Many of our first dates were spent watching games at old Exhibition Stadium in Toronto. We went to the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York, on our honeymoon, and posed for a photo in Blue Jays’ uniforms. Yes, we were adults at the time.
I’ve been lucky enough to visit thirteen baseball parks, four alone on a west coast trip in our second year of marriage. Here are some observations:
- The worst (and funniest) heckling I’ve ever heard was directed at an umpire by two nuns at Wrigley Field. Sorry, I can’t repeat what they said – this is a G-rated blog.
- When we watched a game at Candlestick Park in San Francisco, the earth moved for me, mostly because we sat through a minor earthquake.
- The least attractive ballpark I’ve ever visited was the Kingdome. I’m calling it “least attractive” rather than “ugliest” to avoid hurting the feelings of any northwestern U.S. fans reading this blog. This domed concrete stadium was so dark, it may have actually inspired Samuel Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner. (Don’t forget his woeful infielder who “stoppeth one in three”.) The citizens of Seattle must love Safeco Field – they certainly paid their dues waiting for it.
- The smallest crowd I ever saw was in the biggest stadium. Andrew and I attended a double header in Cleveland’s Municipal Stadium on a blustery September day in 1990. The capacity of the stadium was over 74,000; there were about 12 people there that day. However, my dad had been a huge fan of the Indians and I was thrilled to visit their stadium.
- Best food I’ve ever eaten at a ball park? Tradition dictates that I should choose Dodger dogs, although the chili we ate on a freezing night at Oakland Coliseum was terrific.
- I’ve been to each of the old and new Yankee Stadiums once, and sat through a rain delay both times. What are the chances of that?
- I hate the Detroit Tigers so much, it’s impossible for me to admit how lovely Tiger Stadium was.
- I’ve been to more games at the SkyDome (now Rogers Centre) in Toronto than I can count. One of my favourites was the All-Star game in 1991, when I came this close to catching a foul ball hit by Cal Ripken.
Any other baseball fans (or former fans) out there?