve balls, the Lightning experience delivers a big dose of summer nostalgia. During the home games, played at Buddy Lowe Field, a few bars of classic songs blare from old scratchy speakers to provide commentary to particular plays. "Free Ride" roars when a batter is walked. "The Streak" blares every time a runner steals a base, leaving fans wondering about the last time they heard that song.
The small town experience is captured when players pass a bucket through the stands for donations because there is no admission cost for this summer entertainment. After one inning, the run of the Lightning Bugs ensues which gives the team's youngest fans the opportunity to run the bases.
The Lightning, a Florida Collegiate Summer League baseball team, consists of talented players from colleges throughout the country that compete in their off-season. Commonly referred to as the Florida League, the Lightning is as close to a minor league team as Lake County claims.
In keeping with America's favorite past time, there are plenty of hot dogs, peanuts and eager kids vying for foul balls. The traditional seventh inning stretch is welcomed after sitting on the aluminum benches, but seasoned fans come prepared with their own stadium seats.
The whole experience is priceless Americana and well worth the short drive up US 441. There are only a handful of home games remaining, including a double-heade. The complete schedule can be viewed here.
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Above: Buddy Lowe Field in Leesburg sits on the lakefront. Fans watch from Pat Thomas Stadium.
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