Part X: Progressive Field (First Visit)
After a very lengthy game at PNC Park, Mike and I knocked out and didn’t do much before the Indians game Wednesday night. The events that morning were filled with wondering how we would get tickets. I was told that one of Mike’s relatives could have free tickets for that night’s game, which was also a bobble head night! Our task was to get bobbles for the two young boys who couldn’t attend the game… but I’ll save that story for the end.
To keep an already long post somewhat short, we acquired FREE tickets for that night’s game thanks to some kind family members. Myself, Mike, and his cousin, Dan, all went to the game on a nice Wednesday night. This was Carlos Santana bobble head evening, but after visiting some excellent ballparks, how would Progressive Field compare? Was it even possible to top Great American and PNC?
Ballpark 24: Progressive Field, elevation 667 feet
The game: Astros @ Indians on July 8, 2015
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Part IX: PNC Park
(AKA: Surviving the “Tarp Monster”)
Brace yourselves, folks. This stadium is among the best, but the weather was absolutely no joke. After making a visit to a former ballpark site, Mike and I met up with an old friend, Chuck, in downtown Pittsburgh. It was great getting to see him, and I was sad he couldn’t make it to the game with us. For the record, traversing through the streets of Pittsburgh is not fun. Trying to navigate through there is no laughing matter, either. It doesn’t help that Mike absolutely hates Pittsburgh, but I wasn’t going to let that stop me from enjoying my day at PNC Park.
Ballpark 23: PNC Park, elevation 733 feet
The game: Padres @ Pirates on July 7, 2015
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Between the Bases
I decided to make a very short post here to keep up with my writing, and to keep this blog active as I continue my travels. This post is about a game I attended prior to the Reds game from my previous post. When I arrived in northeast Ohio, my friend, Mike, wanted me to check out a minor league game at some point. There was one chance to see a game, and since we weren’t leaving until the late morning on 4th of July, we figured… “why not?”
The ballpark: Classic Park, elevation around 620 feet (elevation of the city)
The game: Lansing Lugnuts @ Lake County Captains on July 3, 2015
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Part VIII: Great American Ball Park
(AKA: Celebrating Great American Independence)
After a glorious Canada Day, I had to leave a country I’ve grown to love and make my way to my friend’s place for a few days. He lives in Cleveland, but the way the MLB schedule went, we would go there later. This part of the trip was tricky because I wanted to get the parks in that general area all in one week. With some creativity and some free tickets, I was able to set my sights in Cincy, Detroit, Pittsburgh, and his home town. After a somewhat easier day on Friday (which I will talk about in the next post), we left early in the afternoon on Saturday for Cincinnati. Watching a ball game here was the perfect way to spend Independence Day… and Cincinnati knows how to host a 4th of July game!
Ballpark 22: Great American Ball Park, elevation 488 feet
The game: Brewers @ Reds on July 4, 2015
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Part VII: Rogers Centre
(AKA: Canadian Hospitality At Its Best)
The previous three ballparks I went to weren’t exactly the cream of the crop. Combined with the humid weather, I was ready to begin a new phase of my travels. I got my passport and was ready to head back into Canada. I had been looking forward to returning to the Great White North since my last trip to Montreal which you can read about here
. I was also looking forward to visiting Toronto because I had never been there, and I was visiting a long-time friend, television’s Ryan Vickers! Additionally, I had been previously contacted by the Toronto Blue Jays after they were so kind to replace my Montreal Expos hat from the visit to Stade Olympique. The Blue Jays organization already went above and beyond to replace the hat. They were so kind before, how could they possibly top that?
The events leading up to this day were something else. First off, I had been featured on MLBlogs, and because I was e-mailing back and forth someone named Sydney from the Guest Experience Team, my blog was starting to see some consistent traffic. Plus, Sydney mentioned sharing my blog with others from the team! So while I was excited to meet the people from the organization, I was happy to see the formerly-named SkyDome in all its glory. I should mention that Ryan showed me the best of what Toronto has to offer. I went to the 360 Restaurant at the top of the CN Tower, the Hockey Hall of Fame (which was a huge highlight for me), and Steam Whistle Brewery! The day was capped off by a great baseball game at an underrated stadium.
Ballpark 21: Rogers Centre, elevation 90 metres
The game: Red Sox @ Blue Jays on June 30, 2015
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Part VI: Marlins Park
(AKA: If It Is Broke… Fix It!)
Oh, that trip down to Miami. After getting dropped off at the bus terminal in St. Pete, the Sun was shining and it was a lovely day. Then the rains came… again. This was becoming a very common theme throughout this southeast portion of my travels. Without going into too much detail, I was very delayed arriving because of the weather, and our bus driver getting lost in horrible Miami traffic because the Greyhound station had changed to a new location that week! Getting the rental car for this place wasn’t much better. After a very tough time getting around and finally getting to my hotel room (the first and only time I’d stay in a hotel during this leg of the trip), I was ready to rest and get ready for baseball the following day.
Ballpark 20: Marlins Park, elevation 3 feet
The game: Dodgers @ Marlins on June 26, 2015
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Part V: Tropicana Field
(AKA: Under the Dome)
(AKA: Witnessing Near Perfection)
After an off-day in Columbus updating the blog, writing entries, and having great coffee, I took the long bus ride to Tampa, Florida. I said my goodbyes to my cousin and left Columbus very early in the morning. I arrived late in Tampa in the middle of a severe thunderstorm, so my arrival time was delayed by a bit. I guess that’s why they call their NHL hockey team the Tampa Bay Lightning, right? My friend, Justin, picked me up from the bus terminal in the middle of this storm… and thank goodness he did because that was one of the longest bus rides I’ve ever taken. It was something else… but I’m now in south Florida ready to have some fun and visit a new ballpark! A new ballpark that has been panned so much in the recent past…
Ballpark 19: Tropicana Field, elevation 38 feet
The game: Blue Jays @ Rays on June 24, 2015
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Part IV: Turner Field
(AKA: Baseball in Hot-lanta)
With the hockey season over and work drawing to a close for the summer, I was ready to resume my travels to the MLB ballparks across the nation. Mid-June was my earliest possible time to leave home without any work getting in the way. Luckily, my cousin, Danny, lived fairly close to Turner Field and wanted me to visit him. I jumped at the chance to visit family AND be able to knock out another ballpark. I hadn’t posted too much at the time, but was still catching up from the previous season. That would all change after this trip. On the plane ride to Atlanta and the night before the game, I had finished two posts, and had them in the back-burner ready to upload… but I had no internet until Monday when I had my free day in Columbus, Georgia. It was certainly catch-up time for me, and it was time to go on the road for nearly a month.
Ballpark 18: Turner Field, elevation 1050 feet
The game: Mets @ Braves on June 21, 2015
I got into town Saturday early morning, and was staying with my cousin and his future family at their place. We ended up catching up and sleeping pretty late. Since the game was on a Sunday night with a 5pm start, this gave me and the family a chance to sleep in a bit and celebrate Father’s Day with him. It was a good morning, and a good way to start off the day. Soon, we made the trek to the park so we could all sit together. At least parking right across the street from the park is only $15. It might seem expensive to some people, but believe me, that is nothing compared to quite a few other ballparks.
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