Mets

The Met game was a night game.  It was pretty comfortable.

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These are the only good pictures I have of the Met ball park.  The visitors won all five games on this tour.  The following day was the game in Philadelphia.  I did not go.  I was in need of some rest and A/C.  So I’ll have to go back sometime.

Cooperstown

Cooperstown is a small village with a big slant toward baseball.  The Baseball Hall of Fame is there, along with a couple of active ball fields.  Lots of souvenir shops. A few very nice restaurants.

Here I am outside the Baseball Hall of Fame.  (2) When I got inside I was met by three of the best ball players to play the game.   (3) Marris & Mantle
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A classified ad for a first Baseman.  
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Baseball Art 
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A tribute to Andre Dawson, one of this year’s inductees.  (2) Buck O’Neil, who brought the nation’s attention to the Negro Leagues.
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Boston Red Sox Ballpark

Fenway Park is OLD …. and can be seen up close in the first level concourse.
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The Green Monster.  That is a ball player on the warning track and fans above.
Picture two was taken from my seat in the bleachers in center field in the HEAT.
Across the street, I spied an air conditioned House of Blues.  I love the HOB.
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The TV inside the HOB showing the game.  I am a fan of the House of Blues.  I had some wonderful food and a couple of nice cool drinks … spread out over the length of the game.
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New York Yankees

Arriving at Yankee Stadium … me trying to keep cool in Yankee Memorial Park just beyond right field, that’s Reggie Jackson next to me.
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inside the park
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Mickey Mantle Restaurant
Autograph jersey of Brooks Robinson
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Mickey Mantle; Derrick Jeter signed home plate; autograph jersey:
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Oriole Park at Camden Yards

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On the street outside of Orioles Park.
That’s Cal Ripken, Jr. on the center field scoreboard. Left foul pole and center field..  The picture on the far right shows the building right across the street from right field.
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The Orioles pennants and their wall of fame.  That’s me keeping cool along with a couple Oriole favorites.
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I cannot leave out the food!  What you see here is pork ready to be pulled and made into a sandwich for me! 
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NE Baseball Tour

Baltimore, NYY, Cooperstown, Boston, Mets, and Philly.  First I have to mention the wonderful group of people on the tour with me.  The Host and Driver were the best.  I’ll upload pix from all the places I visited and comment on each stadium individually.  But I have to mention the damnable heat.  It was HOT; very HOT.  Did I mention this trip was HOT?  There was a heat warning everyday of the trip.  Now that I got the fact that it was HOT, I’ll go on to the individual sites.   

Human Error in Baseball

 

While I’m here, I have something to say about “Human Error.”  Last week, I was watching a game in which all the umpires left the field and went somewhere to view instant replay.  This is an outrage.  I figure if all the umpires leave the field, the game is called. 

I am pleased that the team of umpires consult with one another regarding a call.  But instant replay: a tragedy. 

Baseball is not a game of perfection.  This is part of its charm.

Umpires are professionals, just as the players and managers are.  Umpires work both the top and bottom of every inning.  Do they make mistakes? Yes. 

Do players make mistakes? Yes, they are called errors. Johnny Bench received 10 Gold Gloves.  Did he have no pass balls, no errors?  Did he never call the wrong pitch?

Pitchers may get 20 wins, yet lose more than they win.  They are considered for a Ty Cobb award.  Pitchers walk batters.  Pitchers give up homeruns.  They throw wild pitches.

Hitters are not successful 2/3 of the time. 

Managers make mistakes, leaving a pitcher in too long.  Not pinch hitting when it is called for.  Going with hunches that don’t pan out.

Human error is part of the game.  I can relate to that.  I feel an affinity for baseball because of the human error.

The game used to be played without umpires.  If we continue to let technology over-ride human error, perhaps in the near future, there will be no need for umpires.  Is that what we want?  NO.

What Makes for a Great Ballpark?

Are the fans close to the game, which makes the ballpark more cozy.  Low outfield walls help in bringing the fans closer to the action.  Sideline bullpens push fans further away from the action.  

Special features are a plus:  San Diego’s left field foul pole; the Angels waterfalls, the Dodger’s beach, the Giant’s McCovey Cove, etc.
Unless the “special” features detract from the excellence of the ballpark such as sideline bullpens.
Cookie cutter ballparks are a big turnoff.  I like deep outfield corners, seats that jut out along the baselines, providing interesting re-direction of the baseball.
San Francisco is a very cozy park in addition to McCovey’s Cove.  
San Diego has that great left field foul pole (the corner of the Western Metal Supplies Warehouse), as well as the seats along the warehouse.
Wrigley Field, where I have been several times, has the ivy covered outfield wall and fans that hang on every pitch.  There is no misunderstanding that you are there to watch the Cubs play ball.  I like the neighborhood park.  Wrigley is the 2nd oldest park still in use, Findley in Boston is the oldest.  And I was surprised to learn that the Dodgers play in the 3rd oldest park (1962).
I am looking forward to seeing Camden Yards, Findley Field, and the new Yankee and Mets parks.  I’m rather bummed I was not able to see the Yankee and Mets old parks.
A pitch for the home team: the retracting roof driven my a train engine; the blast of the Amtracks’ horns as they pass the park several times during the game;  seats that jut out along the sidelines, providing for deep outfield corners and ball re-direction.

Oakland Coliseum May 17, 2010

My California trip ended in Oakland, the ugliest ballpark in MLB.  It’s even uglier than the old Twins Hubert H. Humphrey Dome.  One’s first clue: it’s called a coliseum, OMG.  My seat was in the first row right before the sideline bullpen (another negative).  The weather was cool and drizzly.
Now to be fair, I was pretty fried by this time.  I had forgotten necessary parts to my CPAP, so my sleep was impaired.  I forgot my diskette for my camera, which is why there are no pics by me.  Oakland beat Seattle 8-4.  I had to leave early to make my connections to the combination of public transportation. 
All that considered, Oakland Coliseum is the ugliest “ballpark” I have seen to date.

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In the picture above, I am wearing my baseball pin hat.  Below are closeups of the hat with the above picture.  The one on the left is from the back, where the 5 California pins are.  The one on right is from the front.  The crown holds all Seattle Mariner pins.  The brim holds pins from all the ballparks at which I have watched games.
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Next up: I leave June 30th for the Northeast on a coach tour of Baltimore, New York (2), Boston, Philly, and the MLB Hall of Fame!