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.

Sunday, August 15, 2010

Busch Stadium III, 2010

Busch Stadium
This was the last of our 3 game trip for 2010. I have talked about the look of a stadium as you approach it. This one is sweet. I love the red brick and the small details are nice. Its also cool that there is an elevated crosswalk right across the street which makes for a great place to take pics. The statues spread across the front and the clubhouse shop are sweet. I was surprised that I saw almost zero Cubs stuff for sale there. I saw more in KC than in Busch. I'm sure there are a lot of Cubs fans that live in the area, plus they visit there 3 trips a year. Overall this was one of the nicest parks I have seen. The Cubs won 9-7 and took the series. Too bad we cant beat the Bucs and Stros!

Busch Stadium
The views from everywhere in the stadium were great. You can see the arch in the background from almost everywhere, except the outfield bleachers, while watching the game. It gives you something to look at between innings. Site lines were fantastic. We moved up around the 8th inning to about 8 rows up right near 3rd base. We went over there for a few pics and the usher said, "just go sit down there if you want" and we didn't want to disappoint her. The game was a sellout but a lot of empty seats. Maybe due to the heat, and the fact that the Cubs are not in the race. Plus a lot left early. The Cards fans were very cordial, but I did see a lot of "Cubs bashing" t-shirts. I wonder if they wear them all the time or just to Cubs games?I also saw a lot of mixed couples, you know half Cubs half Cards.

Busch Stadium scoreboard
The scoreboard here was pretty nice. Lots of detail around it, Including all their pennants above it on the right. I have to be objective when I go into enemy territory I guess, and it didn't bother me, but when I look at it now, I have to admit it makes me jealous. They also have their retired numbers under the main board, including the microphone for Jack Buck. The clock with the Bud and team logo surrounding it is pretty sweet as well.

Here is Shawn at Busch. We agreed that this was the nicest of the 3 we went to on this trip. Plus we went to the arch after the game which was cool as well.

Busch Stadium
There are 10 small statues in front of the main gate, and while full size statues are sweet, these are very well done. I put together a collage of them. They are as follows L to R, 1st row- Enos Slaughter, Dizzy Dean, Ozzie Smith, Red Schoendienst, Stan Musial; 2nd row- Lou Brock, Bob Gibson,George Sisler, Rogers Hornsby, and James Bell. There is also a large statue of Stan Musial at the 3rd base gate. I guess he would be considered their greatest since he has 2 statues? Whats gonna happen when Albert retires, does he get 2?

Busch Stadium

Jack Buck has a statue on the first base side. He was an all time great announcer and deserves this. When are the Braves and Phils going to follow suit?
Busch Stadium

Saturday, August 14, 2010

Kauffman Stadium, 2010

Kauffman stadium
This was game 2 of our 3 game trip in 2010. This is a beautiful ballpark and a great place to watch a game. They recently did a remodel, and I was not there before that, so I cant compare. I can say that the concourses are roomy, it is a beautiful layout, and the site lines are great. One of the updates was that they added seats in the outfield and standing room space under the fountains (see below) called the pepsi party porch. It was 2 levels of standing room and being right under the fountains on a hot day is nice because you get the mist from them when they are on. This area was packed and anyone can hang there. There is not much to look at from the exterior view, but it is still a beautiful stadium. With the updates, it should be around a long time, and is a diamond in the rough.

Kauffman stadium
The scoreboard here is very impressive. It has been recently updated with new video and is sharp. It is a lot bigger than it seems in pictures. I was pumped about seeing it, because it is a neat feature at the park, and it still blew away my expectations. The pics do not give it justice.

Kauffman stadium
The statues here are nice and spread around the standing room area in the outfield. They are George Brett, Frank White, and Dick Howser.

Kauffman stadium statue

Kauffman stadium statue

Kauffman stadium statue
We moved up to the third base line around the 8th inning here as well. This pic is at night and we chose Teixeira just for Beau (Shawn's wife). He is her favorite Yankee. You can see the quality of the scoreboard here.

Kauffman stadium scoreboard

The Yankees won 8-3, and A-Roid hit 3 A-bombs while going 4-5. We didn't get to see Mariano, because of the score, but did see Jeter and Jorge.

Friday, August 13, 2010

Great American Ballpark, 2010

Great american ballpark
Was here in August 2010, the 1st of a 3 game trip. The view coming up to the park wasn't great. It hides a little where it is at. I know that sounds crazy with a huge ballpark, but I guess if you have been there, you know what I mean. The main entrance is kind of bland, although there are some cool statues there(see below). Although once you get inside it is very nice. The site lines are great. The field is beautiful. The steamboat replica in right/center field is kind of the signature of the park, and it is impressive. Fireworks shoot out of the smokestacks when a Red hits a HR. The Reds were playing the Marlins and won 7-2.

Great american ballpark
Here you see a close up of the stacks. You can stand underneath them and watch the game, and there are misters and fans that blow on you. And a great view as well. Pretty convenient when you start to melt after the 1st inning on a hot day. This was HOT. 96 degrees and sunny. Our seats were 4 rows up from the field in left center, and I think they were the last two seats in the stadium to get shade relief;). These misters are in a couple places and very nice. We moved up to the third base line around the 7th inning here and I just missed a foul ball. It hit my hand but I couldn't get a grip on it. The guy behind me got it when it hit the ground, but gave it to his kid, which is what I would have done anyway. Maybe I need to invest in a glove so I dont break a finger?

Great american ballpark
The scoreboard here is pretty basic. Nice, but basic. It isn't overpowering and gets the job done. I had a great time chatting with the Reds fans, even though I was completely decked out in Cubs gear. Of course it helped that I let them know I hate the Cards!

Great american ballpark scoreboard
The statues in front of the stadium are below, and in order are Ted Kluszewski, Joe Nuxhall, Frank Robinson & Ernie Lombardi. These four Crosley Field stars are shown in the middle of a game, with Robinson hitting off of Nuxhall and Kluszewski on-deck. I know that Pete Rose can't be in the HOF but the park is on Pete Rose Way, and they don't have a statue of him?.

Great american ballpark statue

Great american ballpark statue

Great american ballpark statue

While we were waiting to go into the park, Shawn and I were discussing the 1990 reds. The "nasty boys" came up and all we could think of was Rob Dibble, and ??? Myers. We asked several fans and employees if they could name them, and nobody could come up with the 3rd. One lady got Randy Myers after we said the last name. At least we weren't the only ones that couldn't get it. The 3rd was Norm Charlton.

Monday, June 28, 2010

Progressive Field, 2010

Progressive field
Went here at end of June 2010. It was a great night for baseball. The stadium was very nice, but not filled even close to capacity, but with the way the Indians have been playing lately, no surprise there.

Heritage park, located out beyond the center field fence, is a neat bit of history about the Indians. It has plaques for alot of players, even if they are not HOF or retired numbers with the club. There was 1 statue of Bob Feller by the left field entrance. Cool statue, but it should be either out front or near the Heritage Park, IMO.

The stadium has a pretty nice scoreboard. I have been looking a lot more at the scoreboard set-up when I go to parks lately. Wrigley is so basic, and manual of course, but still one of the best, not that I dislike the new styles. Some get a little overzealous with the advertising, but something has to pay these guys salaries.

I had on my (Cubs) Kerry Wood jersey hoping to see him pitch in the game, and he came in for the save in the top of the 9th. The Indians shot down the Jays 2-1. It was good seeing one of my favorite Cubs come through at the game, even though he wasn't wearing Cubs gear.

I went to this game with my brother in-law Pat, nephew Sean, and my son Chris. Pat got us great seats on the 1st base line, right behind the dugout about 8 rows up. Close enough that when Jays 1B Lyle Overbay threw a ball into the stands in between innings, I caught it. I gave it to Sean right away, and the look on his face was priceless. I hope I just made a lifelong baseball fan. This was the third park that I have been to a game to with Chris. Yankee Stadium, Turner and here. Hopefully he can go next year on the trip with us.

Friday, June 25, 2010

Citi Field, 2010

Citi field
Went here in June of '10. This park is a huge improvement over the old Shea Stadium. I have read a lot of complaints by Mets fans that they tried to bring back the Brooklyn Dodger feel with the stadium. I think Ebbets was a classic stadium, and I think to use it as a basic design was pretty good idea. It does have a Jackie Robinson Tribute thing as you go in, but considering his # is retired through baseball, its not a big deal. After all, if the Dodgers didn't move to L.A., the Mets wouldn't even be in existence.

For those of you that don't know what Ebbets Field looked like, well here you are. This was an all time classic stadium and and as I said, I think the Mets did a great thing by designing it to look like Ebbets. Both Connie Mack and Forbes Field had a similar look as well, but not as close as Ebbets.

The old HR apple is now in front of the new stadium, which is pretty cool. It was replaced by a new one in the batters eye in center field. The stadium has a lot of great features and there is not a bad seat in the place. The planes flying over about every 2 minutes can get annoying, but once your into the game they are not quite as noticeable. Not much you can do about it when your literally 1/2 mile from Laguardia. And for those Cub fans that complained about the measly little Toyota sign in left field, get back to me when Wrigley has 1/10th of this advertising, and these pics don't even show it all. Overall, a very nice park. When your down in the lower sections it makes the park seem smaller, probably because of the way the stands are set up, but when up high it really opens up. Mets were playing the Twins.

Talk about being modern. You cannot find Gluten free stuff in a lot of restaurants, but they are on top of it here. They had a good selection of food overall though, and beer. And the prices were not terrible, for NY, same or less than Atlanta.

Looks like someone else is having fun visiting parks as well. You think she was trying to fit in with the NY crowd by wearing her Billy Joel concert shirt? She has been to Wrigley, Citi, Turner, Coors, and will go to Fenway with me when we finally make it to Boston. There are a lot of die hard baseball fans that haven't been to that many parks.

Monday, April 5, 2010

Turner Field, 2010

Was here for opening day when the Cubs took a 4-0 lead in the top of the 1st, only to get blown out and lose 16-5. I did see Jason Heyward hit his 1st HR on his first at bat, but unfortunately it was against my Cubbies. Went to the next game as well when Chipper hit a 2 run shot in the 8th to beat us 3-2.

The Chik-Fila cow and his ever changing sign.

This is obviously from the playoffs in 2010. This was the game that Brooks Conrad had 3 errors, and basically cost the Braves the win. Giants won 3-2. Being a Cub fan, I can empathize. This was my first playoff game. The only other time I lived in a city that had a playoff team was in NY, but trying to get Yankees tix for post season. Yeah Right.

The Chik-fila cow for playoff time. There is one more older post from Turner Field.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

AT&T Park, 2009


Although it was off season (Jan 09') the park was open for tours and I did the full tour. Got to sit in the dugout and check out the locker room. Also went up into a luxury box. It was cool, although I would have much rather have caught a game there. Great View of the bay and a very nice park. The coke bottle and glove are really nice and a distinctive feature here. Will have to do a trip to California one year and hit all the parks down the coast.

Two statues at AT&T of the great Willie Mays and Juan Marichal.

The right outfield wall is another great feature, you can see in the stadium as your walking on the pier. A great set up with McCovey's Cove behind and the way the bleachers and benches are positioned.

Monday, March 1, 2010

Oriole Park at Camden Yards, 2008

camden yards
Went there in fall of 08'. Went on a trip with my friend Shawn to Yankee Stadium in its final season and hit Camden on the way. Hung out at Pickles bar before the game and scored free box seats from a lady that had some extras. That's me in the bottom left of the warehouse pic wearing the cubs hat. That day the O's beat the Indians 6-3.

This is a beautiful and classic ballpark and besides Wrigley, its the nicest park I've been to. There is something to the feel with the warehouse.As you walk around the neighborhood around the park, it really has that ballpark feel to it, a lot like Wrigleyville. That is something not all parks have, like Turner.

The scoreboard here was cool. The clock and metal works was nice. The scoreboard was just revamped the year before we went, so we got to see the new version of it.

There is a statue of "Baby Babe" at Oriole Park, who was originally from Baltimore. And although not a statue, there is a plaque of Cal Jr. Maybe someday they will put up a statue of him since he is probably the most recognized Oriole.