Posts Tagged ‘AT&T Park’

Reasons Sports Fans Love Christmas

December 25, 2012

Dodger jersey

Every good sports fan loves getting an autograph at a game, or a rookie card of their favorite player, or an authentic jersey. There’s just something about owning a small piece of merchandise that represents your team t

Why am I telling you this? Is it really worthy of a blog post? No, probably not. But I’m borderline giddy at some of the gifts I received this Christmas, so go ahead and indulge me, huh? In no particular order:hat brings a childish sense of glee to a sports fan.

Clayton Kershaw Jersey

Brownie points for the girlfriend! With my James Loney jersey rendered useless when the current Tampa Bay Ray was sent to Boston last season, I was down to zero relevant Dodger jerseys. Absolutely unacceptable. And with the influx of money through the new ownership, Kershaw should be a Dodger for life. Win!

Autographed Kershaw Photo

What are better than brownie points? Chocolate cake points? Because along with that jersey came an authentic, autographed picture of Kershaw delivering a pitch (undoubtedly a strike…) from his left arm. Sports fans LOVE getting autographs – even if it’s one in 100, it feels like one in a million.

Book of Dodger History and Photos

When you truly love a sports team, knowing everything about them becomes priority. I consider myself an expert on the Dodgers already, but this will only make me more knowledgeable. And the old-school, black and white pictures will give me even more respect for my team’s history.

Dodgers and 49ers Ornaments

A nice blue Dodger cap and a 49er football that lights up a snowman’s face when turned on? Yes, please! Ornaments are a Christmas tradition, and no matter how juvenile or otherwise-useless they may be.

Ballpark Calendar

With the exception of May 2013, every month in the ballpark calendar my sister got me absolutely rules (AT&T Park represents that horrid month). It even has old-school Ebbets Field, home of the Brooklyn Dodgers. I don’t usually use calendars, but this one will be run ragged.

Kirk Gibson Bobblehead and Bobblearm

Okay, so I got this one myself. I couldn’t help it! I’ve been wanting the greatest bobblehead in bobblehead-related history since it came out in the middle of this summer. Now, I finally own the 1988 World Series Game 1 bobblehead of Kirk Gibson, rounding the bases with his bobblearm fist-pumping away. Totally, awesomely worth it.

Ranking the MLB Stadiums…So Far

May 15, 2012

So you all know I’m a baseball nut. If you don’t, you’re not actually someone I’ve ever talked to. And the fact that you’re still reading this blog is slightly awkward, kind of cool and extremely flattering.

My love of the sport has taken me far and wide throughout this great country to watch baseball games in person. Because there is nothing better than watching a game LIVE in the atmosphere you can barely hear on TV.

So far, I’ve been to ten MLB stadiums. My quest to visit all 30 (as well as all 30 in one regular season…stay tuned for that!) is one-third over. But how do you choose the best one?

Here is my attempt at ranking the ten stadiums I’ve visited so far, based on overall experience, fan knowledge, ball park food options, surrounding attractions, and ball park beauty.

10. o.Co Coliseum – Oakland A’s

This was an easy one to rank last. I’ve been to the most games at this stadium, but only because the tickets are cheap and the A’s are my hometown team. The actual coliseum in itself is decrepit and there are rarely a good amount of fans at games. A’s fans are extremely passionate, but they don’t like to see a shitty team play at a shitty ball park. Understandable. Plus Oakland as a city sucks, and the beer at the stadium is far too expensive.

9. Tropicana Field – Tampa Bay Rays

I’m not going to lie – I expected a lot worse. I’d heard horror stories about the aging dome, and how it was the worst venue in professional sports. Sure, it’s not glamorous by any means, but there’s a certain charm to it. I’m all for the Rays tearing it down and getting a new stadium, but I’m glad I got to experience Tropicana as it is meant to be experienced.

8. AT&T Park – San Francisco Giants

The ball park itself is gorgeous and classy and the location is unbeatable (right up against the Bay for anybody who has been under a rock for the last 11 or 12 years). But, I get the impression that a lot of fans come to the stadium and pay outrageous prices more for the experience than the actual game. Plus, I don’t like getting crapped on by seagulls from the 7th inning on. That alone renders the expensive tickets meaningless.

7. Yankee Stadium – New York Yankees

I actually went to the original Yankee Stadium. I haven’t been to the new one, but I heard it’s similar with more, newer amenities. I absolutely LOVED the old stadium. It’s more than a shame that it’s been torn down. For any baseball junkie, going to Yankee Stadium is like the Mecca of fandom. It was a beautiful venue with intelligent fans and just so much rich history that it soaked right through my clothes into my soul. Wow that was cheesy. By the way, I sat in the right field bleachers, so for all I know, Babe Ruth had hit a home run into my lap 80 years prior.

6. Petco Park – San Diego Padres

This is another newly remodeled stadium in California that just blows me away. The difference between Petco and AT&T is that the Padres have built a stadium with less bells and whistles that still maintains a fun, friendly atmosphere. I love the touch of the building down the left field line and the grass seating behind right center. And the surrounding, downtown area there is hopping off the chain every night.

5. Safeco Field – Seattle Mariners

I may be spoiled with this one, because my roommate and I scored free, Diamond Level tickets (three rows behind home, access to the VIP club under the stands with free food and drink all game) in the game I went to. But the stadium itself is pristine. The architecture is amazing, and the closed roof makes it feel like a much tighter atmosphere. I’ll tell you one thing – if Seattle fans are starved for a championship, they sure don’t show it. They rock and roll no matter how awful their teams are.

4. Wrigley Field – Chicago Cubs

This is my most recent notch on the belt. I went to Chicago a couple of weeks ago and got to see my Dodgers beat the Cubs at the friendly confines of Wrigley. Let me tell you…it looks beautiful on TV. It’s twice as good in person. The bleachers on top of apartment buildings, the wide open, expansive seating throughout the stadium, the classic scoreboard and press box, the simple concessions, and of course the luscious ivy. Cubs fans are professional losers, but they do it with an old-style grace all their own.

3. Busch Stadium – St. Louis Cardinals

All I can say is WOW. One of the most properly designed baseball stadiums you’ll ever see. The field itself is perfect, and the grounds crew mowing a little arch into the outfield grass before every home game is a snazzy touch. I love the wall of fame with retired numbers beyond the center field wall, and you can’t beat the skyline in the gap between center and left field. The third version of Busch Stadium is very near perfection, though it could use a little surrounding nightlife for after the games.

2. Dodger Stadium – Los Angeles Dodgers

Surprised this wasn’t number one? Well, I am technically a journalist. So I try to be objective once in a while. I absolutely am in love with Dodger Stadium. It’s similar to Wrigley where the seats are a wide open expanse of sunny, comfortable chairs. But, they are newer than Wrigley and the renovations have been done perfectly so as to not mess with the historic charm of Chavez Ravine. The bleachers are an ancient, yet classic touch, and you get a beautiful view of downtown L.A., as the park is perched atop a hill overlooking every part of the city of angels. And…duh. Dodger Dogs!

1. Fenway Park – Boston Red Sox

Yes, it’s breaking down a little bit. Yes, it’s old. Yes, the batter’s eye in center field is poorly done. But this stadium combines the charm of Dodgers Stadium and Wrigley Field, with the aura of Yankee Stadium, with the night life of San Diego, with the beauty of AT&T or Busch. It really is a mish-mash of all the greatest aspects of each previous stadium on this list. I sat by Pesky’s Pole when I went and watched the Yankees beat them on a late home run from A-Rod. The Green Monster is a sight to behold, and the fan knowledge in Boston is top of the class.

There you have it. What’s your favorite stadium experience?? Comment below and let me know! Or you can always tweet me at @Jamblinman if you’d like. Thanks for reading. Until next time, watch out for seagulls.

First LIVE baseball game!

April 3, 2012

It’s officially back for me, folks. Last night, I went to AT&T Park to watch the Oakland A’s play the San Francisco Giants in an exhibition game. A final tune-up for the regular season. Except for the A’s, who already played two real games in Japan. Rage. Don’t ask me about that.

Anyway, the Giants pulled out a 4-2 victory behind timely hitting from Brandon Belt and Melky Cabrera. Brian Wilson got an enormous ovation when he trotted in from the bullpen for the save attempt. I hate him with all my might, so needless to say, I stayed in my seat looking at my phone.

But the biggest ovation of the night came for San Francisco’s pride and joy, Buster Posey. He’s back from a horrific leg injury suffered at the beginning of the 2011 season, and while I love his game, I hate his team. So I wasn’t too happy about that.

But enough about my gripes (PSYCHE! Those are just getting started…). Here are some other observations from game one of my soon-to-be epic season of fandom:

– Cliff Pennington is going to have a better season than a lot of people realize. By no means does that make the A’s a contender, but he’s a sleeper. Take him late in your fantasy drafts.

– Giants fans continue to amaze me. And not in a good way. There was a group of sober, jersey-wearing Giants fans within ear shot who didn’t even know who most of their team’s players were. This isn’t a statement on their fan base in general, as I have many good friends who are solid, die-hard Giants fans.

– Eric Sogard turned on a Madison Bumgarner (who looked slightly shaky for once) pitch and pulled it down the line for a two-run homer to start the scoring. Boom!

– Josh Donaldson plays a mean third base. Two very nice running, over the shoulder catches in foul territory. His throwing error was Jemile Weeks’ fault at first base. You don’t stretch with your throwing hand, bro.

– I hate to admit it, but damn it if AT&T  Park isn’t pretty. The view of the Bay is so freakin’ awesome.

– That is, until the seagulls started a coordinated flight pattern over the stadium with intent to poop. No joke, the game was forgotten for at least three innings while people dodged flying gull feces. Props to the…rather large woman three rows ahead of me for laying out like Coco Crisp for a fly ball in order to get away from a white and brown bomb flying at her head. Underrated mobility from that lady.

– My goodness, Aubrey Huff is slow. He failed to cut off a ball that was headed for the corner even though it passed him on its way to the wall about eight feet from where he was originally positioned.

– The aforementioned trailer truck (Huff) didn’t help his case, getting gunned at home on a play at the plate early in the game. But a very nice throw from Josh Reddick in right field!

– Santiago Casilla made a relief appearance for the Giants. And I had his jersey on! From when he played on the A’s. Hashtag, awkward. Good thing I had a jacket on to cover the name so I didn’t look like a complete dweeb. Hey, we all make mistakes.

– My buddy, who later fell asleep in his seat (wtf?!) caught a Yoenis Cespedes homer in batting practice. Does this make him the first person to ever catch a BP home run by Cespedes in an American Major League park?! Hang on to that sucker, dude. Might be worth a few bucks in like 30 years.

– Lastly, the Giants did throw up a pretty sweet montage of the city, complete with the Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower, and other recognizable monuments. I giggled to myself in my seat, wondering what an A’s version of that would be. Five minutes of a camera circling Jack London Square?

That’s all I have. It was a great time, despite the flying crap and the final score. Can’t wait until next week when I get to see the A’s for the first time in a game that COUNTS in 2012! Until tomorrow, bring an umbrella to San Francisco. ‘Cause that shit cray. Literally.

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