Did you know that I collect Major League Baseball ballparks?
Well, it’s something I aspire to, even with a less-than-enthusiastic spouse who would rather watch the grass grow on the field than watch the actual game. RAS only goes with me because it’s written into our prenup that he has to attend at least one game every year to keep me happy.
The kids are often more willing, especially if it involves the needless acquisition of some souvenir and an overpriced bowl of Dippin’ Dots sometime over the course of the game.
I actually would just like to see the parks and the games, and my beloved Giants don’t even have to be the visiting team. Admittedly, I’d go to National League fields first, because I know the teams and players better, and I don’t believe in the designated hitter rule that the American League has.
Last year, I had a tremendous opportunity to see both Citi Field in New York, and Nationals Park in DC when we did our East Coast jaunt. Naturally, we didn’t go. RAS screwed up his face every time I mentioned it…and why would we want to see anyone but the Giants play? In New York, we could’ve seen the Mets versus the San Diego Padres, and in DC, it would’ve been the Nats against the Atlanta Braves. Truly, just going to these parks and soaking up a new atmosphere was what it was all about. But I’ll never make him understand that, let alone willing to participate in it.
Here’s the list of baseball parks I’ve been to:
- Coors Field, Denver
- AT&T Park, San Francisco
- Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles
- O.co Coliseum, Oakland
- Angel Stadium of Anaheim (when it was called Anaheim Stadium and a multi-purpose baseball/football venue)
And four that don’t really exist anymore, literally or not for baseball):
- Jack Murphy Stadium, San Diego (It’s now called Qualcomm Stadium, and only the Chargers play there now – the Padres are at Petco Park)
- Shea Stadium, New York (completely gone)
- The Astrodome, Houston (not really used for anything now)
- And of course…Candlestick Park, San Francisco (also completely gone, and good riddance!).
These last four were part of the multi-sport and multi-use stadium trend that was so popular from the 1960’s to the early 1990’s, when the first baseball-only park was built in Baltimore, Camden Yards, and everyone else followed suit. Now I think every MLB team, except for the Oakland A’s (who still have to share with their counterpart NFL team, the Raiders, ha ha) has their own park.
So now, I can add Safeco Field to the not-so-extensive list.
The girls and I went to see the Mariners play the Giants during the week we returned from the Alaskan cruise and stayed in Seattle. Since RAS was not with us – he had to return home for work – I didn’t have to endure complaints about the exorbitant box seat tickets I thought we should treat ourselves to. The price wasn’t too bad, and at least we got to have that option, unlike at AT&T Park where those seats are sold out months in advance.
Sorry, honey, but it was really worth it, especially since we sat right behind the visitors dugout and saw closeups of the Giants in person:
Confession time: our seats actually weren’t this close to the game but about 20 rows up from the field. Fans can gather at the edge of the field about 30 minute before the start, see the players and get autographs if they’re lucky. I think I’ve spoiled the girls for having to settle for nosebleed seats again, unfortunately.
Here is where we actually sat:
We also saw the Mariners Moose – not as cool as the Giants’ Lou Seal, but way cooler than the Rockies’ Dinger:
And because I had my trusty Canon DSLR with a great telephoto lens, I was able to take pictures of the Giants pitcher we always seem to see, Madison Bumgarner:
Even though MadBum pitched a great game, he couldn’t beat Seattle’s own ace, Felix Hernandez, also called King Felix. Why I’m not sure, but he does get to have his own court every time he pitches, plus some nice swag for the fans who sit in that section. This is what it typically looks like (photo from the Mariners website) when he’s on the mound:
So the home team won, 2-1, but we still had a great time, probably because there was an unexpectedly large contingent of Giants fans sitting around us. It was almost like being at AT&T Park.
I would tell you about the food that’s at the park, but I only had a draft beer. We had just eaten a pizza dinner back at the rental home and weren’t up to snacking on the ballpark grub. The girls, or course, noshed on their necessary Dippin’ Dots. Garlic fries, similar to the ones you get back in the Bay Area, seemed to be the most popular item around, judging from the smell around us.
Even with the Giants’ loss, we forgot all about it as we headed back to West Seattle and to the rental, because of this jaw-dropping sunset painting the sky – apologies for the blurriness, because JRS was taking it from our moving vehicle:
Now…what ballpark could I put next on the list?