Wednesday, May 9, 2007

Diamond News - From Brian

Baseball 2007

Stacy and I begin our 2007 Baseball season today with a game between the Mariners and the Texas Rangers on Jackie Robinson Day, an MLB tribute on the 50th anniversary of his breaking the “color barrier”. This game will begin a baseball odyssey of 4 ballparks in 2 weeks (not including a Triple A game in Tacoma).

We enjoy our first game of the season with our first visit to the Hit It Here Café. Besides the mid-April chill in our face, the seats aren’t too bad and the food is a little better then the typical ballpark fare.
Seattle 14 Texas 4

April 17th
As part of our “Spring Training” at work, we enjoy an after-work ballgame at Cheney Stadium between the Tacoma Rainiers and the Fresno Grizzlies in Tacoma, Wa. The best surprise of the game is being able to watch the S. F. Giants rookie phenom, Tim Lincecum who strikes out 10 in 6 innings. Unfortunately, his bullpen is unable to protect his lead and the Grizzlies go down to defeat in the 9th inning.
Tacoma 2 Fresno 1

GAME 2 – April 24th (Stacy’s Birthday)
On a warm, balmy, 80-degree day, Stacy and I visit the park that started it all – Camden Yards. Built in 1992, it is the ballpark that began the renaissance in stadium design that all ballparks built since have attempted to emulate. Its small, intimate feel and the old, converted warehouse – not to mention its proximity to Baltimore’s Inner-harbor – makes this park one of our favorite parks in the country.
Oakland A’s 4 Baltimore Orioles 2

GAME 3 – April 26th
In contrast to a couple of days ago, the weather is cool and cloudy with a bit of drizzle as we visit Citizen’s Bank Park in Philadelphia. As Stacy digests her first authentic Philly Cheese Steak, we enter the centerfield area known as Ashburn Alley named, of course, after 1950 Rookie of the Year Richie Ashburn. Along with a great timeline of Philadelphia baseball, there are a myriad of concession stands and plenty of room to roam. Again, modeled after Baltimore’s Eutaw Street (right up to the old, overweight, ex-ballplayer cooking ribs) it is fan friendly and a nice place to peruse the field. The park itself, for whatever reason (maybe it’s those blue seats), just doesn’t make our top 5. It’s new; it’s clean but it just doesn’t have that classic feel.
Washington Nationals 4 Philadelphia Phillies 2

GAME 4 – May 1st
I visit, without my partner I’m sad to say, Miller Park in Milwaukee, Wi. This park tends to show up on a lot of Top 5 lists and I can’t imagine, for the life of me, why. Grant it, it has all the bells and whistles of the new modern parks but I was exceptionally disappointed to find that the park is… ENTIRELY ENCLOSED! (Memories of the Kingdome still haunt me) It has all the intimacy of an oversized basketball arena when the roof is closed. It has too many flashing lights and the P.A. echo’s inside the cavernous park. It had to be built for the video game generation or those who suffer from A.D.D because you are constantly bombarded with noise and lights.
For the sake of being fair and balanced, I sat in a great area known as the Club on the Club. For the price of your ticket (around $70), you get an all you can eat buffet, 2 free beers and open seating. It was the best special seating I’ve been in.
Milwaukee Brewers 12 St. Louis Cardinals 2