BALLPARK HISTORY

Ballparks are full of history. They each have thier own distinct features, The bricks and ivy in Wrigley, monument park and the mystique of Yankee stadium, the warehouse at Camden, the green monster at Fenway, and more, but when you go to a park its more than to see the game, its to take in the environment. As much as I dislike it, part of going to Turner is listening to the fans do that tommohawk chant. I also enjoy seeing the statues or plaques of players who have contributed to all that history.

Each ballpark also gives you a different perspective of the game. What might be a HR at one park is just a fly ball in another. The site lines, angles and views of a game vary from park to park, even if your sitting in the same general area. Also the in game extras , like the mascot races, or singing the stretch at Wrigley, Sweet Caroline at Fenway, or the 7th inning God Bless America at Yankee stadium.

Another great thing about parks is visiting the local bar near the stadium. Harry Carays and Murphy's in Chicago, Pickles in Baltimore, Hockeytown Cafe in Detroit, Hooters in Anaheim, Rock Bottom Brewery in Denver (and Cinci), Harpoon Brewery in Boston, and Billys sports bar in the Bronx.

Saturday, July 18, 2015

Turner Field , 2015

Only hit Turner field a couple of times this year. 2 of the 3 Cubs games that were here, plus a misc Brewers game.  I was too busy watching the Cubs on TV to go see many games. We never made it on a trip this year either, but at least I got Arizona in early in the season. If a trip fails next year as well, I will hop on a plane and knock out Seattle. I plan on hitting Minnesota in 2017 when I make my next Wrigley trip. I want to wait until most of the remodel is done before I go back up so I can tour it all and take in all the changes. Of course 2017 will also be the new Suntrust Park in Atlanta. Hopefully I will have them all in by then. We'll see!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

Chase Field , 2015

#30


 This park reminds me a lot of Miami's park, but not as "futuristic" of a feel to it. They are both very nice, with retractable roofs, and in the middle of a tight downtown area. There was a huge parking garage next to the park, just like in Miami. That is nice, but kind of sucks for tailgating. Below is the pic as we were driving up to it. I couldn't get a pic far enough away with a decent angle, so this is it. 


 They had all the all-star statues from the various games that used them in the past. These are neat and a nice piece of memorabilia, but as I have seen them in more stadiums, I realize its good they don't do them every year or it would just be a lot of crap. 







As you see at the top pf the post, this is the 30th ballpark for me. I have been to 3 that are no longer in service, so that leaves me 3 left to complete my tour. Atlanta will be open in 2017 so I will be able to hit that one pretty easy, and it will hopefully be # 34 for me. 

Monday, August 11, 2014

Global Life Park, 2014

#29


This is an awesome ballpark. The exterior is fantastic. It has a lot of detail and great landscaping around the park. Jerry world is right next door and I think they might share the parking lot. 


So I have a nice Canon SR1 camera that I bring on these trips, and have spare batteries for it. It would help if I didn't leave the spares in the hotel room. Of course the time I don't bring a spare, the camera dies. At least I had the iPhone, but not as good as the real thing. 


The scoreboard


View from center field before the game. All the pics going forward were with the phone. 

A shot from our seats. 20 rows from the field. great seats and cheaper than Houston, thanks to the Rangers falling off badly this year. 


I like this park a lot, like the bleachers in right field that have that old school feel to them with the poles. I'm sure there are some obstructed views, but all the parks had them back in the day. 


I had to post this as well. While in Texas we had to get some Texas BBQ! It was everything we expected, and then some. 

The game was a blowout with the Rays winning 7-0. The Rangers only managed 3 hits the whole night. There were no HR and the Rays just scored pretty much at will. 

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Minute Maid Park, 2014

#28


The outside of the park is pretty basic. Not bad looking but nothing special. Also it is pretty tight around there so its tough to get a pic of the outside. 



This is the Plaza outside the park that is set up like a mini park. It has plaques of a lot of former players and the statues of Biggio and Bagwell. I don't have a lot of room to talk being a Cubs fan, but they don't even have enough history to fill up the flags on the little bleacher section. 



Once inside, this is a beautiful ballpark. Great site lines, easy to move around, and a good atmosphere. There wasn't a huge crowd, but if there was a bigger one I bet it would have been even better. 


I really like the out of town scoreboard. There have been a few parks that use this type now, and they have a classic look to them. They should put one like this in the new Braves stadium when they build it. 


I was hoping to see a HR by the Astros so the train would do its thing. The only HR's were by Rangers in this game, both Choo and Beltre hit one each. 



I thought this was cool. It looked like just a Bud sign, but it has the state of Texas in the middle of the logo. 




These were the Bud Bleachers just to the right of the batters eye. I like them better that the Bud Pavillion in Atlanta because it is tiered, but you have to have certain tix to sit in there. 


One of the local brewers (I believe). Terry had an IPA from there. 


On to the game. Houston scored the first couple rund and was leading 2-0 in the 4th. Then the Rangers bats came alive. they scored 6 runs in the next 4 innings, including the 2 HR by Choo and Beltre. It was kind of a boring game with the exception of the bombs.


Saturday, July 12, 2014

Wrigley Field, 2014


This is the 100 Anniversary of Wrigley Field, and since I haven't been since 2011, I figured it would be a good excuse to make a trip up there. 
On the way up from Atlanta, I stopped at the Louisville Slugger Museum and did the tour. They happened to be making the bats for the All-Star game that day. The tour was short but interesting. I don't feel like it needs to have its own post, so I am just gonna work it into here. 


I also stopped in Indy and stayed there for the night, so why not catch a AAA game while there. The Indians, who by the way are the Pirates affiliate, were home and playing the Columbus Clippers. It was a very nice park for a AAA park. It was also Star Wars night at the park. 

On to Wrigley. I got to Chicago around 9 a.m. and was gonna take the train into Wrigley from the Midway Airport, but as I got into the City, the rains came hard. I pulled into a parking lot and sat there for about 2 hours hoping this would blow over. The storm was a huge blob on the radar, but moving quickly. Well I decided to go to the train and head into Wrigleyville and if it got rained out, then I would just hang there and do whatever. As I got to Addison on the red line, it was dissipating. I got off and started walking around Wrigleyville and there was 3 hours until game time, so I went to the Cubby Bear and got an Italian Beef sandwich, since in Atlanta there is no one with one on their menu. 


After that I cruised around the outside and saw the Ron Santo statue. This went up a week after I was at here in 2011. I had seen all the others, but not this one. 


They also have murals on the walls surrounding the park. This is just one example, which is from the 1910's. Each one represents a decade in the 100 years. 


Castro and Rizzo going to the batting cage under the bleachers. They didn't do BP because of the rain. 


I sat in the bleachers for the first time. I wanted to do this a few times, but never got around to it. It is nice because you can move around as long as there is room. I sat in right field to start, then moved to left then sat under the scoreboard for a bit. 



This is Arismendy Alcantara. He is a call up from the AAA squad this week and could be key in our future. He is tearing it up in his first 4 games, but we all know that's only 4 games. He is our 4th best prospect and the others will be up by the end of the year or to start 2015. 


Edwin Jackson started for the Cubs. Do I need to say more. He gave up 9 ER in under 4 innings. Considering we lost 11-6, if he would have been just his normal bad self we might have had a chance. 

Here is a pic from the train station. 



Saturday, April 19, 2014

Tropicana Field, 2014


#27


Although it isn't much to look at, I still have to post a pic of the outside of the park. They tried to give it some baseball flare by putting some bats and balls deco around the sides, but they just blend in with the building. 



The front entry of the main gate has a little bit of flair, but it is just mainly pics of players. Of course with the name of the park, there had to be some Tropicana signs. 




If your reading this, you have probably already heard that this park is pretty bad. It isn't terrible. but has plenty of issues. For one, the "grass" looks like it is dying. This is a huge problem because it is fake!! Maybe they want to make it look real so the make it look like it is dying? IDK, but it looked pretty bad. Also from the lower level, you cannot see the bottom of the score board or the video board, which show in game stats, which if you actually follow the game, you want to see. It would probably be a lot nicer if it were a retractable dome. It was a nice night and would have had a better feel if it were opened up. 



On to the game. Well nothing happened in this game that was memorable, unless you count the Yanks getting spanked 16-1. There were 2 players that hit 2 HR each for the Rays, Will Myers and Ryan Hannigan, I was hoping for a third from each, but no such luck. Dean Anna, who has been filling in for Jeter on his off days, did pitch one inning and gave up 2 runs, but he was better than most the other Yankees pitchers. Speaking of Jeter, the reason we mainly went down at this time was to see him, and of course he has been nursing a pulled quad muscle they picked this game out of the 4 game set to rest him. 


Saturday, April 12, 2014

Turner Field, 2014

So this will be my one post on all games that I attend at Turner this year. Now that it has been announced that the Braves are building a new park, I guess I only have a few years left to enjoy this one before going to see the new one. I am hoping that the new one will bring an opportunity to go see the All-Star game.

A's 8/16

I was supposed to go to this game with my cousin, but he unfortunately couldn't make it so I asked Terry if he was free, and he was. We got there and were able to tailgate a bit, smoke a cigar and drink a couple of cold ones. I was hoping to see Samardzija or Lester pitch, but no luck there. It was a competitive game and went down to the wire with Kimbrel walking the lead off hitter in the 9th, but then he shut them down hitting 99 several times on the gun. The Braves won the game 4-3.

Cubs 5/11

This was game 3 of the 3 game set, and the Cubs went down again, 5-2. We were once again in the game, 3-2, until our bullpen came in and gave up 2 more runs. I have been hoping to be at a "milestone" game, you know, 500 HR, 2000 hits etc. Well this was kind of a milestone game. The Cubs lost their 10,000 game in the history of the franchise. Not exactly the type of milestone I was looking for, but still a milestone, I guess. They were the 3rd team in MLB history to reach this mark. The Braves and Phillies have both been there for a few years. By the way, the Cubs hit 10,000 wins back in 2008 so its not like all they do is lose! They are actually 2nd to the Giants in all time wins, although the Dodgers might catch them if they don't start playing better pretty quick.

Cubs 5/10

This was game 2 of the 3 game set. Jeff Samardzija was on the mound and didn't disappoint. Unfortunately, our offense did. Once again we couldn't push a run across and our bullpen gave up just enough to lose the game 2-0. I just got Gen Admission tix last night and moved around the park a bit. I started up top in RF, and was alone up there for the most part, until the rain hit and it became the best seats in the house. I moved away from there after play resumed, and cruised around between innings.
We will try again on Sunday, with Mickey.

Nationals 4/12



So here was the view from my seat. This was the RF corner and front row. Of course no home run's came our way tonite, although there were 3 hit in the game. The Braves won the game 6-3 and it was a pretty entertaining game. Rendon led off the game with a solo HR, and it was not what was too come. The Nats only managed to squeeze a couple more runs in in the late innings but couldn't overcome the 4 run 1st by the Bravos. BJ Upton hit a HR in the 1st, and got a mixed reaction from the crowd, he still has a lot to prove before he will get full support from the fans. Freddie however hit a shot to CF, because I was in right, and the crowd went absolutely crazy, including myself. I don't typically root for the Braves, but I really like Freddie Freeman. The fans booed Bryce Harper as usual, but the fans in my corner were really tough on Nate McClouth. They rode him for the whole game and I guess they think he was the reason they didn't win while he was in Atlanta. I never liked him as a player, but he was not the reason the Braves didn't win. 

It was a crazy busy afternoon as far as tailgating goes. The first Saturday of the season and the weather was awesome. 75, sunny, with a slight breeze. They were doing some serious partying out there today. I brought my cousin Mickey to the game, I told him ahead of time that it would be like that, but he didn't believe it until he saw it. I am curious what the tailgating will be like when the new park comes along, since there are gonna be a lot of bars and places to eat right by the park. 

Sunday, March 30, 2014

2014 predictions

So once again, I can see how bad my predictions can be. Here we go....

AL
East
Rays
Red Sox (wc)
O's
Yankees
Blue Jays

Central
Tigers
Royals (wc)
Indians
Twins
White Sox

West
Angels
Mariners
A's
Rangers
Astros

Red Sox over Royals in WC, Tigers over Red Sox and Rays over Angels in DS, Tigers over Rays in CS

NL
East
Nationals
Braves
Phillies
Marlins
Mets

Central
Cardinals
Pirates (wc)
Cubs
Reds
Brewers

West
Dodgers
Giants (wc)
Dbacks
Rockies
Padres

Pirates over Giants in WC, Nationals over Cardinals and Dodgers over Pirates in DS, Nationals over Dodgers in CS

World Series

Tigers over Nationals in 6 games. Detriot's pitching finally comes through in the playoffs.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

An add-in game!

With Shawn being a Yankee fan, we have to hit at least one Yankee game this year since Jeter is on his farewell tour. While one of our possibilities is a trip to Yankee Stadium this year, that's not set in stone yet. We might end up going to Texas, which one of the trips has the Yanks at the Rangers. Well one thing we can do is go to Tampa where a division rival plays and we have lots of chances. We decided on Saturday April 19. Terry, Shaw'ns dad is going with us and were meeting another friend in Tampa. We get to see Jeter at least once in his final season, and knock another park off our list. I know the Trop isn't much to see, but it still counts, and the Rays/Yanks are pretty competitive against each other. Looking forward to it.





Thursday, December 5, 2013

Planning Next year's tour

So here's the plan for next year. Well, maybe. The first challenge is that we need to do the trip(s) either before May 15 or after July 4. There are scheduling issues during that time frame. That said, I only have 1 park left in the NE, that being Yankee Stadium. Shawn needs to see Citi and Nationals park as well. I have some dates at the end of April that would work for all 3. BUT, we did the NE last year at that time and it was nice for 2 days then in Philly it got real cold real fast. I would still like to complete the NE and then we can focus on other areas for a while. But this trip only knocks 1 off MY list. 

 Yankee Stadium

Next option, which I am all for , but would need to get Shawn to buy into, is Minnesota. I want to go to an All-star game. I need to see Target Field. Hmm?  Being that it is out of the way of other parks, why not dedicate the trip to there, and kill two birds......
It wouldn't be too much more $$ that a typical 3-4 day park trip. I know that if you fly in the park is about 2 miles from the airport so we could get around w/o a problem. 
If not the All-star game, we can get to Target in about 7 hours from Chicago, so I could work it in with a trip top Wrigley. Either way, this will only knock one off MY list

Target Field

The last option would be to go to see the 2 Texas teams. This one is pretty straight forward. They are about 4 hours from each other and we could get there on the day of game 1 and drive to game 2, then come home on day 3. Pretty straight forward. Lots of date options as well.
 Also, it probably wont be 28 degrees in April in Texas. 
This will kill two off my list.


Minute Maid Park

I have a lot of dates lined up and ready to go. Just need Shawn's input. 
I will be hitting up Tampa this year as well, even though it is not a lot to see, it is still a MLB park. 
With 7 left to start, if we do NE or Target Field, I will have only 5 left, or if we do Texas that leaves me with 4. Plus I am trying to convince my wife that Seattle is a worthy vacation spot to sneak that in. 



Sunday, September 29, 2013

Playoffs 2013

NLDS Game 1 Braves vs. Dodgers 10/3/13






The Chik-fila cow had a new saying. They need to find some that make puns against the opponents of the braves. Like this one could have been something about "dodging burgers". 


Here is the logo on the field just inside the baselines. I am surprised it didn't say NLDS on it, but I guess with the wildcard game now they dont want to have to keep changing it for those teams that play in those games. 


Heres "Homer" walking around before the game. 


Chipper threw out the first pitch. That was kind of cool. With his blue jeans and hat he looks like he belongs in a Wrangler commercial.  


The match up was Clayton Kershaw vs. Kris Medlen, which was a great pitchers duel on paper. It ended up not being that way. In the 1st, Medlen struck out the side, but that didn't last. The Braves just forgot how to play defense. There were 2 plays that should have been errors that went for hits. Overall, Medlen wasn't that bad, but once a few runs were scored on him, against Kershaw, you knew the Braves were in trouble.   


The Dodgers won 6-1.