Category Archives: Drei’s Ballpark Journey’s

Ballpark Budget Travel…The Megabus Experience…L.A. to The Bay…4/25/2017

Planning ahead for a trip can be a chore. Saving up for one can be even more. Fortunately for me, here in L.A. I have Megabus as an option. With it’s fares as low as $1, you can’t be that. Of course, there’s a caveat. More on that later…

 Union Station, Monday night, 4/24. Patiently waiting…

With the red-eye cheduled to leave at 10 past 11, our bus, originating from Anaheim is running late. Though Megabus’s on time performance can be spotty at times, I’ve never had any serious issues. 

With our bus arriving just past midnight, we are greeted by a somewhat surly driver. After another pickup at Burbank, the ride goes smoothly. 

 Pit stop, Lost Hills. Always nice to step out for some fresh air…

 Gotta take my Magic Gnome to hostile territory…

After a pit-stop, it’s smooth sailing to The Bay making a brief stop at the West Oakland BART Station to drop off Oakland bound passengers. The West Oakland BART stop is a good location for those heading to an A’s game or elsewhere in the East Bay…

Tuesday morning, 4/25. SF Megabus Stop. In the distance, AT&T Park. See the floodlights…

Though we left L.A. about 90 minutes past scheduled departure, we would arrive to Baghdad by the Bay only 45 past our ETA, 15 minutes before 8. With a whole day ahead, arriving 45 minutes late, all things considered wasn’t so bad.  

 Tuesday Morning, McCovey Cove…

20170429_223953 That beanie comes in handy up north. 

As mentioned earlier, Drei had a whole day ahead of him, a whole day to Cruise The Streets of San Francisco

From Market & Powell, through The Haight…The Panhandle to Golden Gate Park, Drei sure got around The Streets of San Francisco…Drei even got to check out The Summer of Love 50th Anniversary Exhibit at the De Young Museum. 

Prior to that evening’s game, I had a chance to take in some sights and eats from The Garden at AT&T Park.

Thanks to some media connections, I was able to make the most out of the minimum. Even without connections, the Megabus still does help on the wallet, especially when you’re just doing this for the day and into the night. 

Our Boys in Blue would take down the hated ones, thanks of course to Kid K, who just seems to thrive on pitching in hostile territory…

Snapchat-1582626380

 Time to head home…

The departure time back to L.A. would be a quarter past midnight. As I boarded my bus, the driver who checked off my reservation quipped that I was the $1 man. Apparently, the $1 fare is to that lucky passenger who snatches it first once Megabus releases their sale dates. After that, the fares gradually goes up, starting at $5 to as much as $41 pending ticket sales and date of purchase. Friday and Sunday seem to have the high priced fares as many college students rely on their service. 

In all, including the $1 processing fee each way, my trip to The Bay was a grand total of $4 ! Of course, the caveat to that is you have to know far ahead of time, at least 2 months, when you plan to travel. Also, you must constantly monitor the Megabus site when their fares are released. A good way to do that is to follow them on Twitter on turn on their notification alerts. 

The ride back to L.A was much smoother. A win by The Blue most certainly helped. Heck, we would even arrive 15 minutes ahead of schedule. 

The Megabus experience, with proper preparation, can be an adventure. Honestly, the redeye, which for me, acts as mobile lodging, is geared more for the single and budget minded traveler. Many passengers have shared their tales on Megabus, but it is what it is. For $1 each way, you can’t beat budget travel.

Feeling adventurous enough to do Megabus throughout other parts of the country en route to your ballpark travels? Check out this Megabus Tutorial for more on how to do your ballpark journey on a budget. 

Stay tuned for Drei’s next Megabus adventure…Coming Soon…

Ballpark Bites…Strolling The Garden at AT&T Park

 Over the years the ballpark experience has evolved. Ballpark dining is no exception. Social and dining areas can be found in most parks for fans to stroll the yard. At AT&T Park, the concept of a social dining area within the ballpark may have been taken another level. At the home of our rivals, beyond the center field fence is The Garden at AT&T Park. At The Garden, fans have the opportunity to dine along communal tables surrounded by crops of fruits, vegetables and herbs. Most of these communal tables have a bed of herbs that allow fans to pick and use for garnish.

ATTPark_Garden EntranceThe Garden at AT&T Park

ATTPark_CF GardenFresh thyme in bloom

20170425_171533Herb bed. Hey, a little strawberry is starting to bloom…

I had a chance to sample some of the goodies from The Garden Table and The Hearth Table, the two food stands at The Garden at AT&T Park, ranging from the anitpasta bar to a crisp and tasty Roasted Summer Vegetable Sandwich, 3 different flatbreads and a very summery (Dodger) Blueberry Shortcake. 

ATTPark_Food Spread w Magic and Dog Thats quite a spread. Behind this spread is in the middle of the communal dining table is an herb bed where fans are allowed to pick their herbs. The Magic Gnome and Blue Dog seem quite impressed with this spread

The 3 flatbreads in the spread are the garden cauliflower with olive oil, parmesan cheese, chive mascarpone and truffle oil, a house-made fennel sausage with roasted eggplant, caramelized leeks and goat cheese, and a grilled garden zucchini with shaved parmesan, olive oil, garden thyme and toasted almonds. 

I had a hard time determining which of the three flatbreads we’re my favorite. In the end, the cauliflower topped my list. 

For desert, a blueberry shortcake topped with whipped cream (Or Dodger Blueberry)

ATT Park_Blueberry Shortcake

The garden is also equipped with The Ketel One Bar, serving local beer and wine and other mixed drinks. 

ATT Park_Ketle One Bar

ATTPark_Watermelon IPA Hell or High Watermelon brew to go along with our gluten free treats….

With the garden and the garden’s dining area located directly behind the center field fence, a safety net is provided above the fans for their protection. Even with the net, every now and then a baseball will land there…

ATTPark_Baseball Garden.jpg

ATTPark_Drei Baseball.jpg

Along the center field fence, slits through dark tinted windows allow for fans to take a peek into the on-field action…

ATT Park_CF slit A peek into Dodgers BP…

ATT Park_Slit pic Reflecting upon the action…

My one regret upon my visit to The Garden at AT&T Park, aside from being surrounded by Halloween colors…LOL, is not having the opportunity to try some of the other offerings. Perhaps if I’m fortunate to return in September I can try some of the late summer/early fall offerings.

I had the chance to interview Hannah Schmunk, Manager of Food Education for Children with Bon Appetit Management Company. Among the many topics we had the chance to discuss we’re the change in crops throughout the season, as well as her work along with  current and Giants players  with the kids throughout the community in advocating healthy eating. You can listen to the interview on my podcast below…

Throughout the year, aside from serving hungry baseball fans, the garden serves as an educational tool for the community as well as an outdoor classroom for kids throughout the community…

With our Boys In Blue returning to AT&T Park in less than 2 weeks, for you fellow Dodger fans who may be making the trek up north, do take the time to stop by The Garden and try out some of their delicious offerings. One visit and you will definitely agree that dining in an open garden inside a Major League ballpark is one “hella” unique experience. (To use a Bay Area term…)

9th Inning…More Garden Pics

Click on the images for a full view…

ATT Park Garden_Aeroponic Towers Aeroponic towers…

Extra Innings…The Magic Gnome

ATTPark_Magic Gnome 1 Our Magic Gnome just couldn’t help but stroll The Garden. The Giants fan in the back has to be wondering “Who Let That Dodger Gnome Out”…

ATTPark_Magic Gnome 2 Magic Gnome giving the garden A Touch of Blue…

ATTPark_Magic Gnome 3 The Magic Gnome with some fellow Dodger fans…

ATTPark_Blue Dog Sammy and Magic Our Magic Gnome worked up quite an appetite running around the garden. Hey, look who joined our Magic Gnome and Blue Dog…It’s Sourdough Sam ! Hey Sammy, we won’t tell your buddy Lou Seal that you we’re hanging out with the Boys In Blue…

ATTPark_Chelsea and Sam Kicking it with the garden chefs, Chelsea and Sam…

Special thanks to Hannah Schmunk and the staff from The Garden at AT&T Park for all their hospitality !!! For more travel tips for your journey to AT&T Park and other sports travel tips, check us out at Stadium Journey

Stadium Journey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Drei’s Tale…Crusin’ The Streets of San Francisco…Turning The Bay Blue

Leading Off…

For those of you old enough to remember that classic crime drama and that opening theme with that voice-over guy…If only I had that voice-over dude to narrate for me…

“The Streets of San Francisco, a DodgerDrei Production…”

Starring…

20170425_090710Magic Gnome

Also Starring

20170425_102414-1 Magic Gnome’s Sidekick, Blue Dog…

With Special Guest Star…

20170425_152836Sourdough Sam

Tonight’s Episode…Turning The Bay Blue

Cruising The Streets…McCovey Cove, Tuesday Morning 4/25/2017

20170429_223953

Drei here…It’s been awhile since Drei has cruised through The Streets of Baghdad By The Bay…Upon arriving Tuesday morning, April 25th, though not as cold as I expected, Drei still comes prepared for that cool San Fran breeze that comes off The Cove…

The streets around McCovey Cove has changed since Leslie Nielsen once cruised this part of town (Yes, I am serious…)

PicsArt_04-28-07.02.22

As you can see, the building next to the Lefty O’Doul Bridge along 3rd Street is still there, used today for mixed use…

PicsArt_04-29-10.47.27

Terry A Francois Blvd, pictured above. The area around McCovey Cove as well as AT&T Park was once an industrial part of town. Today, trees line Terry A Francois Blvd, providing gorgeous views of the cove and the bay beyond…

20170425_080920(0)

The trail along Terry A Francois Blvd behind the trees. In the distance is a statue of the man who the cove is named after, Willie McCovey. A miniature ballfield is next to the statue for future big leaguers…

20170425_080253(0)

The view of AT&T Park from the Lefty O’Doul Bridge…

20170425_075817

The morning sunrise from the portwalk beyond right field. Even as a Dodger fan, I gotta admit, this makes for a lovely morning stroll…

Snapchat-1731524728

Hey, it’s the Magic Gnome going for his morning walk…

Snapchat-2065728158

Kid K has a great history up here…We’ll check back from The Cove later on…Hey ! Magic Gnome’s sidekick, Blue Dog finally joins in…

Cruising The Streets…Market and Powell

20170425_090710

Yo, Magic Gnome ! Ready to hop on one of those classic cable cars? Car 24 is waiting behind you. 24 is a very popular number among the locals…

20170425_090734

Can’t forget Blue Dog now…

Cruising The Streets…Cruising The Haight

20170425_102907

While Magic Gnome and Blue Dog are enjoying their cable car ride, Drei decides to take a cruise up The Haight. Love is preached a lot in these parts going back to some Summer of Love, 1967…

20170425_101241

The “Quiet Beatle”. One year after The Fab Four would perform at Candlestick Park their final concert ever, George Harrison would pay a visit to The Haight…

20170425_101448 Peace and Love

The visit to The Haight wasn’t exactly what George expected…

From The Haight, we discover that a street is named after a certain Kid K who will be taking the hill that evening. For whatever reason, the names Haight and Clayton go hand in hand up in these parts…

20170425_100258On the corner of Haight and Clayton…

20170425_100915“Yo Magic ! What up Blue Dog? Even up here, they give Kid K the ultimate tribute…”

As we continue to Cruise The Haight, we cruise past the complex where James Marshall Hendrix once resided…

20170425_101623Drei has to wonder, why The Red House and not purple ?

20170425_101929 “Hey Magic! You still a huge fan of Jimi Hendrix? Of course Dog! We used to blast Purple Haze all the time! My good pal from Boston, Larry, hated on Purple Haze every time we blasted it on Manchester and Prairie…”

20170425_102414-1“Yo Magic! What’s the big deal about this corner. DOG! 50 years ago in the Summer of ’67, people came form all over to celebrate Love and Peace on this corner of Haight and Ashbury…Haight? Magic, we’ve heard that word “Haight” a lot from the locals. We’re just trying to turn this town Blue while spreading peace and love…”

Cruising The Streets…The Panhandle

20170425_111444

This park-like path just north of The Haight was the site of some free concerts among others Jefferson Airplane, The Grateful Dead and even Jimi Hendrix…

20170425_111225

20170425_111331

 

Looks like the Magic Gnome is waiting for a one on one pickup game…

” I’ll take anyone one on one…Even that number 30 across The Bay, right here baby !!!”

20170425_111313-1

“Yo Magic, how ’bout we go two on two against those ballers…Heck Magic, after we take care of these two I say we take on Stephen and his sidekick Draymond…DOG! HOW MANY TIMES DO I HAVE TO TELL YOU NOT TO BE SUCH A HOT DOG !!!”

Cruising The Streets…Golden Gate Park

But first, a quick cruise back through The Haight…

20170425_095838 The legend…Jerry Garcia

20170425_095850Drei and Jerry, on the corner of Haight and Cole. Hey Jerry, I hear you and some guy named Ben have an ice cream shop down the street on Ashbury…

Hippie?

Or Hipster?

PicsArt_04-25-12.05.39

20170425_120640 Hey look…It’s Sourdough Sam ! That lovable Niner mascot who claims to be both the OG hippie turned hipster. Sammy insists we go with him to Hippie Hill…Summer of Love 50th Anniversary exhibit from the De Young Museum to be featured soon…

20170425_152836

When his Niners weren’t playing games at nearby Kezar Stadium, Sammy spent many a day up on that darn hill, especially in 1967 (I don’t think Sammy remembers anything from ’67….) About that Summer of ’67…Or the months leading to that Summer of Love…

20170425_152446

Hey Sammy, looks like you we’re lost among the throng. All looks calm now compared to 1967…

20170425_152436Never stop preaching Peace and Love…That’s quite a view from Hippie Hill. Speaking of Hills, and Cruising, back in L.A. Kid Marley Marlz has this beat. For some reason this beat from Kid would go perfect up here…

Hey Kid, you look nice and warm back home in sunny L.A….

20170425_152550

Hey Sammy ! Looks like Magic Gnome and Blue Dog came to join you up Hippie Hill. I wonder how their 2 on 2 went…

Cruising The Streets…3rd and King

After cruising the streets from The Cove to The Haight, we now head back to the ballpark on the corner of 3rd and King. As we enter the ballpark, we discover that a garden is located beyond the center field fence…

20170425_183117 Yes folks, that is a garden inside the ballpark. 

20170425_183108Lets check out the garden…

20170425_184119(0)Magic Gnome making himself feel at home. That Giants fan be askin’ “Who let that Dodger Gnome in?”

20170425_18413420170425_184145Even with all the Dodger Blue, our Magic Gnome gives this garden, dare Drei say it, a Magic Blue Touch ?

20170425_184312(0)

Hey! These fellow Dodger fans found you Magic !!! All this cruising got Drei hungry…

20170425_174753That “Dodger Blueberry Shortcake” sure looks good. They must have known we we’re coming…

20170425_180340

Now THAT is a feast ! Drei really liked that cauliflower flatbread on the left. They even have a fennel sausage flatbread here in the garden. Everything was soooooooo good !!!

20170425_174933

Hey, Sourdough Sam even joined us !!!

20170425_171713

HUGE SHOUTOUT to our master-chefs and their staff !!!

20170425_183923

Drei THANKS YOU for all your hospitality, even with all my Dodger Blue on !!! Drei will have a feature on The Garden at AT&T Park both here and on Stadium Journey soon…

20170425_180550 It was quite a day…For Drei…In The City By The Bay…Drei even snagged a BP shot…

20170425_185523It really was quite a day for Drei…Cruising The Streets of San Francisco…Painting the Town Blue…Feeling the love from the locals…From McCovey Cove to The Haight and back (Again we wonder, why all the reminders to Drei, Magic and Blue Dog about Haight?) Oh yeah, all this capped off by a win by The Blue Crew. We sure turned The Bay…Blue

In the City By The Bay, on the days leading to the 50th Anniversary of The Summer of Love, for two cities and teams that have a long storied rivalry, it is possible that between us, Peace and Love (And good food) can exist…

Snapchat-1582626380

20170425_235444

“Always great to hang with you up here Blue Dog…Good Times Sammy! I won’t tell you buddy Lou Seal that we kicked it together…”

20170425_235114

Time to head back to L.A.

 

 

Throwback Thursday…Drei’s Ballpark Adventures…Wrigley Field, May 2006 and September 2007

WRIGLEY_DREI UNDER SCOREBOARD Here I am, under the famed scoreboard, May 14, 2006. I really do look like your typical ballpark tourist..

As you can see from the line score, on this Friday afternoon the Padres we’re running away with this. I bought seats in the outfield bleachers that day hoping to get that Bleacher Bum experience. Unfortunately, with the Cubs mired in a long losing streak and the weather being the coldest month of May in over 100 years according to the locals, most of the Cub faithful decided to stay away from the Friendly Confines. I can’t say I blame them. As for me, that had to be the coldest weather I ever experienced at a sporting event. 

With the recent renovations to Wrigley Field including the new video boards, some have wondered whether the famed center field scoreboard is still relevant . I don’t see scoreboard going anywhere anytime soon. There’s still plenty of baseball enthusiasts out there who appreciate the history and charm of both Wrigley and it’s traditions. However, it should be noted that even the Cubs aren’t immune to public outcry for up to date features.

That should not deter you from making a trip to Wrigley and it’s surrounding neighborhood, known as Wrigleyville. For you Dodger fans reading this, and there we’re also plenty of them this past week in ChiTown, the surrounding areas between Wrigleyville and Chavez Ravine are like night and day. In many respects, the surrounding areas are a reflection of when each yard was established. Wrigley Field, now in it’s 101st year of existence, is surrounded by an actual neighborhood of housing. Walk around outside Wrigleyville and you get the feeling the Cubs are the residents next door neighbors.

Dodger Stadium, opened for business in 1962, is surrounded by a sea of parking, a huge necessity for and to this day for the city of L.A. Even with the improved and growing public transit options here in L.A., with our beloved city being so spread out, for most, driving to Chavez Ravine is really the only option, particularly for a weeknight game.

WRIGLEY_DREI OUTSIDE RF Here I am, passing through behind right field, late September 2007. As you can see, I am already outside of the yard on Sheffield Avenue as crews are working on the field with the Cubbies on the road. The fact that a you’re not far from the field while out on the street is another reason Wrigley Field has that old-school intimate feel, as if the Cubs really are a part of the neighborhood, even if the neighbors have a love/hate realtionship with their beloved team…, much like the neighbors around Elysian, Echo Park and Solano Canyon.  

WRIGLEY_Sod Yes folks. That right there is actual sod from the field laying along the exterior walls along Sheffield Avenue. Yes folks, I did manage to take a piece home with me back to L.A. ( Wouldn’t you ? )

wpid-wrigley_L.jpg A familiar sight to generations of Cubs fans and to Dodgers fans the last two days, the Blue “L” flag…

Off To South Beach…

After winning the last two at Wrigley to salvage a split in their 4 game series against the much improved Cubs, the Blue kicks off a 3 game weekend series in Miami against the Marlins. I am close to achieving my goal of visiting and watching a game in all 30 MLB Ballparks. For some reason, Marlins Park right now ranks high on my list of parks I want to visit. The fact that the Marlins decided to stay away from the retro theme that many parks post-Camden Yards era used, constructing their digs that is a reflection of the art-deco theme of South Beach tells me that this yard will be quite a refreshing change. I’ve always had this fascination, or perhaps acquired it during my ballpark travels, that a yard should also have a unique characteristic that should be a reflection of both it’s team and city. 

For Your Ballpark Travelers…

Planning on catching the Dodgers on the road this summer ? Or are you planning to visit any other of the 30 MLB yards on your ballpark excursions ? Check us out over at Stadium Journey for not only your MLB travel tips, but for other sports themed travel trips worldwide as well as some of my review of local Southern California venues.

Stadium Journey

Throwback Thursday…Drei’s Ballpark Adventures… Petco Park, 2004-2014… A Holiday Tale From Kid N Drei… Holiday Beats From Kid Marly Marlz

 

From 1969 to 2004, the San Diego Padres would call Mission Valley their home, playing their games at Quallcom Stadium…

Drei n Chris_Quallcomm April, 2001, Quallcom Stadium, with my buddy and old roommate Chris. Someday Chris, I will pay you a visit to Louisville and we’ll catch a Louisville Bats game ( Reds AAA affiliate ) . We’ll even go to the Louisville Slugger museum.   

Of all the yards I’ve had a chance to pay a venture off on the road, Petco Park in San Diego is one i’ve had the chance to pay frequent visits to. Of course, most of those visits we’re when the Dodgers we’re in town. By now, i’m sure you are all very aware of a former Dodger outfielder who will be roaming the spacious outfield of PETCO come the 2015 season. We’ll go more into that later…

 Since it’s opening in 2004, I’ve averaged about 1 visit a year, with 2013 being my lone miss. I have seen other opponents there as well as the World Baseball Classic Championship game in 2006. In many way’s, Petco Park not only has been one of my favorite yards to visit, it’s also been a special place for me,  whether its taking the sibs down their on their first road trip with their big bro, doing the road trip thing with various friends, or even reuniting with old friends, as Drei here Throw’s Back Thursday for the final time in 2014, we’ll look back upon my visits in , let’s say, a pictorial timeline sort of way going back to Petco’s 1st season in 2004. Many of the pics will have captions, and many won’t. I’ll let the pics do most of the storytelling. You will notice a holiday theme along the way as well, given the time of year…

2004

2004_pap with sibs The lil’ sibs, Daniel and Sarah ( They’ll always be lil’ to me…), 8/1/2004, after the Dodgers knocked off the Padres in 12…

To this day, the lil’ sis, who will be delivering a future Dodger fan soon, still has not forgiven me for having us stand 12 innings…

2005

2005_Western Petco’s signature feature, the old Western Metal Supply building…

The Padres did a nice job of blending this old where house into the stadium. It is the only place in the stadium where you will find any bricks, as Petco has done a nice job to steer as far away from the retro theme that other parks post-Camden have modeled themselves after. Inside the old where house…

 

2005_view behind hp View behind home plate, and in the distance, a packed gathering at the Park at the Park, another one of Petco’s features located beyond the outfield, that features a grass knoll where fans can view the games with an obstructed view. You may notice later the changes to the skyline since 2005. Also, at the Park at the Park is a kid’s playground that also serves as a public park during non-event hours…

2005_Hoffman With former Padre closer and future HOFer Trevor Hoffman

2005_drei friar Having a good time with The Friar…

2005_playground A playground for the kids to let out some energy even during the game…

2005_lil friars field View of the lil’ Friars field also at the Park at the Park. The area to the left of the park today houses Stone Brewery Tap Room

2005_in game action from PAP View of the game from the grass hill 

2005_SRO Dodger fleece There we are in this over-pixelized shot, repping the Blue in the old standing room area, where $5 let you stand behind the outfielder. This area has since changed into a party area that charges anywhere from $100 and up for all you can eat hot dogs and beverages with bar stools and tables provided. It was on this afternoon that I gave a Padre store employee a little history lesson on Dodger baseball…

More Pics from 2005…

2006

Pics from the World Baseball Classic championship game. Japan would defeat Cuba 10-6

2006_DAVE ROBERTS With former Dodger and current Padres 1B coach Dave Roberts

2007

2007_MILITARY SUNDAY A longstanding tradition in San Diego, with the Marine Corps taking in the game in Petco’s upper reaches…

2007_Marine Hymn Saluting those who serve,  with the Marine Hymn…

2007_14th inning Extra innings, and a 2nd stretch…

2007_home 17th beat l.a. Beat L.A. ?

2007_victory line NOT ON THIS DAY !!!

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

2008

2008_PETCO WITH DANIEL ON AMTRAK On the way to Petco with the lil’ bro on this mid-week June afternoon, which would turn out to be a long day for not only our teams but us as well…

2008_PETCO Moments after Jake Peavy would shut us out 9-0. Later that evening, the Lakers would blow a 24 point lead in Game 4 of the NBA Finals against Boston to lose in OT, and to cap it off, our train stalled on the way back and we, along with my buddies Chris and Josh, spent a good portion of our evening stuck in Santa Ana. Who knew it would take a good 8 hours to get from S.D. to L.A, right Chris ?

2009

Opening on the Road…

For many years I, like most of you, have made it a tradition to make it out to Opening Day. This time around, with the Blue opening down south, my longtime buddy Josh and I decided why not ? Let’s take our opening “act” on the road ( or rails…)

PETCO09_13DREI_JOSH Many road games travelled with Josh, many stories to tell…

 

 

Pregame…

PETCO09_11MANNY Manny Ramirez. Manny being Manny…

PETCO09_12KEMP_LONGTOSS Matt Kemp doin’ some long toss, a sight that will be frequent in Petco next season…

PETCO09_12KEMP_VICTORYLINE Opening Day ’09, and The Blue come out on top over Jake Peavy and the Friars 4-1, and Matt Kemp among others in that victory line. I wish you the best Bison, just not against us….

 

2011

Reunited and It Feels So Good…

PETCO2011_GROUP With Josh, of course, and 2 other of  my dear friends who I had not seen in 9 years, Victoria, in the Mariners hat minus The Mariner Moose ( More on that later…) and Deanna, another really close friend of mine from our high school days, 19 years back…

2012

Easter Weekend…

PETCO2012_DREI DOG This is the yard where the pets go, and well, Drei here got himself a new best friend… ( So he thinks…) . The Park at the Park beyond the outfield stands also serves as a public park during non-event hours and after day games as well…

PETCO2012_PLAYGROUND EMPTY All is so serene in the park, a park where kids of all ages love to play, and in a few moments, you will see what I mean when I say, ” Kids ” of all ages…

Stretch Time… 

How ’bout a tale about Christmas, and Little Saint Nick…

2014

Final Day of August

2005_view behind hp Petco Park 2005

PETCO_2012 UPPER VIEW Petco Park 2014

Some slight changes in the above before and after pics 9 years apart. One of the more noticeable changes is the addition of the Comerica Bank glass building beyond the outfield to the right. Also you might notice the outfield fences particularly in right field being brought in, as well as a lower right field wall as well. Next season, another change you will notice, aside from Matt Kemp roaming the outfield at PETCO pending possible other possible obstacles that may prevent this from happening will be a new video board among other renovations to PETCO .  Did I mention earlier that PETCO has a park where “kids” of all ages love to play…

PETCO2012_PLAYGROUND EMPTY

BUBBLES1

Hey look, it’s Kid Marly Marlz ! Some of you may remember Kid n Drei’s recent trip down I-5 ?  If not, well, just click on the following upcoming link to see what went down with Kid, Drei, and JJ on their most recent journey to PETCO…

wpid-20140831_163932.jpg Paying our respects  to Mr. Padre , Tony Gwynn, with Kid Marly Marlz and JJ. The statue of the Padre HOFer is located at The Park at the Park beyond the outfield stands should you want to pay your respects…

I hope you all enjoyed my pictorial and narrative flashbacks of past trips to PETCO, dating back to it’s opening 10 years ago. While there have been a few changes since it’s opening, with more changes to come as is the norm for most venues these days, PETCO still does an outstanding job of maintaining it’s charm while blending in real nicely with the surrounding neighborhood. With the Padres expecting to be in contention in 2015, perhaps crowds may even come in larger droves…

9th Inning… Kid n Drei’s Holiday Tale From The Park…

WE’RE BAAAAAAAAAAAAACK !!!!

MARLZ_MINION DAVE N CANDY Kid Marly Marlz, being, well… Kid Marly Marlz…

DREI_VICTORY BELL 2014 And Dodger Drei, ready to ring in the holiday season…

Kid Marly Marlz and Dodger Drei, aka KID N DREI, of our “infamous” feature Ballparks, Bytes and Bites , back at it one last time for 2014 ready to bring you a Holiday Tale…

2014 has been quite a year. The Kid and Drei had quite a time from May to September. Last time we saw The Kid around here, he was hibernating somewhere up in the hills of Chavez Ravine with a mascot buddy of his from Seattle whom he has become very attached to…

wpid-picsart_1417834344473.jpg Awe. Kid Marly Marlz is all snuggled up with The Mariner Moose, keeping him all nice and warm. The two really have become quite close this season. Hey Kid ! You may want to be careful some female Mariner fan from a few pics above doesn’t see you with The Moose….

Oh yeah, you may have noticed that a huge storm front has covered the hills of Chavez Ravine and will soon be heading south toward San Diego, where Kid Marly Marlz will be found playing a little Winter Ball at the lil’ kids park. After all, the Kid has no idea what an off-season is…

Winter Ball at The Park…

On this unusually snowy day in San Diego, The Kid finds himself playing some ball over at the Lil’ Friars yard with the other kids….

 

PETCO_HOLMARLZ4 Kid Marly Marlz doesn’t seem to like Dodger Drei’s, or, Santa Drei’s call at 3rd. Hey Kid, be careful now… You wouldn’t want Santa Drei to leave you a whole stocking full of coal would you ?

Believe it or not, Kid Marly Marlz has ACTUALLY been a good kid all year long ( Did Drei just say that ? ), leaving fans of all ages very happy, especially the little one’s, who had such a great time playing with Kid Marly Marlz this season with his very own foam bubbles

MDARIO_BUBBLES2 Kid at Heart…

It really was a fun and memorable season. Too bad all this fun couldn’t last deep into October like we all thought would happen. Perhaps 2015 will be our year ? What other off-season moves does the Dodgers front office have in store for us ? Just as Kid N Drei say, ain’t no thing as an off-season…

MARLZ_DOZING Kid Marly Marlz sure looks beat. A long season will do that to even the most hyper-active “kid”…

MARLZ_ DREI WAKING HIM UP Wake up Kid ! We still gotta get back to L.A. Hey Kid ! How ’bout some holiday beats ? Heck, Santa Drei will even let you play with your favorite mascot buddy from up north, The Mariner Moose, an appropriate mascot for this time of year given that Rudy the Red Nose Reindeer could use always use some help from his distant cousin…

Extra Innings…

MARLZ_DREI HOLIDAY CARD Hey, the snow finally cleared !  Happy Holidays !!!

Throwback Thursday… Drei’s Ballpark Adventures… Safeco Field, 9/2/2009

Before we move forward Drei’s Throwback Thursday Ballpark Adventure’s, lets briefly look back on the moves the Dodgers have made in the last 24 hours that have sparked many discussions throughout L.A., acquiring Jimmy Rollins, Howie Kendrick and pitcher Brandon McCarthy while in the process trading away Dan Haren and speedster Dee Gordon to the Marlins. 

Of course, the biggest of them all was the trade that sent Matt Kemp to the Padres a $30 million of his salary for catcher’s Yasmani Grandal, pitcher Joe Wieland and pitching prospect Zach Eflin. It is belived that the Dodgers are still in the running for one time Phillies ace Cole Hammels.

In briefly analyzing the trades, though his offensive numbers have declined in recent years, defensively Rollins provides a better glove than what Hanley Ramirez could.

The speed of Dee Gordon will be missed at the top of the lineup but Howie Kendrick, though not the speedster Dee is, provides a solid glove at the right side of the infield with better offensive numbers.

Then of course is the big trade of Matt Kemp. It was bound to happen. That’s baseball. That’s business. Players come and go. However to trade one of your biggest hitters who had a huge 2nd half and was finally starting to hit his stride again, to trade him to a division rival ? Let’s see how this plays out when our boys face the Friars 19 times in 2005. OK, that’s it for my brief analysis of the moves made in the last 24 hours. More from me later. 

BISON_DREI Thanks for the memories Matt…

Now, for Drei’s Throwback Thursday Ballpark Adventures, and today, we venture back to 2009, Safeco Field and the Emerald City…

Safeco Field, 9/2/2009

SEATTLE_POSTCARD

Prior to Safeco Field , the Seattle Mariners would call The King Dome home from 1977 to the middle of the 199 season. Not much excitement would occur in The King Dome during most of it’s history. That would change in the summer of ’95 , the summer which many in the Pacific Northwest believe saved the Mariners…

SEATTLE_KINGDOME98 Center Field view of The King Dome, November, 1998, during an auto convention. This “awe inspiring” view was taken at a spot  Ken Griffey Jr. stood during many summers in the 90s…

SEATTLE_SAFECOFIELDHPENTRANCE Home plate entrance

SAFECOFIELD_CHANDALIER BATS2 Inside the home plate entrance, rising above the fans entering the grand entrance, a chandelier in the display of swinging bats 

SAFECOFIELD_CHANDALIER BATS The chandelier up close

SAFECOFIELD View behind home plate. In the distance, Century Link Field, the site where the King Dome once stood…

Of the 4 MLB parks with retractable roofs, not counting the Rogers Centre in Toronto, Safeco Field ranks as my favorite. With a retractable roof to protect the fans from the elements, the roof acts more as an umbrella than anything else, making it possible for fans to experience a ballgame while allowing some of natures elements to breeze in, thus maintaining an outdoor feel. The roof is not really used much during the season as much of the rainy season is during the winter and spring.  It’s still is a good idea to bring a light sweater especially if attending an evening game

Safeco is viewed by many as a retro yard, a notion I totally disagree with, as with many of today’s post Camden Yards era parks. While many of today’s yards may have followed Camden Yards model to revive nostalgic features of ballpark cathedrals from years past, I just have a hard time viewing a yard with a retractable roof as retro, a term which really I feel is overused with much of today’s parks. The only feature in Safeco that I could say has a retro feel is the home plate entrance. Having said that, Safeco Field is still quite a yard to take in a game. I also like how Safeco blends in with the local surroundings, which at one time consisted of various warehouses. The area around Safeco Field is known by the locals as SoDo, South of Downtown. You may have heard of SoDo in the early 2000s from the M’s rally cry SoDo Mojo. 

SAFECOFIELD_UPPER LEVEL RF VIEW From the upper reaches in Right Field

SAFECOFIELD_LF SIGN AND SPACE NEEDLE Off to the distance is Seattle’s trademark landmark, The Space Needle

SAFECOFIELD_BULLPENPREGAME Pregame huddle over by the M’s bullpen. That chain link fence has since been removed…

SAFECOFIELD_DREI IN CF 2008 Kicking it out in the center field standing room area during a prior visit in ’08. If you don’t mind standing it’s a great place to watch the game up close in the outfield. You are practically there by the fence. Some of the most sociable and knowledgeable fans hang out there.  From what I’ve been told the SRO viewing area in CF is also a “Meet Market” especially during the weekends…

SAFECOFIELD_HISTORY OF BASEBALL EXHIBIT Some hardball history from the Pacific Northwest…

SAFECOFIELD_SEA PILOTS More Seattle baseball tributes

SAFECOFIELD_TRIBUTE TO JUNIOR Of course they pay tribute to Ken Griffey Jr. After all, he had a huge role in building Safeco…

SAFECOFIELD_TRIBUTE TO JUNIOR 2

SAFECOFIELD_9 2 2009 VS ANGELS King Felix get’s the start for the M’s…

SAFECOFIELD_LINESCORE The Halo’s would eventually be shut out on this day… This scoreboard has since been replaced with a huge video board…

SAFECOFIELD_FINALSCORE

SAFECOFIELD_POSTGAME WITH DREI Another yard off the list. Safeco was the last MLB park to open in the 90s, and to this day she’s holding up well…

SAFECOFIELD_HOLE IN THE GLOVE That must have been one screaming line drive…

SAFECOFIELD_DREI IN THE GLOVE Hey, let’s meet up by the Hole in the Glove …

SAFECOFIELD_95MURAL I wonder if this mural celebrating the ’95 NLDS triumph over the Yankees is still there…

SAFECOFIELD_NIGHTIME OUTSIDE LF ENTRANCE

SAFECOFIELD_LFENTRANCE 2

So those are my reflections on my trip to Safeco, August 2009. To any M’s fan who may be reading this, what’s changed since my last visit ?

Also worth a look…

SEATTLE_UNDER THE RETRACTABLE ROOF ON THE TRACKS The retractable roof, when opened, slides above these railroad tracks. King Street Station, where local commuter and Amtrak trains are serviced, is a stones throw away from the yard. So should you be arriving to The Emerald City by rail, chances are you will be arriving (or departing) beneath Safeco Field’s roof, perhaps during game action as well. Train conductor’s have been known to toot their horns during the game’s, adding to the charm of the game…

9th Inning, Around The Emerald City…

From Hops to Beans..

Former beer factory of Raineer Beer, now housing Tully's Coffee ( There's another coffee brew in Seattle ? )
Former beer factory of Raineer Beer, now housing Tully’s Coffee ( There’s another coffee brew in Seattle ? )
The onetime Raineer Brewery is now home to Tully's ( And from what I gather, some artsy lofts as well...)
The onetime Raineer Brewery is now home to Tully’s ( And from what I gather, some artsy lofts as well…)

Views from the tracks…

Pike Market and Beechers…

SoDo Art…

Last but not least…

Extra Innings…

Drei’s Holiday Tale, Featuring The Mariner Moose and Kid Marly Marlz

image
Given the time of year, Drei thought it’d be nice to pay a visit to his good pal up in the Pacific Northwest, the Mariner Moose ! You know Moose, Santa could always use another assistant to help Rudy lead Santa’s sleigh. Hey, how ’bout giving Drei  a ride back to L.A. ?
image

Upon arriving back to L.A., a heavy cold front with lots of unexpected snow would descend upon the hills of Chavez Ravine. Fortunately for The Moose, Kid Marly Marlz is here to keep him nice and warm. Awe, The Moose and The Kid are bonding once again. Perhaps The Moose can cheer you up after hearing the news of your favorite Dodger heading down I-5. The Kid and the Moose have really developed a deep bond for each other…. ( BTW Kid, don’t let you’re actual big bro know that I was at a Starbucks… )

Time to Walk Us off, Chuck…

Today’s Holiday Classic, from Chuck Berry…

 

 

Throwback Thursday, Drei’s Ballpark Adventures…Coors Field, 8/29-30 2006

 

In the 12 plus years I’ve had a chance to travel to various MLB and MILB yards, much has changed in regards to the way we view and share our experiences. When I first started my baseball stadium journey’s, not counting yards here in California, I would look at other ballpark travelers experiences online and see what they had to share. Of course, when I started all this in 2003, digital camera’s where still on the rise, I was still using 400 film, and we we’re trying to figure a way to share our experiences instantly (At least I was). After all, back then, most of us we’re still using flip phones. No twitter or facebook, no hashtagging, no droids ( What else wasn’t in our vocabulary when I started all this in 2003 ? ) I know I got excited when I got my first camera phone. Of course it came with an attachment. Oh how far we’ve come with technology since…

Coors Field, August 29-30, 2006

Today, I share with you some of my pics from my trip to Coors Field 8 years ago. My purpose of my off-season posts of various yards i’ve visited is to share my experiences at my time of visit. With constant changes that occur in our favorite yards, it is my hope that other’s will share their experiences at the time of their visit as well and see what has changed inside these various yards over time.

Coors Field is located in the LoDo district of Denver. Opened in 1995, at the time the capacity was just over 50,000. In spite of it’s large capacity, Coors Field felt surprisingly intimate. This past season, Coors Field did some renovations, decreasing the capacity by removing a vast number of upper deck right field seats and adding a rooftop viewing area for fans to roam around and socialize while taking in the action. It is one feature I would like to experience should I return to Coors anytime soon.  

COORSFIELD_HOMEPLATE ENTRANCE

Home plate entrance

COORSFIELD_VIEWFROMROCKPILE

View from the CF Rockpile seats. $4 day of game back in 2006…

COORSFIELD_ROCKPILE2

Coors Field’s signature feature out in centerfield, The Rockpile, with real rocks and trees that also has a water display in between innings. Hmm, some of those trees would make for some wonderful Christmas use this time of year. I wonder how many home runs have landed in the rockpile…

COORSFIELD_VISITORSBULLPEN

Visitors bullpen by The Rockpile. That’s got to be one of the most scenic bullpen settings in all of MLB. I’m guessing the visiting teams must enjoy this not only for it’s scenery but the fact that it’s distant from the stands, avoiding any potential hecklers…

Neon Artwork Outside of Coors…

More Artwork…

COORSFIELD_MURAL

Mural of construction workers getting Coors all ready for action. Trivial tidbit… the batter wearing 95, yup, 95 represents the year Coors Field opened. Is it really going to be 20 since Coors Field’s opening ? 

COORSFIELD_NEIGHBORHOOD

Down the street from Coors Field’s left field entrance. I love how Coors Field just blends in with the local architecture, as is the case with many ballparks built after 1992, the year Camden Yards opened…

On This Day, 8/30/2006

COORSFIELD_SCOREBOARD 8 300 TULO'S FIRST GAME

Troy Tulowitzky would make his MLB debut at shortstop for the Rockies. I just wonder what kind of future this former Dirtbag from Long Beach State would have…

9th Inning With Drei…

COORSFIELD_DREINDINGER

And they say dinosaurs no longer exist ! Drei kicking it with his new buddy Dinger !!!

So, for anyone reading, particularly any Rockies fans out there who may have “stumbled” across over here, what else has changed at Coors Field that Drei and other baseball fans should look forward to in their next visit to the Mile High City ? Oh yeah, Dodger fans and of course baseball fans can never plan out their ballpark adventures to early. Planning on visiting Coors next year ? Here’s a more detailed review of Coors Field from Stadium Journey magazine .  Be sure to check out Stadium Journey for all your sports themed road trips. 

Extra Innings…

I hope you’re all having a great holiday season so far. Speaking of the holiday’s, one could never go wrong with a classic Andy Williams . After all, what are the holiday’s without some Andy Williams tunes ?