Baseball and 9/11: Day One, 9/10/2019. The Pentagon and A Division Clincher

Prior to this season, I made it a personal goal to catch a Dodger game in each N.L. West venue. But not having had a chance to travel beyond Arizona in quite some time only whetted my appetite to journey toward the east. 

With the Dodgers being in Baltimore and New York City being a short train ride away, I decided to journey toward Charm City to catch a couple of games at Oriole Park at Camden Yards. 

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I would take the red-eye from L.A. to Baltimore, leaving a little past 1 AM on Tuesday, September 10th. After arriving to Charm City and dropping my stuff off at the hotel, I would take the local MARC commuter train south to DC en route to The Pentagon to check out the 9/11 Pentagon Memorial. 

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The benches outside The Pentagon each represent the 184 lives that we’re lost on the morning of September 11, 2001. Every day, the flow of water in the pool beneath the benches stops for one minute at exactly 9:37 AM, the time of the crash of American Airlines Flight 77. 

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Along the perimeter of the memorial is a wall that has a marker with the year of birth for each victim. 3 year old Dana Falkenberg would be the youngest casualty of AA Flight 77

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20190910_154452For perspective this picture would be taken facing the direction of AA Flight 77

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Off To The Yard…

20190910_180214Another yard down for Blue…

The commute from DC to Baltimore would be a smooth one as I would take the MARC’s Camden Line, dropping me off right by the yard. It’s only appropriate my train would drop me off by the yard, with it’s signature feature being the old B&O Warehouse

2 Baltimore Legends…Cal and The Babe, a Baltimore Native…

Home Run markers along the Eutaw Street promenade including Brady Anderson’s tape measure shot…

20190910_181732Tonight’s ballpark bites…Crabcake Sandwich with Old Bay seasoned chips…

20190910_193355 - CopyView from our Eutaw Street Bleacher seats…

With the magic number to clinch a 7th straight NL West title, the blue clad fans in attendance would sense a magical evening, lead off with a 3 run blast by Corey Seager in the visitors first. 

It would also be a magical night for Dodgers rookie 2nd baseman Gavin Lux, who would smash his first big league round-tripper…

Lux’s first big league blast would fall in the glove of a Dodger fan in the aisle next to me…

20190910_203415 - CopyThe fan would end up getting an autographed bat and two autographed baseballs…

Screenshot_20190917-091207_YouTubeGotta love that winning feeling…

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4 innings away from clinching the west, I decide to take a stroll throughout the park. Before I do, how ’bout a pic with the warehouse behind me…20190910_212556I’ve always wondered how one can enter the warehouse…

 

Strolling along Eutaw Street. That’s quite a moon out tonight. Blue Dog is enjoying the stroll, where we’d see this classic 1950 Chevy with Boog’s BBQ logo attached…

20190910_205837Big night for Corey. Corey’s having a big month of September…

As we approach the home 9th, up 4 runs and seats by the Dodger dugout being plentiful in large part to the O’s struggles, I take advantage of the opportunity to capture the moment…

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A subdued celebration, business as usual. 7 division titles will do that. Because, well, it’s that BIG PRIZE IN OCTOBER that we’re all coveting. But hey, it’s quite a feat nonetheless…

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Well wishes from Baltimore. Hey, 233 dogs showed up for the NL West clincher !!! This would be the first time the Dodgers would clinch a division in an American League yard…

This has to be the closest i’ve been to seeing a division clincher…

Alanna Rizzo with Dave Roberts and Gavin Lux…

20190910_220231Blue Fleece 2004…This is the 9th yard Blue Fleece 2004 has traveled…

Recapping Day 1 of my 3 day Dodgers, baseball and 9/11 themed trip upon my arrival to BWI, with an on-time arrival and things working like clockwork, I would go from Baltimore to DC to the Pentagon Memorial and back to Charm City…

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This would be my first trip to Camden Yards in 16 years so this isn’t a yard I needed to knock off on my list of 30. But I was so intrigued by it’s beauty I vowed I would make a return trip some day. It would also be the first time I would see the Boys in Blue in an AL yard other than Angel Stadium. 

When I planned this trip back in April, I could not have envisioned seeing The Blue clinch the NL West here or even this early. September 10 would mark the earliest the Blue would clinch a division title. 

The visit to The 9/11 Pentagon Memorial , one of the sites of the tragic 9/11 crashes of 18 years ago didn’t have the bone-chilling effect that many would feel. No matter though. It still a site that one who appreciate’s and reflect’s on history, no matter how tragic  should visit. 

The tragic events of 18 years ago would put a brief halt on the 2001 season. As the season resumed, baseball would be a small tonic baseball fans and this country would embrace, as it would serve as a distraction from the tragic events of the day. 

Day Two. Up to New York City on 9/11…

20190910_221115One last stroll for the night along Eutaw Street…

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Turning The NL West Blue: Recapping Drei’s Journey’s Through The Yards of The NL West

It’s a baseball fan’s dream to venture to all 30 MLB parks. Along the way, some minor league yards and an international yard or two may be on the list. As for me, I still got a ways to go before I hit up all 30. But prior to this season, I made it a personal goal to catch a Dodger game in all NL West yards all in the same season. 20190831_203851

Though I wasn’t the best good luck charm on the road this season, the Dodgers have more than held their own as they prepare themselves for a 7th straight NL West title and another deep October run. 

The journey through the NL West was an exciting one. Each yard and city has it’s own story. And of course, each yard has it’s own personality. 

I’ve always believed that the best yards in baseball reside here in the NL West. Putting aside my personal biases toward our beloved Chavez Ravine, how do the rest of the yards in the NL West stack up with Drei?

4. Chase Field: Arizona DiamondBacks, Visited 8/31/2019

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Of the 5 yards in the NL West, this is easily my least favorite. Having said that, there still some redeeming factors that make Chase Field enjoyable, such as the Friday’s Front Row Bar & Grill above left field and it’s patio that gives fans an opportunity to dine with friends and family while taking in a ballgame. 

20190831_144900Kid n Drei pregaming at Friday’s before the Dodgers-DBacks game, 8/31/2019

The retractable roof is a nice convenience from the scorching desert weather and on that rare occasion when the yard is filled, as it was on this evening as a Chase Field record crowd of over 50,000 we’re on hand (You can thank us Dodgers fans for bumping up those numbers…), the atmosphere can be electric. 

Aesthetically, this is decidedly the least attractive of the other 4. Though the roof is a nice convenience, when closed, you get the feel of watching a game inside a huge airport hangar. Or as my former supervisor who now resides in Phoenix once told me, it has the excitement of going to Costco.  

Though established in 1998, just 2 years before Oracle Park, The Snakes are looking for new digs. Though Chase Field is only 21 years in existence, we’re in the era of the disposable ballpark. 20190831_164542

So Chase Field may not rank so highly among ballpark travelers and baseball fans. It’s main signature feature is a pool that in only available to private groups. But after only 21 years is a new yard really necessary?

3. Coors Field: Colorado Rockies, Visited 6/29-30

20190629_190615My favorite mascot among division rivals, Dinger! 

If there’s one thing Dinger and I have in common, it’s our disdain toward that Seal up in San Francisco. 

Of the other 3, it’s very easy to put the remaining NL West trio in any order. Coors Field, opened for business in 1995 is the 3rd oldest yard in the Senior Circuit behind Wrigley Field and Dodger Stadium. Not bad company to be with for a yard soon approaching it’s 25th year. 

20190630_134510Coors Field. Established 1995

Opened for business 3 years after Oriole Park in Baltimore, Coors Field opened it’s gates at the height of the 90’s retro yard craze. I’ve often stated that the term retro is often overused. However, with Coors Field, the elements within the yard justify it’s status, or at least it’s exterior, blending in with the continuously developing LoDo neighborhood… 

20190629_132632Greetings From LoDo, Blue Dog !!!

With the Rockies in playoff contention at the time of our visit, Coors Field was filled to capacity during the 2 games we came. Coming off of last year’s playoff appearance after finishing one game behind The Blue, there was a buzz felt throughout the weekend. The Blue would split the two games that my buddy Josh and I attended. 

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Recent changes to Coors Field was the elimination of outfield upper deck seats behind right field, replaced with The Rooftop. 20190629_184028It’s a great social spot for the casual fan and a great way to get in the yard on the cheap. But if you come to ACTUALLY watch the game, get yourself a seat, even if you land one on the Purple Row. 20190630_115454

The landscape beyond CF add’s to Coors Fields charm, surrounded by local natural rocks and greenery complimented by a water display. 20190629_171610Hey Blue Dog! You sure like traveling with Drei !!!

If you should be so daring, do try the Rocky Mountain Oysters at least once. 20190629_194540Taste’s like chicken!!!

If that’s not enough, try out the Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout at nearby Wynkoop Brewery. 

20190629_222430This Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout got a good deep malty touch…

20190630_170552See you made a new friend Blue Dog!!!

2. Petco Park: San Diego Padres, Visited 5/5/201920190505_135226

Opened in 2004 Petco Park definitely screams San Diego, with it’s exposed white beams and it’s navy blue seats. With all the so-called retro yards opened in the 90’s, Petco bucked the trend sans the Western Metal Supply Co. Building

20190609_114704Western Metal Supply Co. Building, from the outside…

Daytrips to San Diego are a regular occurrence for the Dodger Blue Faithful as many a Dodger Blue clad fan makes the trek down I-5. Next to Coors Field, Petco may have the best neighborhood vibe of the yards here in the west, with it’s location right next to the Gaslamp. 

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2019050595164509.jpgThe Garv. First number ever retired by the Padres. Of course it took a Dodger to accomplish this feat…

And finally, again putting all biases aside and to the dismay of some…

1.  Oracle Park: San Francisco Giants, Visited 5/1/201920190501_175946

Soon to be in it’s 20th year, Oracle Park is now under it’s 4th name. In spite of certain locals of all ages, including some old enough to be my grandfather, personally wishing me ill will, I really enjoy Oracle and The City. 

Though The Blue would fall on a Buster Posey walk-off, on a personal note, my record over the years at Pac Bell/SBC/AT&T/Oracle Park is 10-9. 20180428_083809.jpgThe Portwalk…

Oracle Park is one of those yards if your visiting for the first time you’ll want to arrive early to check out the various viewing points. Before setting foot inside Oracle take a stroll along the portwalk. Check out the distant views of the bay and the kayaker’s setting up shop along McCovey Cove. 20180428_141225.jpgCody Bellinger has already deposited one to The Cove. It’s only a matter of time Joc drop’s one in…

If you end up in Oracle’s upper reaches, don’t see it as a bad thing. Next to PNC Park in Pittsburgh, Oracle has one of the big’s most distant picturesque views with The Bay as the backdrop…20180428_145237.jpg

 

As for the food, if you really wanted to you could spend the whole game on a food run. On this night, I went with the 40 clove garlic chicken sandwich and garlic fries. 20190501_181902Mints optional…

So there’s my wrap around the NL West. I can now say I’ve chased The Blue in every NL West yard in one season. Here’s more from my visits to Oracle ParkPetco ParkCoors Field Day 1Coors Field Day 2 and Chase Field

 

As if I didn’t have enough, I also had a chance to catch The Blue in Charm City, Baltimore. Charm City report coming soon…

 

 

 

 

Cruising The N.L. West: Kid n Drei’s Desert Invasion and The Pantone 294 Experience, 8/31/2019

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The day started off really early. With a 4 AM  meetup time at Union Station, I catch the last Red Line train of the day at just before 2:30 from the North Hollywood Station. Arriving at Union Station just before 3, with an hour to kill I head to that classic American late night diner across the street from Union Station’s east end, Denny’s.

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Shortly before our 5 AM departure with some of the other fans traveling with Pantone 294. It would be a mix of veterans and newbies. A total of five buses would bus us to Phoenix, 2 of them out of Pomona. After checking in with our bus leader we depart just outside of Olvera Street a little after 5. A little groggy, I’m just glad we’re on our way.

After a brief stop in Pomona for the other Pantoners we make our way along I-10 en route to The Valley of The Sun…

20190831_051640Kid Marlz all comfy with his neck rest…

After almost 4 hours on the road we make a pit stop at Carls Jr. in Blythe, just short of the CA-AZ border. 

20190831_094722Bus 1. The one bus with the 294 logo…

20190831_094500Waiting to get back on the bus. We would take a group photo before continuing on to Phoenix…

As we left Blythe the mood on the bus is a bit livelier now with everyone fully awake, with music blasting and keeping us entertained. The fans sitting around us we’re really friendly, sharing some of their brews with us. As I said earlier, our bus was a good mix of newbies and us first-timers. 

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One more rest stop before we hit up Phoenix. 

20190831_115701Some in-state fun facts…

As we got closer to Phoenix approximately 30 minutes away we play have some games and trivia. One of the games was to see who could do the best impression of anything or anyone of choice. I could not help but do my best Vin Scully impression…”IT’S TIME FOR DODGER BASEBALL !!!”. Along with answering correctly who managed the ’59 and ’53 Champs (Walter Alston), I would win this water bottle and flag…

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Through raffles some lucky fans in all the buses would win a chance to be on the field prior to the national anthem.

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Shortly after 1PM, we have finally arrived. Most of the traveling bunch would head over to Game Seven Grill next to the yard. Game Seven Grill would be to huge and impersonal for Kid and I, confirming the 2-Star reviews on Yelp so we decide to head over to Friday’s Front Row Sports Grill inside Chase Field. But before we do some pregame dining, I decide to take Kid to the lower viewing area of Friday’s, which has a patio above the left field as well that fans can access through the restaurant…

20190831_134221Greetings from AZ!!! From Kid n Drei

20190831_144900Lunchtime at The Yard…

We would be seated next to the open garage door window that gave us a great view of the field, giving us a chance to watch both the Snakes and The Blue take BP. Those seats turn into gameday table seating for a charge. There are outdoor patio tables that seat 4 as well, above left field and inside the yard. Those would be a great experience with 3 of your buddies, dinner and a game…

20190831_144750Another yard hit up by our Blue Dog…

The food at Friday’s is your typical bar food, nothing spectacular but at this particular one your mostly here for the experience of dining inside a MLB ballpark. My android of course knew where we we’re because as soon as Kid and I we’re done ordering, as I was posting on IG I see an offer for a buy one get one free entree, which our waitress gladly honored…

To be fair, I can see why Pantone 294 would choose Game Seven Grill as their pregame meeting spot with it’s 2 floors and all that space to accommodate all their traveling fans.  Friday’s would not have been able to accommodate all the traveling Patoner’s, though some would do their pregame dining there as well…

The 20-Year Experience

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Celebrating their 20 year existence in 2018, the DBacks have a nice little beyond the left field concourse highlighting some of the teams memorable moments, highlighted by their 2001 World Series triumph over the Yankees…

20190831_164542Pregame view from atop the left field line….

20190831_174305The view from our seats in right field. With all the Blue provided in our section by the travelling Pantone 294 group you’d think this was a Dodgers home game…

OK. In many ways, this felt like a Dodger home game, with a strong contingent of Blue throughout the yard. 20190831_201130Blue Dog trying to lead the Pantoner’s to a 9th inning rally for The Blue

Unfortunately, the rally would fall one run short. For the 3rd straight game The Blue would surrender a 3-run lead to The Snakes. This time, it would be with Kid K starting. Kenley Jansen would appear in the home 8th and quickly surrender a solo shot. Usually when talking about Kershaw and Jansen in the same sentence that would be enough to send bad thoughts to opposing hitters. That has not been the case as of late. Can these two find their old stroke back before October?

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So I wasn’t exactly a good luck charm on the road this year for The Blue. But hey, I set out what I wanted to do this year and check out The Blue in each NL West yard. Petco Park in San Diego is the one I’ve frequented the most, of course, with SD being the closest to L.A. 

It would be my first time back to Chase Field since 2003 when it was known as Bank One Ballpark, aka, The BOB. It would be Kid Marlz first trip to Chase Field…

The DBacks have let it known they want a new yard. Though Chase Field has only been in operation since 1998, the Local 9 have been in a battle with Maricopa County with the current condition of their new yard. True, the Chase Field experience may resemble being inside an oversized airplane hangar, or as one of my former supervisors who now resides in Phoenix describes the atmosphere, ” A day at Costco”, Chase Field at least to the naked eye hardly seems outdated. Of course, we’re talking in the era of “disposable yards”…

 20190831_204426Kid kickin’ it by the pool after the game. Drei was so tempted to toss him in…

The Traveling Fleeces

20190831_204522Blue Fleece 2004

20190831_204539Blue Fleece 2012

One of my goals also is to bring the Blue Fleeces to as many yards possible. Both these fleece’s have ventured to each NL West yard! More on the fleeces later…

It was quite a venture with Kid and the Pantone 294 group. Ironically there we’rent too many shenanigans this time around with Kid N Drei (That might be a first…We gettin’ old Kid?)

This would be our first time traveling with the Pantone 294 group. If you enjoy being among a group of rabid Dodgers fans traveling with the Pantoner’s should be on your list of Dodger road-trip to-do’s. Everyone is really united as one with a mix of regulars and first-timers, partying up and offering drinks while keeping everything under control. The one thing I was hoping to see at the game and be under was it’s travelling flag. Several regulars told me stadiums we’re no longer permitting the flag inside their yards…

20190831_215952Waiting on our ride…

It’s been quite a day. If any of you have ever done a Vegas or casino turnaround, think of this as a Dodger baseball version of one. It was a great time had by all wearing the Dodger Pantone 294 Blue. We would also be a part of Chase Field history, as on this night, August 31, 2019, a record crowd of 50,180 would be on hand, many of course wearing the Dodger Blue, a fact not lost among the locals…

20190831_214335HEY KID! You’re hair gets longer and longer each time I see you, which isn’t so often these days. That’s what happens when you get older folks…Savor the good times you have with your close one’s…

20190831_214453Blue Dog seems to like your long hair Kid…

20190831_230611Kid’s beat, and no Beatz from Kid…Time to head home to L.A. 

The route to Phoenix along I-10 really isn’t so scenic. But it’s a direct one. One of these days I do hope to travel along the old Mother Road along old Route 66. 

Well Kid, you’ve seen the Dodger Blue on the road through with Drei through 4 of 5 NL West yards. If all goes to plan, we’ll hit up Colorado some time down the road, something Drei did earlier this year. 

It’s been quite a year cruising the NL West, giving each rival yard a Touch of Blue. Gonna recap my visit to each yard soon….

20190831_213127Another NL West yard out of the way…Just a Rocky Mountain yard away from you to complete the NL West Blue Invasion, Kid…’Til the Next Episode

 

 

Notes On a Scorecard: 6/1, Walkin’ Off With The Fresh Prince of Chavez Ravine Against Philly

It’s been awhile since I’ve done Notes On a Scorecard. What a month of June it was keeping score at the yard. Even the one non-Dodger game I would go would be a history-maker. I’ve tried over the years to save my cards mostly because well who knows what memorable or historic moment may come of it. On this first night of June, the Dodgers would take on Philly in the second of a three game set. 

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On this night the Phillies would throw an “Opener” at us with Jose Alvarez taking the hill. I haven’t seen “openers” enough to really give an opinion. Thank god the Dodgers boast a deep rotation.

Kid K would go a solid 7 while striking out 6. However, Julio Arias would quickly surrender a 2-run lead in the visiting 8th on a 2-run shot to Bryce Harper. 

Arias would settle down, and in the home 9th, against Philly, Will Smith, no, not Will Smith from West Philadelphia, Will Smith the call-up from OKC, would do this…

This would be Will Smith’s first ever walk-off in any level and his first career MLB 4-bagger, against, of course, Philadelphia. Hollywood script huh? Rookie named Will Smith hits his first ever walk-off and first MLB 4-bagger against Philly. Hollywood can’t even script that…

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On another note from this first day of June, look at the batters in front and behind him. Some future magic ahead with those 3 rookies?

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Cruising The N.L. West, Day Two: Strolling Through LoDo and The Series Finale, Dodgers vs. Rockies 6/30

Leading Off…

20190630_103852So true in baseball…

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Just a little over 20 minutes before 11AM local time on this last day of June. It’s been a humid weekend in the Mile High City, so far the clouds have stayed away. Prior to the series finale I decide to take a stroll throughout the area surrounding the ballpark. 

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What does this neon artwork look like when lit at night?

e9f2August ’06

It’s still early. How ’bout we grab some breakfast?

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Located about a block from the yard, it’s nice to see Kachina uses ingredients both local and Cali made…

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The Blue Corn Waffles sound good…

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I was expecting the waffles to have more of the blue corn texture as described. But that whiskey maple syrup…What a kick. Syrup also can be served to kids but without the whiskey…Back to my pregame stroll…

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Above are pictures of the construction that will eventually become a mixed use entertainment complex across the street from Coors Field. 

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Views from outside the yard on 20th street…

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With the number of brick buildings surrounding the area Coors Field certainly blends in well with the surrounding neighborhood of LoDo. 

20190630_113921The Starting Nine for Colorado…

20190630_114858Greetings From One Mile High…

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Gettin’ that Mile High feeling…

Speaking of One Mile High…

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This now marks the ninth yard past and present our traveling blue fleece has entered. 

The Purple Row

As you may know by now, the Purple Row in the upper reaches of Coors Field, Row 20 to be exact, marks the sport where fans are exactly one mile above sea level…

20190630_115454Back at it one mile high with Blue Dog

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20190630_115156Hey, Blue Dog’s buddy, Bailey decided to join him a mile high…

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If I should ever make it back to the Mile High City maybe one day I’ll ask for a seat in the purple row…Off to The Rooftop

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On the way to The Rooftop we pass through Carlos Gonzalez’s accomplishment. We hear you love L.A. Carlos…

Pregame view from The Rooftop. The day started off so hot and humid you could actually smell the wood along the drink rail. If it was any hotter i’d be able to cook some wood-smoked salmon…

Behind the Batter’s Backdrop

20190630_123849So tempted to pull a piece of that ivy along the backdrop…

20190630_123951Home plate of the visitors bullpen. That’s gotta be one of the most scenic bullpens in the bigs. Gotta wonder how many warmup pitches have skipped away onto that pool of water. How many dingers have landed there as well…

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Our view from our seats. With this yard’s homer friendly reputation does a Cody Bellinger 4-bagger land our way today? Notice the clouds starting to come in compared to the earlier clear skies…

20190630_131025Opening intro for the Rockies. Our pic featuring Charlie Blackmon…

JP to lead things off for us. I get a feeling he’s gonna have a big day today…

20190630_132230Gettin’ my facetime with Cody Bellinger. 

One of the notable changes to Coors aside from the addition of The Rooftop is their scoreboard and it’s unique “Rocky Mountain-like” shape. Without a doubt one of the best boards in the league when it comes to it’s unique quality…Another side note on this last day of Sunday…Earlier it was sunny, now, first pitch, still hot at 92 degrees but now we have a cloud cover…

Ballpark Blueprints…

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When walking the concourse behind the center field batters backdrop you’ll notice this mural depicting the cattle life of the Rocky Mountains up to the construction and opening of Coors Field in 1995…

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View from the LF corner. For still being one of the biggest yards in the MLB, Coors Field feels surprisingly intimate…

20190630_155518Cody at the dish, top 6th. The visiting 6th would see the Blue put up a 6 spot over the Rockies. The three 6’s would not be kind to the home nine…

20190630_161353After feasting and drinking on Rocky Mountain Oysters this time I kept it simple…The Denver Dog…

20190630_165958JP with a big day as I predicted earlier. One of the key contributors to that big 6th…

20190630_170018Josh sure enjoyed that 6th…Now your weather update…76 degrees and cloudy. A 16 degree drop in just under 4 hours…

20190630_170552Well look who decided to join Blue Dog…In spite of the Blue about to salvage the final game of four and their 13th in their last 15 over Colorado, Dinger holds no ill-feelings…

After a little over 4 hours, the Blue finally comes away victorious…

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And I finally see a road win…

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FINALLY !!! A WIN ON THE ROAD FOR DREI !!!

20190630_171723Brought the other Blue Fleece on the road. This is the first time this Blue has left California. Our newfound Dodger buddy Dion, visiting from Wyoming, helped me hold up Blue Fleece II as we battled the Rocky Mountain winds…

20190630_171952My first “real” road trip with Josh in almost 10 years (SF and SD don’t count…). Our last road trip? Albuquerque, 2010, when ABQ was the Dodgers AAA affiliate. Today’s ABQ affiliate? Of course, the Colorado Rockies…

Closing Time…

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It was an enjoyable weekend in the Mile High City. The locals we’re very hospitable. It was great to get out on the road again with my buddy Josh after almost 10 years. Of course, the older you get the harder it is to do everything you set out to do. Heck, I haven’t even been to a game with Kid Marlz this season (Stay tuned…)

Now the third oldest yard in the NL behind only Wrigley Field and Dodger Stadium, Coors Field won’t be going away anytime soon. Even with the changes both in and outside the yard, Coors Field, though does not have that new-stadium feel anymore, still maintains that retro/mid 90s feel if you will. Even with the recent improvements, there isn’t much in the way to distract you from the game. Aesthetically, Coors Field blends in well with the surrounding neighborhood…

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One of my baseball traveling goals was to catch the Dodgers in every NL West yard. One of my other goals was to do it in the same season as well. I’ve accomplished one of the two so far with Chase Field left to go. Along the way during this trip we crossed paths with other Dodgers fans. No surprise there since Dodgers fans always travel well. We even crossed paths with a bride and her besties as they celebrate one last baseball trip together before she ties the knot…(That’s quite a future hubby she got there letting her travel with her besties to see her Dodgers…)

It’s still my goal to hit up all 30. I’ve hit up 16 of the current 30 along with 7 past yards (8 if you count me setting foot inside The Kingdome…)

20190630_174530Time to head home Blue…

20190630_185847Boy the weather sure can change rapidly here…Being we’re one state away from Oz perhaps I should click my heals a few times to get us home…

Extra Innings…Drei’s Tale

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Kickin’ it with Dinger, August ’06…I need to revisit my good ol’ Jurassic buddy…

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Whassup Dinger ! You still enjoy chomping on Surf and Turf? You know, seal from the waters of McCovey Cove and your favorite…Rocky Mountain Oysters !!!

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Cruising The N.L. West, Rocky Mountain Weekend, Day One: National Baseball Museum and Dodgers-Rockies 6/29/2019

It’s been awhile since my buddy Josh and I had a chance to take a road trip, and when I say that, I don’t mean a drive to San Diego…LOL. Upon arriving late Friday evening into early Saturday morning, the night was made even longer by an extremely long rental car checkout no thanks to Fox Rent a Car and an extremely longer wait at Denny’s on 40th and Peoria. 

Having got the most grueling part of the trip out of the way, Josh and I make our way to the National Baseball Museum prior to the Saturday evening match up between the Dodgers and Rockies. But first, our continued feature of murals from cities visited…

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Keep our streets safe Denver…

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The museum is located across the street from Coors Field’s home plate entrance on Blake and 20th. Small and intimate, the museum is a must-see for any baseball fan making their way through the Mile High City. 

Much of what is featured in the museum are original memorabilia from baseball’s original 14 teams including an original piece from the chandelier of Ebbets Field’s famed rotunda… 

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20190629_155729.jpgTurnstyles from Shibe Park in Philadelphia and Forbes Field in Pittsburgh

 

 

Seats and bricks from the original 14…

 

 

Paying tribute to the Denver Bears

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Kicking it with Josh and the man who put this all together, Bruce Hellerstein

Off To The Ol’ Ballgame

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Blue Dog taking in the sights around the yard hours before first pitch…

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A little over an hour and a half before first pitch finds me outside of Coors Field’s home plate entrance. It would be my first time back since ’06 when I saw some kid, Troy Tulowtizky, make his debut…It’s a goal of mine to see The Blue in every NL West yard this year…

As said, this is my first trip to Coors Field since 2006Coors Field, open for business since 1995 is now the 3rd oldest NL yard behind only Wrigley Field and Dodger Stadium. At only 24 years, Coors Field is quietly up there with good company. No small feat considering that the Ballpark in Arlington, opened one year prior, will be out of commission after this season. 

20190629_170853Josh and I kickin’ it with Herbie Husker, the University of Nebraska mascot on Nebraska Night at Coors…

20190629_171440Coors Field water feature, with all the natural scenery home grown in Colorado…

Pregame Bite…The Helton Burger

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The Helton Burger, named after former Rockie Todd Helton is nothing more than your typical burger. But hey, it’s one of those ballpark food items you eat for the sake of saying you ate a ballpark item, you know, like the Dodger Dog…Speaking of, another Coors Field food item coming later…

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Our view from the upper right field stands. It was a warm and humid weekend in the Mile High City. As you can see the sun is doing it’s best to peak through the cloud cover on this Saturday evening…

More Coors Field Eats…Rocky Mountain Oysters

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Some of you may know by now that Rocky Mountain Oysters are not creatures of the sea. They are grown on land from a part of a bull…

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Josh behind me giving words of encouragement. That piece looks more like a chicken strip…

20190629_194429 The look on Josh’s face. That Rockies fan probably thinking “Not another Rocky Mountain Oyster pic…”

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Not bad actually. Maybe it was me channeling my Asian roots…That Rockies fan seems to be in disbelief that I went all in on that Rocky Mountain Oyster…It’s not as bad or creepy as people make it out to be. If you like chicken gizzards or calamari and don’t give this local delicacy much thought, you’ll be alright…(The fans behind me seem to be in disagreement…OK, I guess my Asian genes gave me an advantage…)

20190629_202521View of the sunset peaking through the cloud covers, from the Rooftop with the mountains in the distance…

20190629_203018Ah yeah. Gotta love that view…

20190629_202600Another view from The Rooftop, the most recent enhancement to Coors Field…

The final result from night one of our two day trip to Denver wasn’t what we hoped, with the Dodgers dropping their second straight of four to the Rockies. Oh well. The Blue still has a double-digit lead in the standings. Back at it tomorrow…

20190629_211906Matt Holliday. My all-time favorite Rockie for something he did in a Cardinals uniform in Game 2 of the 2009 NLDS

20190629_212113Hey Josh! Enjoying the Mile High nighlife?

Day One Notes…Return to the Mile High

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Since I’ve already been to Coors this isn’t one of those yards that was necessary to knock of on my journey to 30. Prior to this season I made it a goal to see The Blue in every NL West venue. With my visit to Coors, I’m only a Chase Field visit away from completing my cycle. 

Aside from the recent addition of The Rooftop not much has changed inside Coors since my visit in 2006. As mentioned earlier, opened in 1995 it is now the 3rd oldest yard in the National League behind only Wrigley Field and Dodger Stadium. Unlike the Ballpark In Arlington, opened for business one year prior and now in it’s final season, Coors will be around for awhile. If there’s any doubt about Coors Field status, a mixed-use development project across from Coors Field named after the teams former President is currently in the works, adding on to an already thriving LoDo district…

20190629_204846Construction cranes in the distance, lit purple

Postgame…Rocky Mountain Brews and Eats

Our postgame dining would take us to nearby Wynkoop Brewing Company, established in 1988 (Something about 1988 that puts a smile on my face…). 

20190629_223301Patty’s Chile Beer

First of all, you all didn’t think I came to Denver to drink Coors did you? The first of two brews I tried, Patty’s Chile Beer is one of those outside the box selections brewed with Anaheim, serrano and ancho peppers. For the most part it’s a pretty light beer. The taste of the three peppers are evident but won’t burn your mouth. A Home Run! BTW, this isn’t the only out of box brew I will try…

20190629_223725Appetizers. The grilled sausage board. Rabbit & rattlesnake jalapeno, Wynkoop IPA and wild boar, and rocky mountain oyster stout brat. 

Yup. They love their rocky mountain oyster’s here. That’s not the last item I’ll try that has a “hint” of the Rocky Mountain’s…

20190629_222347Josh playing it safe with the house made root beer…

20190629_224429The Bison Meatloaf. (I had no idea they had a dish honoring Matt Kemp…)

Even with a coarser taste, the Bison Meatloaf is still flavorful and just as good as your usual ground beef. Patty’s Chile Beer made for a nice pair. Speaking of brew…

20190629_222108Our Featured Brew, the Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout

Yup, you read that correctly, the Rocky Mountain Oyster Stout! What started out as an April Fools joke, this dark stout once again isn’t as scary as what you might think if again, you don’t give it much thought, with a hint of chocolate combined with, of course, rocky mountain oysters, roasted no less (Have you noticed yet I’ve yet to give a true description of the famed, or infamous, Rocky Mountain delicacy?) Another hit outta the yard !!! (Disclaimer…I take no responsibility for any conditions you may experience trying anything with Rocky Mountain Oysters!!!)

Day One is complete. The highlights included a trip to the National Ballpark Museum to finally tasting the much talked about Rocky Mountain Oysters in all different forms. Day two will be coming soon. 

20190629_233311Josh and I outside the Wynkoop Brewery. Josh looking all happy because I didn’t force him to “try” one more Rocky Mountain Oyster item…

20190629_234548 (1)After dinner stroll with Blue…

20190629_234702 (1)Denver must have known we we’re coming, giving us that “Touch of Blue”…

20190629_171610Back at it tomorrow, Blue Dog !!!

Extra Innings…One More Bite

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Just can’t have enough of those Rocky Mountain Oysters!!! That Rockies fan seems to have his eyes on “other” sites…

 

Happy 100th, Sons of Westwood

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Leading off, I want to put it out there that I never attended UCLA. That was a childhood dream of mine when my uncle influenced me to cheer for all things Blue and Gold OK, I also had an attachment to the retro Joe and Josephine Bruins. 

As my high school days started to dwindle I knew I wasn’t going to be an undergrad at UCLA, at least not right away. Heck, I would have been happy just to be accepted to any major university after completing JC at Pasadena City College. 

Most of my memories of UCLA are tied to athletics of course. Over the years i’ve often been asked why I have such enthusiasm for a school I never attended. I always answer back, if attending said college is a requirement for showing support there’d be plenty of empty seats at The Coliseum on Saturday  afternoons.

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It was at UCLA where a Dodger named Jackie Robinson would be a four-sport letterman Prior to going to UCLA Jackie would attend the JC I’d attend, PCC. 

This past week would be filled with celebrations from Westwood throughout Los Angeles. A spectacular light show with Royce Hall as the backdrop would help start off the week-long celebrations. The show would display many of the school’s accomplishments and contributions. 

20190518_210712(0)Tom Bradley. L.A’s first and only African-American mayor to date…

20190518_210449The Wizard of Westwood…John Wooden

And of course, Dodgers fans favorite Son of Westwood, also celebrating 100 years…

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Of the many highlights throughout the week we’re the various photo ops throughout Westwood and L.A., with another celebration at Grand Park, where the one time big man on campus, Lew Alcindor, better known today as Kareem Abdul Jabar would address the crowd.

As photo’s of me we’re being taken both on campus and at Grand Park I would quip to the person taking my photo that I had to act like I was doing an 8-Clap. As onlookers saw what I was doing, some decided to join me as well, be it the 100th anniversary themed photo booth or the Grand Park fountain that was lit in, Blue and Gold

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20190522_2057408-clap in front of City Hall !!!

As stated earlier, most of my personal favorite memories from the Sons of Westwood are from athletics. Be it the countless 8-claps I’ve done, from The Rose Bowl to Westwood, along the coast from The Bay Area to Seattle and even in enemy territory from Fig and Jefferson to The Coliseum. The Victory Bell. Ringing the bell never gets old…

FB_IMG_1558070563242The Bell is home !!! 

Those are just some of my favorite UCLA moments. I’ll be sharing more and more of my favorite UCLA themed moments along the way. As stated earlier, most will be from the athletic field. Here’s a classic from 1992, when J.J. Stokes broke loose against SC. It was my first SC-UCLA game post-high school. At the time, my dad was attending grad school there and I used his ID to sit in the student section. Prior to the 1992 season I often told myself “I’ll be doing this with my own ID in two years…” If only I was more motivated…Oh well… Happy 100th UCLA !!! Enjoy this trip back in time, especially the 4th Quarter !!!

Andrei here,Southern California Correspondent for Stadium Journey Magazine and StadiumJourney.com, along with the broham, Marlon B, aka Kid Marley Marlz. We like to call ourselves, KID N DREI…2 crazed Dodger fans bringing Da Beatz and Da Talez or sometimes, both. Kid with Da Beats on SoundCloud at MDario GlutenFreeSonds, and Drei with Da Talez.

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