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, April 21, 2013

Citizen Bank Park, 2013


Citizen Bank Park

This was the 3rd and final park of our trip. After great weather in Pittsburgh, missing the rain and the city being shut down to see a great game in Boston, the weather was supposed to be nice for Philly. Well it was nice, if your a penguin. It got down to below 40 with 15 mph winds.

We got to Philly early and went to Pat's King of Steaks. It was awesome. I had been to Geno's before, but Shawn hadn't had either, so we went to Pat's. I was hungry after having to drive around for 30 minutes to find a place to park, then walk 3 blocks to get there. I forgot to take a pic of that awesome sandwich. Oh well, you'll have to use your imagination. 

Citizen Bank Park
This park reminded me a lot of Atlanta, and a few other parks. The concourses were wide open and there are stands to eat, drink and hang out behind the last row. There are also a lot of these places around the park, on the second level, in the outfield area, etc. I like that, especially when you like to move around a park like we typically do.  Well we walked around a lot before the game, but once it started and it got dark, we didn't move a lot. It was freezing. Even the Philly fans were freezing, but they were bundled up a little better than us. One good thing was that the park emptied out early being a Sunday night with school/work in the morning. 

Citizen Bank Park
Steve Carlton 

Citizen Bank Park
 Richie Ashburn
This statue is in Ashburn Alley across the outfield. There are lots of places to eat, drink, and watch the game from out there. 
One of those places was Bull's BBQ. Man, you could smell this place from every place in the park. 
We weren't hungry when we got there, after eating our cheese steaks for lunch, but by the 6th inning we were drawn to it. It was good. 

Our seats were right above the xfinity sign in the pic here. We were up towards the aisle, but they were great seats. Everything you have heard about Philly fans, well at least most of it, is true. Dominic Brown was in LF and there was a single to left that he didn't dive for, and man did he hear it from the crowd. They didn't let up  on him the whole game. 

 Here is a couple of pictures of the liberty bell sign in right center field. It looks better at night, as does the whole park with the lighting, but I wasn't about to go back up to the upper deck to take more pictures. It was cold enough down below. 

The Phillies were playing the Cardinals, so I was a Phillies fan that night. 
It was a pretty tight game, a lot of hits but only a little scoring until the bottom of the 8th when Ben Revere broke a 3-3 tie with a single, then Erik Kratz shot down the red birds with a 3 run home run. 
Final score Phillies 7 Cards 3. 

Saturday, April 20, 2013

Fenway Park, 2013


This was the 2nd park of 3 on our trip. The best way to enter the park is through Yawkey Way. This place is awesome. It's like a pregame party in the street. The whole street is blocked off and you can go in and out of the stadium if you want. 

The concourse behind right field is pretty wide open for such an old park. It has a really old school look to it. 
The park was packed this day, plus this was the first day after they caught the second idiot that bombed the Boston Marathon. It was pretty charged up. 

Fenway Park

The classic view of the press box and facade. And a close up of it. 

Fenway Park

Fenway Park

While at fenway, you have to get a picture of the green monster. Well, why not get a picture of both. I would have loved to get a shot of Shawn with Wally, but no such luck. 

Fenway Park

This was our view of the monster from our seats. We were the first section to the right of it. There was a HR over it in this game and we had a great view of it. 

As I said, this was the first home game since the troubles and the city was shut down the day before. We were headed here from the Hall of Fame and were concerned about not being able to see a game. We were listening to news and eventually they lifted the ban and said to go back to normal the next day, even though they hadn't caught him yet. They got him a few hours later. The pregame ceremonies were very emotional and Big Papi charged the crowd up more with his pregame speech. 

The tradition of singing "Sweet Caroline" was something I was looking forward to. Well, it got even better when before the song, Neil Diamond came out to lead the crowd in the song. He was inspired by the way the city pulled together. 

Ted. Any questions?

After we left, we somehow ended up basically walking around the whole park. It worked out well for us because there are a lot of cool plaques and flags around the park to look at. I was sure to point out the 2004  World Series banner to Shawn. 

A couple of shots from the game. It was a tight game and it looked like Boston might lose until the the bottom of the 8th down 2-1 with 2 outs. Daniel Nava stepped up with 2 on and hit a 3 run shot. The crowd went wild. KC managed a solo shot over the monster in the top of the 9th, but it wasn't enough.
 Final score Sawx 4 Royals 3.  

So one disappointing thing about this trip was that Sam Adams brewery cancelled all tours that weekend due to the issues. I understand, but it still sucked. I can't complain considering 24 hours before that, we thought we might not be able to even enter the city. We did get to go to Harpoon brewery that evening after the game, and lets just say we made up for our loss!

One note, it was great listening to the Boston accents through the day, and the more they drink, the more it comes out. Shawn and I were using them all the way home and the people in Philly probably thought we were crazy, but who cares. 

Friday, April 19, 2013

National Baseball Hall of Fame and Museum

This isn't a ballpark obviously, but anyone who loves going to ballparks would love this. We decided to add this into the trip since we are going to have to make another trip to the NE again to complete the parks up there. I still have new Yankee and Shawn has Yankee, Citi and Nats park. I took about 250 pics here so I can't post them all, but I will post what I can. 

So as I was planning this, I wanted to see the HOF as a whole, but I also was looking forward to seeing the Cubs history there. There was plenty. Here is just a sample of the Cubs displays there. The best part about this is that this is all original. These are actual jerseys, gloves, bats, etc. that were worn and used by the players. 

Johnny Evers from the famed Tinker to Evers to Chance combo

 Mr Cub. Ernie Banks

Baseball Hall of Fame
Ferguson Jenkins. #31 

Baseball Hall of Fame
The other #31, Greg Maddux. 

Baseball Hall of Fame
 Ron Santo. 

There was a lot more there than Cubs stuff, and I guess I should show a little bit more. 

Baseball Hall of Fame
These are actual uniforms worn by the Womens league when they played. 

 Even the Cardinals displays were fun to look at, even for a Cubs fan. 
This is Stan "the man" Musial. 

Baseball Hall of Fame
This came from the actual field before it was torn down. If the rest of the park was in this condition, I guess it needed to be replaced. 

Baseball Hall of Fame
 I think if your reading this, you know who this is. 

Baseball Hall of Fame
 This was the bat rack from Yankee Stadium that was removed before the remodel in the late 70's.
This thing held bats from Babe, Gehrig, Joey D, Mickey, and more. WOW. 

Baseball Hall of Fame
 From Don Larsen's perfect game in the World Series. 

 There was a lot of Yankee displays, surprise. Although I am not a Yankee fan, I respect the history and 
tradition of the team. Shawn was loving it. Babe had his own room. This is just one pic from there.

Joe DiMaggio Display. 

I took a lot of pics of the plaques. I made a collage of the Cubs ones, and of some other all time greats.

Cubs Plaques

All time greats

Yankee Plaques

I have a lot more, but I can't post them all. I guess your gonna have to make a trip yourself someday!

Thursday, April 18, 2013

PNC Park, 2013


PNC Park

This was the first of three games on our road trip, which also included a stop at the Hall of Fame. 
We weren't sure what kind of weather to expect being in the northeast in the middle of April. Well
this day ended up being beautiful. With the exception of some clouds, it was around 83 degrees 
and great baseball weather. 

PNC Park
Roberto Clemente

We parked in the downtown area across the river and went to Primanti Brothers for a sandwich before
the game. Also had to try the local beer, Iron City, which was pretty good. Plus walking over the
Clemente bridge before the game is part of the experience. 

PNC Park
Willie Stargell

Here are the statues at PNC Park. There are some more inside the park that are from the Negro team league. They are really cool too. These here are of the Pirates greats. 

PNC Park
Honus Wagner

PNC Park
Bill Mazeroski

This park has an absolutely beautiful skyline and backdrop. The city would be enough, but the bridges just add more to the view. Still being early season they are still cutting the grass fancy. some parks go away from this as the season moves on. 

The scoreboard here is pretty basic, but nice. I think what makes it pop is the light towers. They are sweet. 
They definitely add to the character of this park. 
There doesn't seem to be a bad seat in this place. Some real nice stadiums still have quirky blind spots, and as we walked around we didn't seem to see any.

I did really like the scoreboard in right field. It has a little of an old school look to it. I would love to sit in those seats between the bleachers and the scores. 

Now on to the game. Well it just happened to workout that the Braves were in town during this game. Figures I live near Turner and I have to watch these guys on the road. I guess its all timing. Anyway, I was a Pirate fan that night. The Braves ended up winning 6-4. There were 6 home runs hit in the game. 
I was glad to hear that the Bucs took the next 3 of the 4 game set. 

A picture of A Simmons being tagged out during a steal attempt.