Sunday, April 11, 2010

Make That 39 Major League Stadiums

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.

Friday, April 9, 2010

Date Night

I've been out on the road for what seems like all of 2010. In all seriousness, I have 36 nights in a hotel since February 1st after this evening. Last night I finished everything I needed to do about 5 pm and just didn't feel like sitting in the hotel anymore.

I decided to head out to the movie theater near my hotel in Mesa, AZ. I chose Clash of the Titans which was one of my favorite flicks when I was 10 or 11. I'm fairly certain I haven't seen it in about 25 years. Probably more. I really, really dug it and have very fond memories of that original. I have a hunch if I saw it today I would prefer the 2010 version I saw last night but ah, the fond memories of the original made it tough for me to dig this spruced up version.

I ended up liking it more than I thought I would but I still like the mechanical owl and Burgess Merideth. I was impressed with the hot chicks in this new one. I have to admit though, I was distracted by 2 things - 1 being the fact that every dude had long hair and a beard except our hero who had the same haircut he had in Avatar. A buzz cut. Did they have electric buzzer things in the days of the Greek Gods?

The 2nd thing was the guardian angel chick who followed our hero. Everyone else on this trek had a back full of gear. She was just walking with the bed sheet thingy and at first, it really showcased her legs. I remember this because I thought, did chicks shave their legs then? Later in the trek she had a longer bed sheet and knee high boots. Then she ended up with a fur thingy on her shoulder. Where the hell did she end up with all that gear?

It was very distracting.

Anyway, after the flick I walked to one of many choices in this pretty cool square deal and had dinner. After I ate, I walked down one more building and had an ice cream on the patio.

It was at this point that I realized I was on a date night, with myself! It was pretty nice. Then I felt guilty that Angela was at home wrestling with the boys. I'm not sure she believed me when I said had I realized I was on a date night earlier, I wouldn't have done it. It is true though.

Although I do have to admit, I did kinda enjoy the evening.

Is that wrong?