McKechnie Field is a gem. The park, standing since 1923 and home to the Pirates since '69, holds only a cozy 8,500 people. But while the stadium lets you dream of catches with Dad and other old-fashioned things like churning your own butter, it hasn't figured out how to beat the Florida heat. In fairness, nobody has.
As I wandered the concourse in the 90-plus degree weather, feeling sweat drip off my body like I was a sponge being wrung out, I spied an oasis: Ice cream. But was it real? Could that swirling mixture of creamy vanilla and sunkissed orange actually exist?
Oh, it did.
My frozen salvation in a cup was the the Mixon Fruit Farms Orange Swirl. Made from orange groves that border Pirate City, where the team's Minor Leaguers receive their instructions, each spoonful added energy and vitality to my body, making me feel like I myself could be a professional ballplayer.
Of course, that could have been from heat hallucinations or dehydration, but I prefer to think that it was the combination of sweet vanilla and tart orange that made everything okay -- and kept my organs from boiling inside my body.