Monday, May 19, 2008

My ballparks

Went to see the Phillies play the Nationals at the new ballpark in Washington tonight. (Phillies lost.) Got me to thinking about all the major league ballparks I’ve been to…

1. Veterans Stadium, Philadelphia (1974). Got free tickets for being a “straight A” student. Bob Gibson pitched for the Cardinals vs. the Phillies.

2. Memorial Stadium, Baltimore (1979). Caught three foul balls during batting practice. (Note: I originally listed this incorrectly as "Municipal Stadium.")

3. Tiger Stadium, Detroit (1986). Steve Carlton made his American League debut for the White Sox vs. the Tigers.

4. Wrigley Field, Chicago (c. 1986). I forget who the Cubs played, but I seem to remember the pitcher for the opposing team hitting a home run.

5. Municipal Stadium, Cleveland (c. 1986). A weekday day game. 3,000 people in an 80,000-seat stadium. Walked halfway round the concourse. Didn’t see a soul. Weird.

6. Kingdome, Seattle (1989). Like watching a game in a big living room.

7. Metrodome, Minneapolis (c. 1993). Crowd scenes for a movie called Little Big League were filmed before the game.

8. Busch Stadium, St. Louis (1997). By far the best of the “cookie cutter” stadiums. Never should have been torn down.

9. Fenway Park, Boston (1999). Decrepit and overrated.

10. U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago (c. 2000). Steepest upper deck ever!

11. PNC Park, Pittsburgh (c. 2002). Simply gorgeous. My favorite ballpark.

12. Petco Park, San Diego (2004). Second favorite park. What Wrigley Field must have felt like when it was new.

13. Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles (2004). My friend and I took a bus to the game. We may be the only people who have ever taken a bus to a game at Dodger Stadium.

14. Angel Stadium, Anaheim (2004). Angels-Red Sox playoff game. Drunk Red Sox fan walked up the aisle, middle fingers raised, challenging any Angels fan to fight. Hi-larious.

15. RFK Stadium, Washington (2005). Last of the cookie cutters. Narrow concourses. Terrible food.

16. Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia (2006). Just made me miss the Vet.

17. Safeco Field, Seattle (2006). Very Seattle. I liked it.

18. Miller Park, Milwaukee (2006). Barry Bonds hit a homer.

19. Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City (2007). A friend bought my ticket. I said, Don’t worry I’ll buy the food. Turned out to be Dollar Dog night.

20. Nationals Stadium, Washington (2008). Yet another “retro” park. But the chili cheese fries were awesome.

1 comment:

Jim Algeo said...

zazfthtxI went to the old Connie Mack stadium in North Philadelphia to see the Phillies play an exhibition game against the Orioles, in the days before inter-league play. A friend's father took some of us. He was a sports photographer for the Bulletin and I think he won awards for his photographs using a camera called the Machine Gun Camera.

Connie Mack had all the decripit charm of its North Philadelphia neighborhood, which is to say none. It needed paint and a good cleaning and every seat was an obstructed view. When the game ended we ran for the exits, afraid to be anywhere near the stadium or neighborhood when the lights were turned out.

The fans tore the place apart at the final game before the team moved to Veterans" Stadium and the racket as toilets and seats were ripped out drowned out the announcers at the game.

Still, it was an exciting place for me and when I went to Veterans" Stadium years later it seemed the seats, while unobstructed, were so much farther from the field.