September 3, 2011
Cardinals 6, Reds 4. W: Jaime Garcia. L: Homer Bailey. S: Jason Motte.
Busch Stadium was built about five years ago right next to the old Busch Stadium, which has since been torn down. I think I actually remember seeing pictures of the upper decks of the two stadiums overlapping in one of the outfield corners during the final season of the old one. In any event, Busch’s façade is red with the bluish-greenish steel girders that seem like they’re everywhere these days.
September 2, 2011
Pirates 3, Cubs 1. W: Brian Burres. L: Ryan Dempster. S: Joel Hanrahan
I don’t think there’s much I can write here to add to what people already know about Wrigley Field. Ivy on the outfield walls. Hand-operated scoreboard for the out of town scores. No jumbotron. Sheffield and Waveland avenues. Obstructed views for a lot of fans. Built nearly 100 years ago. Cubs haven’t won in over 100 years. Etc. It’s one of the few iconic stadiums left in the country (Fenway, Lambeau, Madison Square Garden, etc.) and I was very excited to visit.
August 31, 2011
Twins 7, White Sox 6. W: Scott Diamond. L: Jake Peavy. S: Joe Nathan.
This is the first stadium that I really didn’t like so much. The Rogers Centre was depressing and there was too much concrete, but that might have been circumstance more than anything (mediocre team, poor attendance, getting clobbered at home). Perhaps at a better time it would have been a better experience. This stadium felt like it had some real flaws. The first problem is that ushers check your tickets before you’re even allowed to enter the field-level promenade. This is completely unnecessary and makes upper-deck fans feel like they’re not wanted. There is plenty to do on the lower promenades that just isn’t available in the upper decks and denying people entry to the concourse seems like a slap in the face. Check tickets when people try to sit in seats, not before. Bad form, White Sox.
Second, the stadium just plain faces the wrong way. The White Sox are the team of the South Side of Chicago. This means that they’re located a few miles outside of downtown in an area with mostly low buildings. It seems to me that the logical choice would be to have the stadium face the famous Chicago skyline so that the fans could look at it during the game. Instead, the stadium faces southeast (I think) so you only get a look at the skyline when you’re leaving your seats to go home (or I think in a few seats in the upper deck in right). The view is great when you’re leaving; why shouldn’t this be the view the whole game? Perhaps there is some reason I’m not thinking of, but this seems like a mistake to me.
August 30, 2011
Tigers 2, Royals 1. W: Joaquin Benoit. L: Aaron Crow.
Unlike the other two stadiums I’ve been to, Comerica is absolutely covered in reminders of the team’s mascot. The Blue Jays had their logo and team name around, but the only blue jay likeness was the mascot. And of course the Indians couldn’t have much. Nonetheless, there are tigers everywhere here. The main entrance:
August 29, 2011
Indians 2, Athletics 1. W: David Huff. L: Brandon McCarthy. S: Chris Perez
This is more like it. Progressive Field is right in downtown Cleveland, across the street from the Q (where the Cavs play) and you can see the Q over the left field fence. Apparently Cleveland is (rightfully) still bitter over the LeBron thing; the t-shirt vendors surrounding the stadium were selling as many boo-LeBron shirts as go-Indians shirts. The stadium is modern-looking from the outside with steel trusses that seem to be in all the stadiums these days.
August 28, 2011.
Tampa Bay Rays 12, Toronto Blue Jays 0. W: David Price. L: Brandon Morrow
First stop of the trip! The Rogers Centre is one depressing place to watch a baseball game. The stadium opened in 1989 but it feels like it was built by the same architect as the old Shea Stadium. On the outside, the stadium is mostly nondescript concrete, although the retractable roof does look pretty cool. There are two major exceptions, though: the major entrances both have crazy cartoonish statutes of men sticking out of the building, and the stadium has a hotel built into the side of it.
For years now I’ve wanted to take a summer road trip touring as many baseball stadiums as I possibly can. With a month off between jobs, I’m finally able to. Starting the morning of August 28 in Detroit, I’m headed to 14 baseball stadiums in three weeks and, as a bonus, will be going to 2 football games too. I’m using this here blog to chronicle the trip.
Then there’s the BBQ. Why BBQ instead of, say, hot dogs? Well, for starters, BBQ is awesome. But more to the point, turns out there is some pretty great BBQ outside of KC and Texas and Memphis and the Carolinas (although I will be going to one of those) so I’ll be checking some of it out wherever I can. Having lived in Austin and Houston and Memphis for 6 years, I consider myself somewhat of a BBQ aficionado. We’ll see how the rest of it stacks up.
Hope you decide to check in on my travels from time to time. Should everything go according to plan (please, please let there be no rain outs), I’ll be in these cities for games …
Sunday, August 28: Rogers Centre, Toronto. Blue Jays vs. Rays
Monday, August 29: Progressive Field, Cleveland. Indians vs. A’s
Tuesday, August 30: Comerica Park, Detroit. Tigers vs. Royals
Wednesday, August 31: U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago. White Sox vs. Twins
Friday, September 2: Wrigley Field, Chicago. Cubs vs. Pirates
Saturday, September 3: Busch Stadium, St. Louis. Cardinals vs. Reds
Sunday, September 4: Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City. Royals vs. Indians
Wednesday, September 7: Target Field, Minneapolis. Twins vs. White Sox
Thursday, September 8: Lambeau Field, Green Bay. Packers vs. Saints
Friday, September 9: Miller Park, Milwaukee. Brewers vs. Phillies
Saturday, September 10: Michigan Stadium, Ann Arbor. Wolverines vs. Fighting Irish
Monday, September 12: Great American Ball Park, Cincinnati. Reds vs. Cubs
Tuesday, September 13: PNC Bank Park, Pittsburgh. Pirates vs. Cardinals
Wednesday, September 14: Camden Yards, Baltimore. Orioles vs. Rays
Friday, September 16: Nationals Park, Washington. Nationals vs. Marlins
Saturday, September 17: Citizens Bank Park, Philadelphia. Phillies vs. Cardinals