Having off time from work I enjoy hitting the open road, driving to new places and checking out “things.” The other day I made the drive, about an hour and a half, to Auburn University, home to the Tigers. With some advice from my friend Kelly, who graduated from there, I took the rest upon myself to tackle this campus in a few hours.
After parking my car, I put money in the meter and happened to look down. There I saw a “walk of fame” type stone of current Atlanta Braves pitcher, and former Auburn star Tim Hudson.
I then walked across the street to the famous Toomer’s Drug Store, that has been there for over 100 years. I ordered up a large cup of their famous freshly made Lemonade, and I can say I was quite happy.
Directly across the street from the drug store is the famous tree that everyone toliet papers and parties around after big football wins. It is probably the most visited site that sits on the edge of campus. There was a fence going all around it so you couldn’t get to close, probably after the idiot poisoned it last year.
As you walk around campus, and throughout the whole town of Auburn, there are constant reminders that the 2010 Football team won the BCS National Championship.
The thing I must do on all my campus tours are to see as many athletic facilities as possible. Some become very hard to get into, settling for walking around the outside, but at Auburn I had great success. My first stop was at the very large football stadium. I was shocked at the number of bleachers in the stadium, with very few actual seat backs.
The next stop was to the baseball stadium, where I found an open gate. As you can see from the pictures, the field is being torn apart and worked on. Four former players have their pictures on the outfield fence, Tim Hudson, Frank Thomas, Bo Jackson and Gregg Olsen. I have seen nicer college baseball stadiums, but this one was pretty cool.
Directly across the street from the baseball field was a fairly large arena. I figured this is where they played basketball and I wiggled my way into it. Things inside were fairly old, and reminded me of many arenas I have been in. I walked out onto the floor and took some pictures. All the lights were off so I had some trouble getting good ones.
Walking back through campus I found a map at the student union bookstore. On the map I spotted another arena, that said “new and under construction.” Very confused I headed that direction. I was greeted by a brand new state of the arena athletic facility for both teams to play in. This building was incredible with a build in Hall of Fame, gift shop, luxury boxes with outdoor patios and much more.
Although I was melting from the heat, I enjoyed my visit to Auburn. I finished it off with some Fro Yo at a new place called Chill and continued back to I-85 to head to Montgomery, Alabama.
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by Dusty Baker, Cincinnati Reds Manager