One of my many "quirks" has always been my quest to attend a major league game at every stadium. I've taken many baseball only vacations to try to accomplish this. I really enjoy seeing the different stadiums, trying the hot dogs, checking out the gift shops, watching the HR presentations, the 7th inning stretch, etc. It's just part of what I do.
After thinking about it and doing a count on Facebook's Stadium tour app, I realized that today I attended my 39th major league stadium. (For those of you counting a long at home, only 24 of those are still active. Entering today I had only 2 teams that I had never been to their home stadium and 5 more that have built new stadiums since my last visit). Today I took in a game at Chase Field in Phoenix. I watched the Diamondbacks kick the crap out of the Pirates. Now I'm down to 1 team I've never seen at their home (Seattle).
I wasn't sure I wanted to go this afternoon even though it was an off day on what has been a long business trip. I considered staying in the room and watching the Masters. As I walked towards the stadium, I was glad I chose the game.
I really dug the atmosphere outside the stadium. There weren't many people there but they had a strip of bars along the outside of the stadium that looked to be a pretty cool place to be.
One of the things I always look for at a stadium is the team identity. I want to know who plays in that stadium as I walk in. The best stadium I've ever seen at this is Comerica Park in Detroit. There is no question the Tigers call that place home. I think the Rangers do a poor job of this back home. This stadium wasn't too much better but I did like this display case as I walked in with the World Series Trophy in it.
The other thing I always have to do when visiting a stadium is try the hot dogs. It's very cool that these new stadiums all have lots of food to choose from but I just want a hot dog. The first stand I approached was all foot long hot dogs. I could choose from a char dog, a chicago dog, a philly dog or an Arizona dog. I figured when in Rome, so I ordered the Arizona dog. This is what I got.
I was not happy with this monstrosity. Especially when I figured it out that it was $9 coupled with my $9 beer and I realized this wasn't a cheap experiment. The dog turned out to be alright but I really couldn't taste it through all that gunk. So, I went and got a plain ol hot dog in the 4th inning. It was ok, not worth the $14 bucks I spent on the 2 dogs though.
I got a pretty good single seat considering I just walked up to the ticket booth an hour before the game. I had a seat in the shade so that was nice as it was pretty warm today.
There weren't very many people at the game (21,000) but it was a really comfortable day. Me and one other guy shared our entire row. He turned out to be a pretty nice guy and we talked baseball all day. You can't ask for too much better than that as I quizzed him about all things Arizona baseball. (Like, did you know the mascot is a cat because the stadium used to be Bank One Ballpark (BOB) and he was the BOBcat. Probably made sense then, not so much now).
The Diamondbacks scored 13 runs in the 4th inning, I'm fairly certain I've never seen anything like that live before, it was crazy. They hit 3 HR's in that inning alone. Their HR presentation was nothing special although the pool in right center did shoot up water during it, that was pretty cool.
Their 7th inning stretch was incredibly lame. They did the now standard God Bless America followed by 1 quick run through of Take Me Out to the Ball Game and then Gloria Estefans - Hear that conga beat song. I sent out an email to Angela and Stephen asking if that was lamer than Toronto's gay Let's Go Blue Jays song they do. I still haven't decided.
Overall it was a great way to spend an afternoon. It is a very nice stadium, I really couldn't find anything wrong with it. (Holy cow did the big scoreboard have stats on it, almost too many - that's a huge plus). All that being said, I'm getting a little bored with the new stadiums. There just isn't too much different between this stadium and the new ones in Milwaukee and Houston (the retractable roof box stadiums). Is it odd for me to say that I miss the old "unique" stadiums?
As for the other 5 stadiums I need to see because they keep building new ones on me - both New York stadiums, St. Louis, Philly and Minnesota.