JD’s 2015 Ballpark Tour; Chicago, Illinois

Part XIII: U.S. Cellular Field

(AKA: Let’s Play Two Across States)

Because the Brewers game took a long time, I had to leave that game early. For the first time in about two decades, I actually left a game around the 7th inning stretch. At least I heard the rest of that game on the radio, only to have the Indians come back and win the game. Yeah, I’m glad I left that game early. Anyway, I made my way down I-94 across the state line from Wisconsin to Illinois and headed for the south side of Chicago. Traffic was looking bad and I had to take a couple shortcuts because the gridlock was simply too bad. Thanks to the AM radio and Google maps, I was able to make it to the park with about forty minutes to spare. I realized that I would not make it in time for batting practice, but I knew I could give this ballpark a good chance.


Ballpark 27: U.S. Cellular Field, elevation 596 feet

The game: Cardinals @ White Sox on July 22, 2015

When I arrived at what some people call “New Comiskey,” I was able to secure a good parking spot for $20. At least this was in one of the closer lots to the stadium, so the walk up only took a couple minutes. Much to my surprise, there was some tailgating going on here, too! There were a few corn hole games, and some other various games to keep the crowds entertained. This place had a neat feel to it, but I didn’t have the time to partake in any activities with the crowds.
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JD’s 2015 Ballpark Tour; Milwaukee, Wisconsin

Part XII: Miller Park

(AKA: An Experience Unlike Any Other)

After saying goodbye to Joe and the city of Anaheim, I had to get packing and get going to my next destination. The night of the Angels 2nd make-up game against the Sawx, I was already on my way to Milwaukee to catch one of the best theme nights in the team’s and MLB history. This particular giveaway was on my radar since the preseason because it involves one of my favorite baseball films. It was “Major League” Night at Miller Park, and the giveaway was a TALKING Harry Doyle bobble head! Of course, I had to be there for this one… but what I came away with was more than a bobble head. I came away with a great impression and a whole lot more.


Ballpark 26: Miller Park, elevation 602 feet

The game: Indians @ Brewers on July 21, 2015
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JD’s 2015 Ballpark Tour; Anaheim, California

Rain in Sunny Southern California?


While this doesn’t officially count on my ballpark tour, I thought this might count towards number of ballparks in a season. After I arrived home from Cleveland, it was All-Star break followed by periods of heavy rain in southern California. Believe it or not, all the rain resulted in TWO postponed games in SoCal, one in San Diego and the other in Anaheim. I had actually thought about going to that game in Anaheim because it was a Sunday Night Baseball game on ESPN. Unfortunately, the rained out game meant several Angels and Red Sox fans couldn’t watch their team after all. Before I thought about buying tickets, my friend, Kellie, had a couple extra tickets and decided to sell them to me instead. I took my friend, Joe, who is a devout Angels fan. This was the first make-up game for the Angels in years, and the first doubleheader in over a decade. How would each team respond?


The game: Red Sox @ Angels (first game) on July 20, 2015
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JD’s 2015 Ballpark Tour; Detroit, Michigan

Part XI: Comerica Park

(AKA: Tigers, Tigers Everywhere)

This portion of my trip seemed so long ago, but I loved it. I will keep this post super short because I do need to catch up on my blog entries and get to the next portion of my solo travels. Mike and I made the long drive to Detroit, but the experience I had was a fantastic one that I won’t soon forget. Also, with a pair of free field level tickets thanks to my credit card’s great perks, we had a great view of a high-octane offense.


Ballpark 25: Comerica Park, elevation 570 feet

The game: Blue Jays @ Tigers on July 5, 2015
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JD’s 2015 Ballpark Tour; Cleveland, Ohio… take two.

Part X: Progressive Field (Second Visit)

After a couple days away from visiting anything baseball related in Ohio, Mike gave me an incredible surprise while I was still in town. He keeps track of a wonderful group called the Wahoo Club. As you may guess, this is an official club for the Cleveland Indians. Just about every month, they hold a Wahoo Club event that features a player from the Indians past or present with a full meal. Yes, they have even held breakfasts with classic players. For this particular event, Mike and I got tickets to the Wahoo Club luncheon with former Indians All-Star, Max Alvis! Oh, and some current rising star named Carlos Carrasco! This luncheon took place inside the Terrace Club at Progressive Field, a very nice place within the stadium. I knew I’d be in for not only a great luncheon, but a great game afterwards.


Ballpark 24 (again): Progressive Field, elevation 667 feet
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JD’s 2015 Ballpark Tour… Takes a Vintage Blast from the Past!

Between the Bases… of Classic Ballparks

While this technically doesn’t count towards the official tally of ballparks I have recently visited, I got to visit two classic ballpark sites from yesteryear. The experience of getting to set foot in the same fields as Babe Ruth, Bob Feller, Bill Mazeroski, and countless others was more than a thrill for me. We will begin in Cleveland before the trip to Pittsburgh.


The ballpark: League Park, former home of Cleveland baseball from 1891-1946
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JD’s 2015 Ballpark Tour; Cleveland, Ohio

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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JD’s 2015 Ballpark Tour; Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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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I’m Checking In!

A quick post here since I’ve gotten a slew of new readers since yesterday’s Cubs game. If you’re reading this for the first time, welcome! I will be going a bit out of order here as my next two posts will be about Pittsburgh and Cleveland, followed by a post about classic ballparks that are no longer around… or are they? I plan on writing a special post about those places because I am now a part of the newsletter for the Heritage Museum in Cleveland. That museum is housed in the old building that was a part of old League Park in Cleveland. I’ll go more in depth about League Park, as well as Forbes Field soon.

Yesterday was an interesting day in Chicago… and I’m still wrapping my head around all of it. What started off as a simple day at Wrigley Field turned into me being a minor celebrity after the game. Even though I now have less than five ballparks left to visit, this sign got me on WGN-TV.

My sign at Wrigley Field. Note the old-school cap!
My sign at Wrigley Field. Note the old-school cap! For the record, I’m wearing a C-Feds jersey.
I finally saw the clip of that late last night, and I got texts from people saying they saw me on TV (presumably watching on their extra innings package). I got tweets from people following me, even one from the UK! How about that? It was so awesome getting to hear Len and J.D. talk about my tour. I hope they check it out at some point! Apparently, even looking up “JD’s Ballpark Tour” on Google yields nearly all of my posts! No wonder it was easy to find for many people because my blog got a HUGE spike in readers during the game. All the fans around me kept asking questions about my trip, and I felt like I had a crowd around me after the game. It was a very surreal feeling as people kept asking me what ballparks I had left. When I mentioned St. Louis, almost everyone said that is an amazing ballpark and I’ll like it.

With that said, Busch Stadium has some big shoes to fill! I hope my expectations for that ballpark are not only met, but exceeded. I want to say a huge thank you to all my readers. Your kind words mean so much, and now that I have a break from baseball for a few days, I can get back to writing! I’m so grateful to everyone reading, and I still can’t believe I’ve gotten as many readers as I do now. Between getting featured twice on MLBlogs (and hopefully more times), and getting on TV with my site on there, it has been a bit of a whirlwind!

It’s amazing that I just attended five games in five days… and got an amazing experience at Miller Park, as well. More on that soon. For now, this is JD (not the one on WGN-TV, although he’s awesome) saying thank you, and I hope to see you at the ballpark!


JD’s 2015 Ballpark Tour; Cincinnati, Ohio

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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