It was a beautiful evening for America’s past time sport. The teams gathered early for warm-ups at Ford Field. The stands were filling slowly and young fans stood near the dug outs hoping to get a glimpse and maybe an autograph from their heroes. The atmosphere was relaxed and typical for the start of any softball game. This night, however, would permeate with drama as the innings unfolded.

It was more than Schalder’s curve ball which kept the Snow Pigs guessing at the plate. It was more than than the almost flawless defense which continually frustrated the hitters on the opposing team. It was more than the bats of the G.H.O.S.T. cracking hit after hit. Scoring run after run.

There was magic in the breeze that surrounded us on this night.

The tension escalated as the team and the fans began to fathom the un-imaginable. “Relax and have fun out there” were the cries from the dug out as we took to the field in the last inning, clinging to an 8 run lead.

The Pigs are a proud team and refused to go away. A rally by the opposing team in the last inning was all to familiar to the G.H.O.S.T. Victory snatched away and the disappointment that goes with it has troubled this group in the past. But this Monday evening was different. After all, there was magic in the breeze and this group of fighters walked away with a 13 to 7 win.

The masses didn’t flood the streets and there were no car fires or riots in Vail on this evening to celebrate one of the greatest victories in modern sports. Rather the team had a quiet dinner and a couple (hundred) drinks and reflected about the achievement. I asked one player what’s next? His response while sipping on a pitcher of beer, “This hasn’t even hit me yet, ask again tomorrow”. I guess I should have clarified that I was talking about the game.

Greg Z

Antlers at Vail Offers Prime Season Lodging, Lift Tickets at 25% Off

Vail, Colorado – July 1, 2009 – Whether the predicted economic recovery comes in time for the 2009-2010 ski season is anyone’s guess, but Vail Valley offers winter discounts and bargains galore for skiers and snowboarders accustomed to recession deals.

At the height of ski season, the Antlers at Vail hotel offers its “Value Vail” package from January 9 to February 10, 2010 with 25% savings off regular prices. Rates for the five-night package start at just $235 per person for four people in a two-bedroom condo – including four-day lift tickets for all four skiers!

General manager Rob LeVine recommends booking early to secure a package. “Despite last year’s rocky economy we were at near capacity levels throughout the ski season,” LeVine says. “We’re anticipating more skiers and snowboarders this winter, so we recommend that travelers lock in dates and packages as soon as possible.”

The Antlers Vail offers condominiums ranging from studio suites up to four bedrooms with fully-equipped kitchens, fireplaces, outdoor balconies, free Internet access and free heated indoor parking. Every room provides plenty of space to spread out and all the comforts of home, and the Antlers’ Vail-insider staff is on call to answer questions big or small (check out the attached “10 Freebies in Vail Valley this Winter” sidebar for additional savings ideas from the snow-savvy staff). Numerous restaurants, galleries and shops are within walking distance, and the free Vail town shuttle stops just footsteps away. For more information, call 1-800-843-8245 or visit


10 Freebies in Vail Valley this Winter

The Antlers at Vail hotel’s staff of savvy locals offers ten ideas for enjoying the snow scene – without opening your wallet once:

1. Free culture –– The Colorado Ski and Snowboard Museum and Hall of Fame features over 1500 pieces of memorabilia celebrating 130 years of Colorado skiing. Admission and 90 minute parking are free. Open daily from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.

2. Free concerts –The Street Beat Concert Series features rock, blues and gospel music every Wednesday night. Concerts start at 6 p.m. at Check Point Charlie in Vail Village.

3. Free transportation – the Vail Village shuttle runs throughout the village offering hop on, hop off convenience and easy access to the village’s numerous shops, restaurants and galleries.

4. Free light show – Thursday Night Lights at Beaver Creek features skiers with glow sticks traversing down the mountain, followed by a fireworks show.

5. Free parking – Guests at the Antlers at Vail hotel can park for free in the hotel’s heated parking garage. Other guest perks include free high-speed internet, free hot chocolate and coffee in the lobby, and free passes to the Vail Athletic Club.

6. Free ice skating – Nottingham Lake in nearby Avon is open to the public for ice skating seven days a week weather permitting. Skating is free, and skate rentals are available for a nominal fee.

7. Free gondola rides – Enjoy the mountain views, on-mountain dining and kids’ activities at the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola. Starting mid-December and throughout the season, people on foot can ride the gondola for free from 2 to 9 p.m. Tuesdays through Saturdays.

8. Free ski & snowboard competitions – The Session, Mountain Dew Vertical Challenge, American Ski Classic, Malay Day, World Pond Skimming Championships and U.S. World Cup competitions are held throughout the season at Vail and Beaver Creek and are free.

9. Free entertainment – The Helmut Fricker Band performs throughout the season on the Plaza in Beaver Creek on Wednesdays, Thursdays, Saturdays and Sundays from 2 to 4 p.m. and Fridays from 12 to 2 p.m.

10. Free offers Check the Eagle County web site for the latest deals; recent promotions have included free airline tickets for children traveling with parents and free arrival day lift tickets.

Media Contacts: Rob LeVine, General Manager, Antlers at Vail, 970.476.2471; or Darla Worden, WordenGroup Strategic Public Relations,, 307.734.5335