Park #30 – Overstock.com Stadium (Oakland, CA)

I lived in CA for 40 years and somehow never made it to this park.  But, on July 2, 2012 – with my sister, brother-in-law and nephews in tow – I arrived at Overstock.com Stadium (http://tinyurl.com/2fawyo) to watch the A’s take on the Boston Red Sox.
 
I spent all of my adult life avoiding this park (opting to see ball games in San Francisco), and now I know why.  The park was old and tired and sad.  It made me sad.  It lacked any spark or any of the fun attributes that I have seen thus far in other parks…newer parks… legendary parks!  I will say, the fan base is loyal and very much in tact, so I have to respect them and their devotion.  That’s all good…every fan should have their team, and every team its park (although, I’m inclined to say, that the A’s are VERY deserving of a new park, one dedicated solely to baseball)! 
 
The whole time there, I had flashes of “Moneyball” come to mind, but that was the “hey day” and there wasn’t a sign of Billy Beane (http://tinyurl.com/3rtnvzo) anywhere!  For the record, the A’s prevailed on this day (6-1) and all was right in the world at Overstock.com Stadium (such a mouthful of a name for a ballpark, if you ask me)!
 
Glad I went, always am, but now I can say, “Been there, done that,” …not going back!   
 
To give them credit, they actually had the right stamp for my Pass-port!

To give them credit, they actually had the right stamp for my Pass-port!

A lovely day for a game!

A lovely day for a game!

And an equally calm night! (same game)!

And an equally calm night! (same game)!

Game Play!

Game Play!

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#5: Pac Bell (SBC/AT&T) Park

The Giants moved to Pac Bell/SBC/AT&T Park in 2000, and I was there several times during the inaugural season (http://mlb.mlb.com/sf/ballpark/index.jsp).

Though I can’t remember the specifics on any one game (sadly), I do remember what the awe I experienced when I first saw the new park.  Gone was the howling winds of Candlestick and the ridiculous distance one would have to drive up the 101 to get there.  Pac Bell was in the heart of the City, with views of the Bay – bright, shiny and new, and the standard by which I measure all new parks.

This park wasn’t just a venue, it was an experience – interactive and festive — without being over manufactured.  The food was yummy and varied, which I know was a dream for many (though, not for me since I’m the hot dog purist).

Even when the Giants lost, each game was a joy to watch – the park made it so.

Park #1: Candlestick

I suppose it all began with an “accidental” trip to Candlestick Park on a random Mother’s Day when I was about 10.  For whatever reason, my Dad thought it would be fun to go to Giants game for Mother’s Day.  I don’t especially think that’s what my Mom had in mind when we set out that day, but us kids didn’t care.

I wish I could say that this game set me off on my quest, but I can’t.  I know I had fun, but it was forgettable (though probably not for my Mom for a slew of other reasons), just another family Sunday outing, one of many, and many more to come.

If I had to pick one indelible memory of that game day – it was the wind. Howling and cold – that is Candlestick to me (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Candlestick_Park).

But, the wind and occasion aside…it was still the first.