Baseball Stadiums I Have(n’t) Visited

(Alpha by “official” team location.)

  • Arizona – Not Visited
  • Atlanta – Not Visited
  • Baltimore – Visited (1997 when I was moving to Boston supposedly)
  • Boston – Visited (1987?)
  • Chicago Cubs – Visited (twice, last time was 2008 maybe)
  • Chicago White Sox – Not Visited
  • Cincinnati – Not Visited
  • Cleveland – Not Visited
  • Colorado – Not Visited
  • Detroit – Not Visited
  • Houston – Not Visited
  • Kansas City – Not Visited
  • Los Angeles Angels – Visited (several times, last in 2009)
  • Los Angeles Dodgers – Visited (three times, last in 2009)
  • Miami – Not Visited
  • Milwaukee – Not Visited
  • Minnesota – Not Visited
  • New York Mets – Not Visited
  • New York Yankees – Not Visited
  • Oakland – Not Visited
  • Philadelphia – Not Visited
  • Pittsburgh – Visited (many times, last was May 2012)
  • San Diego – Not Visited (for a game — somehow I got to visit for a Little League assistant coach “training event”; it was colder than expected).
  • San Francisco – Not Visited
  • St. Louis – Not Visited
  • Seattle – Visited (several times, last was 2009)
  • Tampa Bay – Not Visited
  • Texas – Not Visited
  • Toronto – Not Visited
  • Washington – Not Visited

So something to work on then. Could still hit the Bucs in NY and Cincinnati this year and the Mariners still have road trips to NY and Toronto. Maybe.

Defunct Stadiums Visited (alpha by stadium name):

  • Astrodome (Houston) (1986ish)
  • Candlestick Park (San Francisco) (Latter-day Sports days, back when Jeff Kent hated me by name — 1998 or 9?)
  • Kingdome (Seattle) (several times, but last time maybe in 1996)
  • Qualcomm/Jack Murphy (San Diego) (several times — last time was probably 2000 or so)
  • Yankee Stadium, Old (New York) (The last year it was open — 2008?)

PNC Park: Pirates Win!

Went to PNC for a couple of Pirates games on their last homestand (they lost the second game — stupid Padres). Great park, great atmosphere, seems really well run and their aren’t any potholes in the concourses, which makes it feel like you’re not in Pittsburgh.

pnc park allegheny river

Coming in from the east (or south), the recommended parking is all downtown. Works out pretty well — $5 parking and a 10-15 minute walk, depending on what garage you ended up in. The walk is also cool as the closer you get to the park, the more fans you’re walking with and then crossing the (pedestrian-only on gameday) Roberto Clemente Bridge makes for a pretty dramatic final leg of the journey.

The views from the park side of the Allegheny River are also pretty good.

Roberto Clemente Bridge, Downtown Pittsburgh

PNC Park, View from Home Plate

Otherwise:

  • They really play up the pirate theme on the big screen; it’s kind of cool.
  • They have this big animation sequence before every game wherein a Pirates-themed galleon is taking on a galleon flying the colors of the day’s opponent. You’d think that should be no contest — pirates should be better seamen than, for instance, Franciscan friars — but it’s still pretty satisfying when the statue of Roberto Clemente hits a flaming cannonball out of the park and drops it right on the bad guys’ deck, sending them and their crew to the bottom of the Allegheny.
  • It’s as nice a ballpark as I’ve been to. Destroys the Big A and Dodgers easily, more interesting than Petco or Camden Yards, probably on par with Safeco.
  • Most of the fans there seem to think that “Willie Stargell” is the answer to every Pirates trivia question.
  • As losing teams go, the Pirates are easy to pull for — they’re bad because management is cheap, not because it’s incompetent.
  • And it’s fun watching some of their young guys just starting to get established (Alvarez, Walker, Tabata), not to mention guys who weren’t going to get a chance elsewhere seizing the opportunity (Jones). If they sign Cliff Lee in the off-season, they could win as many as 70 games next year!
  • It’s surprising how many fans the Pirates have given that they’ve been “re-building” since 1992. They probably deserve better.

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Trip to Yankee Stadium (Before It Was Too Late)

All the convenience of a stadium built in 1923 with all the charm of one built in 1976. The building itself seemed unfortunate.

Was there back in June and, yes, am just now getting around to saying anything about it. Watched the Yankees play the Reds. I gave up Yankee-hating a few years ago and it wasn’t hard to root for them in this game. Andy Pettitte was great (until the rain delay took him out of the game).

Speaking of:

 yankee stadium reds rain delay

This never happened at the Kingdome. For as bad as it looks — and New York rain is amazing, never got anything like that in Seattle — the rain only lasted about 15 minutes, although the delay ended up running for an hour or so with all the tarp unrolling and re-rolling and field prep. It was interesting watching a game get played out with the anticipation that it might only go five innings (IIRC, the Reds brought their infield in while down one in the bottom of the fourth), even if it ended up going nine.

The stadium itself — it’s hard to say so, but I don’t think it’ll be much of a loss when they knock it down at the end of the season. The concourses are too narrow, there aren’t nearly enough entrances, concession stands, or bathrooms: classic hallmarks of its original build date. But then it was altogether too clear what happened to it in the 1976 renovation — the whole thing feels like concrete and bad signage. In style and finish, it really, honest, felt like the Kingdome (and nothing like Wrigley or even Fenway).

Seems like they’d have been better off not re-building. The LA Colosseum has tunnels that are less than six feet high, bizarre sight-lines, etc., but it at least makes sense. The place feels like its origins and you can still feel like you’re in a historic place. The re-built Yankee Stadium looks and feels like something only a Soviet could love. I feel like I saw similar in East Germany.

The impressive part of the game was the fans. And not just the guy sitting next to me who started throwing up in the first inning (he and his friend left immediately with many apologies and we felt bad for them). The people at the game actually knew baseball well, they knew the Yankees down through the farm system, and they didn’t do stupid things like cheer because they didn’t realize that a fly ball wasn’t going to make it out of the stadium. Even if I’d come in with a grudge against the Yankees, the fan quality would’ve made it a hard grudge to maintain. Quite a difference between Yankee fans and, say, Angels fans (ugh — with apologies to Joe, Elissa, and probably some other people).

I guess that’s good enough.

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