Thursday, August 14, 2008

Day 12, Game 10: Pirates vs. Reds, 8/13

The smallest of the post-Camden parks, PNC Park was built to feel intimate and achieves that in spades. We were made to feel right at home after getting ribs from Manny's BBQ under the outfield bleachers. Manny Sanguillien was a 3-time all-star on the glorious 1970s Pirates teams and he signs autographs all night in front of his stand.

The grind of the road has caught up with both of us, so to be honest, we were looking for a mellow night. The crowd was small and subdued (probably from the team's 15-year streak of a losing record) and we got just what we wanted. The Pirates pitching was solid and the home team posted a rare win, 5-2.


Sadly, all good things must come to and end and tomorrow we've got one last drive to NYC. This trip has been unbelievable and I can't believe it's coming to an end. After a little sleep, we'll do a couple of follow up posts, including ranking the stadiums, and highs and lows of the trip. Thanks to those of you who took the time to read this thing. It's made the drive worth while.

Marty and Corky

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Day 11, Game 9: Indians vs. Orioles, 8/12

Pulling into Pittsburgh now. Details from last night will be up soon...

Finally pulled in to Pittsburgh about an hour ago, really cool place. We are about to head down to PNC Park for the final game (stop crying) of this road trip. I am excited for a great game and an appropriate rock n roll ending to this journey. More about tonight will be posted tomorrow during the long, long drive to NYC.

Here are some pics and videos from last night's game in Cleveland. We were feeling a bit sluggish after happy hour at the Winking Lizard. Corky shifted gears with a mysterious Red Bull concoction and before we knew it the game was rocking! The tribe held on for a close come from behind win and the crowd (easily the smallest crowd of any stadium we have seen yet) was having a blast. Some really nice baseball action...


Ace pitcher in action...

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Day 10, Game 8: Detroit vs. Blue Jays, 8/11

Wow. wow. wow. I think I've found my new home for baseball. I'd heard nothing but good things, but let me tell you now, this place has it all. GREAT stadium, fans and food. Now if only Leyland could get the Tigers to live up to their potential.

We bought tickets on the way to the game from a local bankruptcy attorney with a blog ( Hilarious dude with a silver tongue and a heart of gold. The seats were excellent (as promised), row 1 in the Upper box infield (panoramic view above), great for watching a game.

After 2 innings, we ducked away for food and 2 amazing things occurred. Trying to provide a break to the hot dog fight going on in my lower colon, I tried a hamburger. Yes, just a burger. With cheddar and grilled onions. Well damn, if it wasn't the best thing I've had on this entire trip.

Made by this angel.

Returning to our section, our neighbors informed us we'd just missed a foul ball bouncing off our seats. ARGH, cruel burger!!! No, no...I love you, succulent burger. I didn't mean it that way. But we could have caught a ball. Oh, curse you, baseball gods. Drool. Curse. Drool. Curse.

Eventually, we made our way around the stadium meeting all kinds of wonderful Detroit folks. The Tigers got thrashed pretty good, so by the 8th inning we settled in some vacated seats behind home plate and took some action shots. We hit an Irish bar on the walk home and partied with the locals (and some Border Patrol Inspectors). All in all, a perfect night. Except the Tigers lost. Boo.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Day 9 - Game 7, Reds v. Astros

After the SOX v. SOX game ended we drove halfway to Cincy and grabbed about 6 hours sleep somewhere in Indiana. We hit the road early this morning and arrived at Great American Ballpark right as the national anthem was starting, impressive considering were both tired and our GPS was being sassy the entire time. It was impressive to see a big crowd considering the Reds are one of the worst teams in baseball this

A really nice day and a mellow crowd, this game was a nice relief from the previous days craziness. Not a great game to watch, the Reds are a mess right now and a mediocre Houston team really put it to them for a final of 13-4. Aaron Harang gave up 8 runs in the first 2 innings, not one of his finer efforts. Lots of nice home run action early on, then we made a move out of the burning sunshine and checked into the legendary "Cincy" chili situation... After the game we headed right out of town and headed north - Tigers monday night in Detroit!

UPDATE: Adam Dunn, the 6'-6" Cincinnati home run machine, was traded today to the Arizona Diamondbacks. Here's a photo of his last inning in a Reds uniform. Boo.

Day 8 (PART 2) - White Sox v. Red Sox - Heading to the South Side!

After an amazing afternoon at Wrigley Field we raced across town to the White Sox v. Red Sox game at U.S. Cellular Field. We did pretty well, arriving in the top of the 4th. Daisuke Matsuzaka pitched a great game for Boston, holding Chicago to one run through 8 innings. Big Papi ripped a 3 run double off the center field wall in the top of the 7th to seal the win.

The game was packed, SRO tickets only for a stiff price - $45 each. After $22 to park i was beginning to sour a bit on this ballpark. The White Sox are a great team with a fine history, not sure this stadium really represents the team so well. Not my favorite stop on the trip but still a fun time... especially the italian sausage with onions.

Day 8 (PART 1), Game 5, Cubs vs. Cards, 8/09

On this the second full day of Olympic coverage, uneven bars specialist Chelsea Memmel wowed the Beijing crowd with...oh, who am I kidding? We came for BASEBALL. And what's better than a double dip in Chicago.

Wrigley. Day. Game.
For those of you unfamiliar with baseball, those might be the sweetest three words in the English language. And against their bitter rivals the Cards no less. Holy cow, what a day.

The history, the tradition, the rivalry. And more beer than I have EVER seen 40,000 people consume. By the cup, can and pitcher, beer was guzzled at a rate that would have killed an elephant.

Sadly, it did little to change the outcome of the game. They may go on to win it all, but today the Cubs got rocked. Carlos Zambrano, depite hitting a rare home run, got taggd for four the other way. Cubs lose, 12-3.

In the end, it was all worked out. The fans were great, the food was good and we got to see maybe the best rivalry in the best stadium in baseball.

An Old Style pour, from the can.

Rival fans put their differences aside.

1/1,000,000th of the total wreckage.

Now we just need to run across town to catch the Red Sox/White Sox game...

Friday, August 8, 2008

Day 7, Game 4: Milwaukee Brewers vs. Nationals, 8/08

Wow, the traffic is getting bad. We headed from St. Louis to Chicago to pick up tickets and then a 3 hour drive to Milwaukee. It's been 393 awful miles and we've been in the car all day. Fortunately, our trip was made easier by a stop at Mar's Cheese Castle in Kenosha.

Tonight's game looks to be well worth it. It's a sold out Friday night game with the Brewer's CC Sabathia on the mound. Yee-ha.

Took a bus from the hotel downtown right to the stadium. Our seats were up high off the third base line, but offered great views. After the 6th inning, we moved to the main level and found some great SRO views.

Miller Park was surprisingly nice. The fans were pumped up. And Sabathia was unreal, with a 103 pitch complete game shut-out. We might have crawled to Milwaukee for this. Wow. What a game. Brewers 5, Nats 0.

The Brewers are now 2 games up in the wild card race. It's been 26 years since Milwaukee saw a playoff game, and from the looks of it, they are pig biting mad about their post-season prospects.

Here's some other great moments from the game.

We met these wonderful Wisconsin ladies on the bus. They keep in touch by seeing a Brewers game once a year.

Sausage Race: The winner got a case of Miller, the losers were fed to CC Sabathia.

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Day 6, Game 3: St. Louis. Cards vs. Dodgers, 8/07

249 miles gets us to Busch Stadium in downtown St. Louis for a day game and a chance to see Manny Ramirez in Dodger blue.

Wow. Easily the best game of the trip. We rolled into St. Louis an hour before the 1:15 start and the streets we filled with fans in Cardinal red. And despite being in the very last row in the entire stadium, the view was fantastic. 2 BBQ pork sandwiches later we sat down and watched a pretty dominant pitching perforamance by Dodger rookie Clayton Kershaw, as well as Manny Ramirez destroy another ball over the fence. And despite having a chance to tie the game in the bottom of the ninth, the Cardinals went down, 4-1.

Here's the panoramic view from our seats (click to enlarge)

The Olympic Opening ceremonies are tonight and that means one thing...a 370 mile drive to Milwaukee to see the Brewers!

Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Day 5, Game 2: Kansas City. KC vs. Red Sox, 8/06

After a 182 mile drive, we're sitting in parking lot of Kauffman stadium 2 hours out. It's overcast and unbearably hot, but it looks like the weather might hold up for the game. Just bought 2 tickets off a Red Sox fan for half price. All is wonderful.

Kauffman Stadium (which is next to Arrowhead) is undergoing major renovations for next season, so the parking lot is pretty torn up and littered with construction trailers. Nevertheless, it's filled with some serious tailgaters, made up mostly of KU and KState kids. Two hours out, it feels like a post-apocalyptic frat party.

Publish Post

Kauffman Stadium (which is next to Arrowhead) is undergoing major renovations for next season, so the parking lot is pretty torn up and littered with construction trailers. Nevertheless, it's filled with some serious tailgaters, made up mostly of KU and KState kids. Two hours out, it feels like a post-apocalyptic frat party.

The game is a mix of highs and lows.
A fantastic BBQ pork sandwich for the best price in baseball:


As well as some great seats with fantastic sight lines

(we were on the second row off the third base line. hello, friend.)

It's also great seeing Tim Wakefield, the only knuckleball pitcher now starting in the bigs (I'm not counting DA Rickey). As a rookie called up mid-season, he helped the Pirates make the post season in 1992 by going 8-1 with his 62 MPH wickedness. It's great to still see him baffling hitters at the age of 42.

The game was sparsely attended (24,000, although higher than the team's 20k season ave.) Even worse, the Red Sox fans outnumbered the Royals 2 to 1. They came in greater numbers and cheered loudly for all nine innings. The area we sat in had an even higher percent of Sox fans.
Just look at this photo snapped from our seat.

(find a Royals fan, I dare you)

Also, the Royals lost 8-2. We came to root, root, root for the home team. So, boo.

Hopefully, a renovated Kauffman stadium will return the Royals to their George Brett glory days. In the mean time,

We've got a 4 hour drive and a 1pm in St. Louis tomorrow, so we've got to hit the road. (for a map of our travels, click on the map at the bottom)

Day 4: Denver to Salina, KS (434 mi.)

Leaving Denver, Martin caught this guy. We'd show you what the other side said, but there are children reading this. I can only imagine what Denver will be like in 3 weeks for the Democratic convention.
After a great breakfast at Mona's (thanks Kelly), we hit the road for a long and uneventful drive. In the middle of the night, we were awakened by some incredible thunderstorms. Bad weather seems to be sweeping the Midwest right now, putting tomorrow nights game (Boston@KC) in some jeopardy.

This was shot out the hotel window at 5am.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

Day 3, Game 1: Denver, CO. Rockies vs. Nationals, 8/04

After another 352 miles we arrive!

Sure the Rockies lost, but we got to see this sunset.

And enjoy this meal.

Here's a animated neon sign outside the stadium.

Tomorrow: day off. (600 mile drive to Kansas City to see the Royals play the Red Sox.)

Day 2: Ontario to Rock Springs, WY (531 mi.)

Not much to report, except a beautiful drive.

Day 1: Portland to Ontario (376 mi.)

Let's Roll (or Disaster Averted)

Busted doing 88! After learning of the epic nature of our journey, Officer Dobbs showed mercy on our souls and let us off with merely a warning (of an imminent time change in eastern Oregon.)

The view from Eastern, Oregon.