Category Archives: Drei’s Ballpark Journey’s

Drei’s Tale…A Nine Inning Oak-Town Elephant Hunt

On my recent trip to Oakland, prior to the Mariners-A’s game on September 1st, I had a chance to cruise Oak-Town. One of the celebrations taking place as the A’s celebrate their 50th anniversary in Oakland is Stomper In The Town. Stomper is that lovable elephant mascot for the A’s and to celebrate, there are fifty six-foot tall statues of Stomper scattered throughout Oakland, each with a different theme designed by fans and artists. I had a chance to track down nine of the fifty, including the two located at Oakland Coliseum. Here they are in the order tracked…

1st Inning…Bleacher Creature

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Located in the Piedmont neighborhood, this would be the first statue i’d cross paths with prior to a hearty breakfast at Fentons Creamery

20180901_095240Crab Omelette at Fentons

Fentons, an Oakland landmark is well-known for it’s ice cream and fountain sodas with a breakfast menu on weekends. The crab omelette and potatoes we’re hearty and tasty. But of course I wasn’t stopping there…

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That’s the Banana Junior ! The Banana Special is a 3 pound version of what you see here and 6 times the size of the junior. Perhaps someday I’ll take on the Banana Split Challenge. The challenge? Down that Banana Special in 15 minutes and win a free shirt ! WOOHOO !!!

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I could use the help from Stomper and The Mariner Moose…

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Stomper and The Moose bailed on me. I guess i’m finishing this split off…

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Finish this Stomper !!!

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We did it boys !!!

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I think I had my fill for the day…

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2nd Inning…A Show of Hands

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Moving on to the Grand Lake neighborhood just outside the Grand Lake Theatre is this colorful work of art, A Show of Hands…

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Moving right along… 

3rd Inning…Golden Stomper

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This one is located outside of the Ordway Building on 1 Kaiser Plaza

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4th Inning…The Oakland A’s Rock

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Stomper Rockin’ out some of his East Bay beats…(Now why would someone tag his hat?)

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YEAH !!! 

5th Inning…MC Stomper

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Getting closer towards Broadway and MC Stomper flashing that bling and his custom made Hammer pants…

2 Legit To Quit…

6th Inning…Oaklove Stomper

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Located inside Oaklandish this Stomper statue gives a nod to Oak-Town’s landmarks

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7th Inning…Night-Night Stomper

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Stomper in his ‘jammie outside of a Walgreens 

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That’s really cool of Stomper that he’s not phased by my Niners colors. Then again, he’s also delighted he won’t have that “other team” in his house much longer…

Off to the Coliseum…

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Kickin’ it with The Greatest base-stealer of all-time (Sort of…)

8th Inning…Stomper’s Authentically Oakland Jersey

 

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Located outside The Treehouse at The Coliseum is indeed this Authentically Oakland look…

 

Finishing off…

9th Inning…#AtTheColiseumStomper

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Located at Championship Plaza between the Coliseum and Oracle Arena this one is a collage of pics taken by A’s fans over the years…

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So those are the nine Stomper Statues I was able to chase down in Oak-Town…

Of the nine, which was my favorite? They’re all unique in their own way and each certainly has it’s own story. This is not easy, and these three really do deserve top billing…

Bleacher Creature really gives an animated fan perspective of a day at the yard…

A Show of Hands show Stomper’s musical and artistic side

Oaklove Stomper really shows  his hometown love with his Oak-Town landmarks…

But now i’m gonna cut it down to these two…

A Show of Hands vs. Oaklove Stomper. Again, picking a favorite was not easy. But of all the Stomper’s stompin’ through Oaktown, Drei’s favorite?

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A Show of Hands. It came down to this pachyderm bringing out the kid side in me, particularly the keyboards, the keys i’ve tried to get back to lately.

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Even the Mariner Moose is impressed. If only I had the discipline and determination as a kid to JUST KEEP PRACTICING…

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I could be the one entertaining 56,000 fans in October and the man to my right, Dieter Ruehle can just focus on Kings fans at The Staples Center…(OK, Dieter isn’t such a bad choice for our present day Dodger Stadium organist either…). Speaking of music…

Extra Inning From The Bay…It’s Like Cruising Music

It’s been awhile since we’ve heard from Kid Marlz…Here he is, 2017, struttin’ his swag from across The Bay, Golden Gate Park, giving the 4-1-5 a Touch of Dodger Blue. Hey Kid? Dodgers and Oakland in October, like 1988? ‘Til the Next Episode…

 

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Drei’s Photo Blog…A Day In The Park, Lets Play 2…San Francisco Open Your Golden Gate

Here are some sights from the Dodgers recent twin-bill with the Giants at AT&T Park, 4/28/2018…

Early Morning. Strolling Mays to McCovey

Just a bit past 8:30 AM. A few scattered clouds, but not enough of a threat to rain on this day…

Arriving at The Yard…

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That happy feeling you get when your all alone at the yard…

The Calm Before The Storm…

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The morning groundscrew…

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Dragging the dirt…

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Good Morning Joe ! Joe will be located next to the Dodger dugout today…

Some Giants history. That crab looks very tasty…

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Good Morning David. David will be one of your many friendly Guest Service employees happy to help you today…

It’s almost time for the yard to open…

Just past 11 AM, and the fans arrive, entering through Willie Mays Plaza…

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Pregame briefing with Dave Roberts…

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No BP today. Just some light longtoss…

Time to water down the infield…

Game 1

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First pitch, Game 1, 1:05 PM…

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Kayakers at McCovey Cove waiting for a splash hit…

Hungry? Charlie is more than happy to carve you a sandwich…

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View from upper right field. Gotta love that view of the bay and the Bay Bridge…

View from the Cable Car. Only in SF, a “San Francisco Treat”…

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Seats from old Candlestick…

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Looking up from the bottom of the bottle…Oh yeah, that’s quite a BIG glove…

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Quite an offensive output by The Blue in Game 1…Panda would eventually take the hill in the 9th…

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Crew setting up for Game 2 giveaway during the 8th inning…

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After 3 hours and 58 minutes, a win for The Blue…

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Can we bring some of that to Game 2 ?

With the first game ending 2 minutes short of 5 and gates scheduled to open in a little over an hour, not much time is left for the in stadium crew to prepare for the second game…

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Groundscrew back at it…

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Invasion of the seagulls…

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Taking a break inside the pressbox…

Custodial crew working at a frantic pace. About 30 minutes until gates open for Game 2…

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Fans lining up in for Game 2. The line would back up as far back to the portwalk out to the Lefty O’Doul Bridge…

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Tonight’s Game 2 giveaway, a Brandon Crawford Gold Glove garden gnome. The gates have opened on time, 6:05 PM…

Game 2…

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First pitch, 7:15 PM. Crowd still settling in but many are settled in…

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My seat for Game 2. With the Marin Independent Journal not present on this evening, this would be my view. It’s actually very common for reporters of local circulations to miss a game every now and then.

After a lot of walking around before and during Game 1, I could use a seat. The view isn’t so bad either…

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Evening view from upper right field, Bay Bridge all lit up…

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What’s Up Ashley ! Like all other stadium staff, Ashley has been hard at work throughout the day. It’s the 6th inning of the second game, and she still maintains her energy, happy to serve fans over 21 their favorite adult beverage. That has to be one of the best views any of the in-game vendors can have…

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9th inning. Bison getting ready to pinch hit…

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Game 2, this one goes to the home team…

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Groundscrew doing back at it again. This seems like a ’round the clock operation. Gotta get that field ready for the next day’s 2:05 PM first pitch…

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The biggest winner of the night…Keep up the good fight, Kid !

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Wrapping things up from the pressbox. It’s been a long but fun day at the yard…

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Late Night stroll through Willie Mays Plaza…

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So what was it like to spend a whole day, over 12 hours at the ballpark for a day-night doubleheader? Check out my story, A Day In The Park, The Park By The Bay, Let’s Play Two, on StadiumJourney.com

Drei’s Photo Blog…The Giant Vault

Throughout this season I will be featuring a photo blog from various venues from and beyond the yard. During my recent trip to San Francisco, I took a venture inside the Giant Vault. The vault features artifacts from the rivals history dating back to New York to the present day in San Francisco…

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Cruising The Bay, In One Day…Kid N Drei…Part 4…Strolling Along The Golden Gate

GG BridgeThe Golden Gate Bridge…On this foggy San Francisco Wednesday, September 13, 2017

After a visit to The Painted Ladies, San Francisco continues to open it’s Golden Gate…For Kid N Drei…

Nancy Bea Hefley, during her days tickling the ivories of the Rowland organ at Dodger Stadium, would always serenade the crowd with that classic tune during the opening lineups when the hated one’s we’re in town…

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We’ve finally arrived Kid! Every time I’ve come to The City, I’ve never had a chance to walk across The Golden Gate. I walked the Oakland Bay Bridge back in 2013 after it’s enhancement that added a pedestrian and bike path…

BBridge 1Oakland Bay Bridge, December 2013

BBridge 2_Stomper Hey there Stomper !

BBridge3_DreiTaking my morning stroll along the newly added pedestrian path on the East Bay’s recent addition to The Bay Bridge, donning my Niner colors as I started from Oakland. Notice to my right parts of the old double decked bridge, slowly facing demolition…

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The Golden Gate Bridge. 80 years young. This is the first time Drei has walked across The Golden Gate. Who better to join Drei than the broham, Kid…

One thing Kid N Drei share is their love of long walks and hikes. Unlike Drei, Kid has been a bit more adventurous, having hiked Yosemite’s Half Dome not long ago…Perhaps someday Drei will try that hike. 

Time to give The Golden Gate…A Touch of Dodger Blue

20170913_120515.jpgWe’ve made it across The Golden Gate. Neither mist or fog could keep Kid N Drei from strolling The Golden Gate…

Before Kid N Drei head back to the San Francisco side of The Golden Gate, we decide to take a hike up a hill toward Battery Spencer. Up here, on a clear day, the views of The Bay from Battery Spencer can be very gorgeous. However, on this “hella” foggy day, the views of The Bay are non-existent.

20170913_124522.jpg What up Sammy ! Sourdough Sam showing off his city’s number one landmark amidst the fog, for which locals affectionately refer to as Karl The Fog…

To get up to the top of Battery Spencer, we first follow a pedestrian path underneath the bridge that would lead us to a trail… 

20170913_130603.jpgFrom this pedestrian path underneath the bridge are these support beams, also painted in the bridge’s signature International Orange. 

20170913_124203.jpgNo fog could stop Drei from having a “Good Dre” in The Bay

20170913_124049.jpg Karl The Fog may have covered most of the bridge, but no amount of fog would stop Kid N Drei from giving The Golden Gate…A Touch of…DODGER BLUE !!!

20170913_124323.jpgMoments later, and Karl the Fog has covered our view of The Golden Gate Bridge…

We made it Kid! Kid N Drei, officially giving The Bay, a Touch of Dodger Blue. Blue, as Drei likes to call the fleece, has been well traveled since 2004. The fog may have taken away the view of The Bay, but that doesn’t deny the beauty behind Kid N Drei, as The Golden Gate provides the perfect silhouette to the fog with Kid N Drei…(Kid, I know I’ve hung with you for a minute,  but really you should be the one providing the beatz…)

Allright Kid, time for us to head on back. How ‘bout some of your acapella freestylez Kid?

Screenshot_20170917-213633.png Kid Marls…Ready to present his beatz…From L.A. to The Bay…On The Golden Gate…

Hey Kid, I know you own two cats, but even with all this fog and mist, Drei says it’s still a good day to take Blue Dog for a walk across The Golden Gate…

20170919_000657.pngKid N Drei…Taking “Blue Dog” for a walk on The Golden Gate…

 

We did it! Kid N Drei crossed The Golden Gate. With stops and the hike to Battery Spencer included, it would take Kid N Drei a total of 3 hours to stroll the bridge and back. It was quite a stroll, highlighted by Karl The Fog…

As memorable a walk Kid N Drei had across The Golden Gate, one thing Drei must advise…When walking across the bridge, keep in mind that other tourists will be strolling along both on foot and bike. Like Kid N Drei, you’ll probably be taking lots of pics, especially if you’re like Drei. Be careful though, some of these same folks on the bridge, especially the bicyclists, tend to have little patience of other tourists snapping their countless pics.

We got to come back Kid and explore more trails. Just slow down for Drei every now and then. Remember, “Viejo”, as you like to call Drei, can’t always keep up with you…

Now that we’ve cruised The Golden Gate, it’s time for Kid N Drei to continue on. Next stop, Golden Gate Park. From The Golden Gate…

20170913_135712.jpgPeace and Love…In The City By The Bay…From The Golden Gate…With a Touch of Blue…From Kid N Drei

5 Days a Summer Fun-Drei…The Road to Omaha…Day 1, 6/3/2017

Day One, 6/3/2017

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Day one of what I call 5 Days a Summer Fun-Drei would find me at the Long Beach Regionals at Blair Field, featuring the Long Beach State Dirtbags, San Diego State Aztecs, Texas Longhorns and my UCLA Bruins as all for vie for a spot on the Road to Omaha en route to college baseball’s World Series.  It would be the first time Blair Field in Long Beach would host a regional since 2008 and Day 1, even with my Bruins being eliminated would not disappoint… Postgame Congratulatory Handshake

UCLA would lose their elimination game to San Diego State in 13 innings 3-2. Oh if not for leaving 15 runners on base. The Mighty Bruins will be back. This game would last a little over 5 hours ! In the back, you see the Texas Longhorns ready to take the field. Surely the next game on tap can’t top this battle between 2 southland schools…Game 2, Long Beach State vs Texas

The second game wouldn’t last as long. This one would ONLY go 12 innings, though this could have all been avoided if not for some great defense by the Longhorns…TWICE 

 

The Longhorns would eventually come out on top. So, after Day 1 of 5 Days a Summer Fun-Drei, I would spend close to 12 hours at the yard. With a total of 25 innings played, these 2 games would almost amount to 3. Both games we’re as advertised as pitching and great defense would rule the day. Here’s more sights from Day One of 5 Days a Summer Fun-Drei from Blair Field. 

The four schools featured have produced their fair share of MLBers, from Roger Clemens ,Tony Gwynn, Troy Tulowitzki, current Dodger Chase Utley and of course Dave Roberts. We also can’t forget some guy named Jackie…

 

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…

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 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)

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

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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…

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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

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