I did the Monster Mash!

Back in 2005, I made a spur of the moment trip to see Fenway Park (http://boston.redsox.mlb.com/bos/ballpark/index.jsp).  It was, quite possibly, one – if not the first trip – I had ever made alone for pleasure, and really spurred my thirst for travel (company be damned), and my love of the game. 
 
I remember EVERYTHING about that trip…why I went (an article on Albert Pujols in Sports Illustrated started it all; http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/vault/cover/featured/10338/index.htm), what I did the day I booked the trip (it was Prom Night for Amber, Lareina’s daughter), what my Mom said when I called her at 6 a.m. (“You’re going to Boston to see a Monster?), where I ate (Union Oyster House, where they invented the toothpick, http://www.unionoysterhouse.com/</a>), and who was playing the Sox (the Yankees)!  Magical, I thought! 
 
So, this time, looking for a reason to return, I “went big” and purchased a ticket in the famed “Green Monster” seats! (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Green_Monster).  Ironically, it’s an outfield seat…but a historical one, so I thought it worth the “green” to sit in the “Green Monster.”  I had an amazing time, coupled with an overnight stay in one of my favorite sister hotels, and, I was thrilled with my weekend getaway.  The Red Sox swept the series, and on the Sunday game, Mariano Rivera pitched his last game there.  I wish I would have been there for that, but I was happy with my little slice of history the Monster gave me on that day! 
 
Here are some pictures from my trip – take a peak: http://tinyurl.com/kdcjnsh.
 
It's Official!

It’s Official!

 

Wise words for sure!

Wise words for sure!

Park #33 – Yankee Stadium (Bronx, TX)…A Cathedral to Baseball

Given that there are only 30 baseball parks in the league, you may be wondering why I’m on #33. Here’s the scoop…in the time since I visited my first park and present day, I’ve had “do overs.”

In other words, I’ve seen the San Francisco Giants play at “The Stick,” my first park (http://tinyurl.com/codc5m7) and Pac Bell/SBC/AT&T Park (http://tinyurl.com/codc5m7), my 5th park.  I have also seen the Padres play at Qualcomm Stadium (http://tinyurl.com/bqz3sav) my 4th stadium, and also at the glorious Petco Park (http://tinyurl.com/6nxktgg), my 25th park.  Finally, during my first trip to New York back in 1995, I stumbled upon “old” Yankee Stadium (http://tinyurl.com/cw438pb) my 3rd park, and now – on what was Opening Day of the 2013 season – I’ve seen its current day successor…(New) Yankee Stadium, and I wasn’t disappointed.

It “only” took me 18 years (say that again…18 years) to return, and I had VERY high expectations of what this incarnation of Yankee Stadium – The House that George Built – would be!

I was warned that it wouldn’t compare to the old version – and the truth is, it didn’t?  How could it?  There is NO comparison…it’s apples and oranges.  What made the first stadium iconic was its history, not the structure.  So, when you endeavor to build a stadium to honor the legacy of the Yankees – 27-Time World Champions (say that again, 27-time World Champions!) – everything is grand, even ostentatious, and rightfully so.  It is a cathedral to baseball…to this franchise, and to the game – where everything was over-the-top.  But, again, it’s all relative, and I’m more than okay with that.  I actually wouldn’t have expected anything less. 

On that day,  April Fool’s Day, the skies cleared up for at least seven innings before the rain came and the Boston Red Sox ran away with the game.  Either way, it was a perfect day at the park, and some 30 ballparks later, it was the best way to kick off the season…no foolin’!

(See pictures from the visit here:http://tinyurl.com/c8uz36z), and a few of my favorite below! 

The flags unfurl

The flags unfurl

Right before the first pitch!

Right before the first pitch!

Beautiful blue skies

Beautiful blue skies

CC on the mound!

The banner says it all!

The banner says it all!