Yes, I live in Colorado, but my blog is called “Californian in Exile” for a reason. Essentially it’s this: as much as I love being here, I miss most things from my home state.
A big missing part of that whole notion is AT&T Park, a baseball palace I didn’t go to that much, since it opened just two years before first hubby G and I moved to Denver. But I fell in love with it right away, even though the Giants weren’t as much fun to watch as they are now.
The ballpark, built in a somewhat wind-protected cove near San Francisco’s China Basin, showcased architecture reminiscent of old time stadiums, a trend first started with Baltimore’s Camden Yard. But it offered something more – a jaw dropping view of the Bay, and from certain sections of the park, the Bay Bridge. There are also fans who kayak or float up to the edge of the water and retrieve home runs hit over the right field bleachers – the iconic “Splash Hits.” Finally, you have the selection of gourmet-caliber food your just can’t get in any other Major League Baseball park.
Now I can only make it out there about once a year, if I time my trips out to the City well enough. Last year, we saw San Francisco beat the LA Dodgers, the most satisfying win of all for Giants fans. If things go according to plan, we’ll see them play the New York Mets there in July.
Until then, I will have to settle for Coors Field, home of the Rockies and my surrogate baseball home. It resembles AT&T’s fraternal twin. But honestly, it’s just not the same because it’s not the Giants’ home park.
Since opening 20 years ago, Coors has gained fame as a launching pad – a pitcher’s doom and a batter’s Nirvana. The mile-high altitude (incidentally marked by a row of purple seats in the upper reserve section) makes hitters hovering around a .200 batting average look mighty. The Rockies management now has a humidor to put some moisture onto those baseballs and not make them go zippy.
That’s what RAS and I did last Friday – going to Coors to see my beloved team, and the other team I sort of root for when SF isn’t playing. The weather looked a bit uncooperative, but a sunny/cloudy sky appeared before the sun set.
Before going to the game, we had dinner at Rio Grande, a Mexican restaurant in LoDo…and enjoyed one of these powerful elixirs:
Rio Grande is known around here for its knock-you-down margaritas. They’re made with pure lime juice (versus margarita mix), tequila and salt. I prefer them on the rocks, but you can also get it blended, which reminds me of a grownup Slurpee. If I had more than this one, I would’ve been too blotto to see the game.
Heading four blocks to the ballpark, we managed to snag tickets down near the field. Normally we sit in the nosebleed seats on the upper reserve level, but Coors Field was having its 20th anniversary celebration and many of the seats were discounted. So what if they were way down in the left field corner? I haven’t been this close to the game in ages:
I actually like to watch the game, but RAS just tolerates it. So I told him as a reward for his patience, we could hang out at the Rooftop, the new party-friendly upper level addition above the right field seats. It’s mostly a double decked open area for barhopping at the ballpark:
This is an area where only about 25% of the people milling about care about the game. The other 75% just have the convenient excuse to drink and talk about anything except baseball. It was much more crowded than it appeared from below, so all we managed to do is selfie ourselves, just to prove we were there:
It was a great Friday night date with RAS, with the only clunker being that the Giants lost, 6-4, after leading for a good part of the game. With the way their season is going so far (a 9-14 record and stuck in the National League West basement), it was kind of expected. But it’s early in the season yet…there’s still a LOT of baseball left to play.
So I’m not worried…and I’ll probably be coming to Coors again very soon.