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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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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 !!!

Cruising The N.L. West, San Diego 5/5

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Just four days after cruising The Bay we head down south to San Diego for this Sunday afternoon Cinco De Mayo matchup against the Padres. With the Dodgers holding the top spot in the NL West and the Padres also off to a good start all three games at Petco Park would sell out. After winning the first two the Dodgers would come into the series finale with a chance at a sweep. 

Of the five NL West venues aside from Dodger Stadium, Petco Park is my most ventured. With San Diego being 2 hours south of L.A., a trip to America’s Finest City always makes for a great Sunday day trip, especially when traveling by rail. 

20190505_095855San Clemente

20190505_102129Almost there…

20190505_113740We’re Heeeeeere !!!

Petco Park, opened in 2004 is now in it’s 15th season of operation. As for the Padres, 2019 marks the 50th anniversary of their MLB existance…

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In their 50 years as an MLB franchise in San Diego the  Friars have won five NL West crowns and 2 pennants, their first coming in 1984…

20190505_123127Steve Garvey’s bat from Game Four of the 1984 NLCS. Of course it would take a Dodger to lead the Friars to their first World Series appearance…

Steve Garvey would be the first Padre to have his number retired, a topic that has some Friars followers divided

20190505_133000Today’s ballpark eat’s…Single Bacon Cheeseburger from Hodad’s

The Friars would jump out to a 4-0 lead. However the Dodgers would rally for five runs on the strength of a 3-run jack by Max Muncy and a 2-run shot be Chris Taylor to give The Blue a 5-4 lead heading to the home ninth. 

With the bases loaded and two-out. Two strikes from a series sweep, Hunter Renfroe would come off the bench for the Friars and deliver a game-winning Grand Slam for the Friars. That would be the second two-out walk-off I would witness in less than a week. Ugh !!!

20190505_1546432 2-out walk-off losses. Ugh ! Hopefully I’ll bring better luck to Colorado come late June…

2019050595164509.jpgThe Blue needs to retire the Garv’s number already…

Time to head over to Basic Bar for a blood orange IPA or two and a Mashed/4-Maggio pie…

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After my previous experience with potato on a pizza I was a little hesitant to want to try the Mashed, the side with the basil. I’m happy to tell you this time my experience was much better, with the mash being a perfect compliment to the mozzarella and bacon. 

The area around Petco Park has really developed over the years with more dining options popping up around the ballpark. 

OK, time to head back to L.A. But before we do…

20190505_195458.jpgPaying respects to two Padres HOF’ers, Tony Gwynn and Trevor Hoffman…

20190519_160250.jpgCruising the Gaslamp with Josh…

Extra Innings…Petco Blue Out

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L.A. to The Bay…3/22-24The Road to The Final Four

The evening prior to making my way to San Jose for the NCAA March Madness Regionals, I would take in a Kings game at Staples Center against, of course, the San Jose Sharks. With the SAP Center being occupied for the upcoming weekend for the NCAA Regional’s the Sharks would be on the road. Though the Kings have had a rough year on the ice, they would still come out on top on this Thursday evening on a night we’d receive a miniature Wayne Gretzky statue…

20190321_191051This one’s JUST a little larger than our mini statue…

On this night our lovable Lion King of a mascot, Bailey, couldn’t help but poke fun at our NoCal rivals…

After seeing a rare Kings win, I decide to take in some late night bites at a historic 24-hour L.A. institution, The Pantry…

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20190321_231316I can never go wrong with the Ham Steak & Eggs…

Allright, time to head to LAX and TRY, I mean, TRY to get some shut-eye before a Friday Morning 7AM departure…

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20190322_065126Little Bailey decided to tag along for this road trip…

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Our featured mural for this trip, painted sometime in the mid to late 2000’s with the image of Joe Thornton of the Sharks and  HP Pavillion, now the SAP Center. There was recent talk of this iconic mural going away to perhaps make way for (more) Google Transit developmentan already sore topic to residents in San FranciscoIf visiting San Jose anytime soon, you may want to capture a pic of this mural before it potentially goes away…

20190322_101922SAP Center, home of the San Jose Sharks and host of the NCAA Mens Basketball Regionals

20190322_102024Little Bailey having a great time trolling the streets outside the SAP Center…

Here for my first ever March Madness assignment for Stadium Journey the day would start off early as the first of four games for the day would match the 13th seed UC Irvine Anteaters against the 4th seed Kansas State Wildcats. 

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There’s a reason why they call this March Madness. Schools that you least expect to make in impact end up coming out of nowhere and making a name for themselves. The first game would see UC Irvine pull off the first upset of the day. The win by the Anteaters would be the first ever tournament win for UCI to the delight of many in the building. Though UCI did bring a good contingent up from SoCal, the building was decidedly pulling for the underdog, as most venues in the early rounds tend to do…

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The second of four for the day would pit the Pac-12 against the Big-10 as the 12th seed Oregon Ducks would take on the 5th seed Wisconsin Badgers. Any college basketball fan will tell you that 12th seeds have a long history of pulling off first round upsets and the Oregon Ducks, who struggled early in the season but finished strong and we’re one of the hottest teams entering the tournament. 

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As you can see Wisconsin was no match for Oregon as the Ducks would dominate Wisconsin, making them the second team to pull of an upset on this day. On a side note, though Oregon was a 12th seed, it really wasn’t much of an upset as mentioned earlier they we’re one of the hottest teams coming into the tournament and 12 seeds have a history of pulling off first round upsets. But an upset is just that….

20190322_154454Deforest Buckner, defensive tackle for the 49ERS showing support for his alma mater…

20190322_154624Had I known I would cross paths with DeFo I’d have donned my Niner hat. DeFo was very gracious taking pics with the Oregon and Niner Faithful…

20190322_144127Time to do a hard push to set up for games 3 and 4. Do your business before the “under four” timeout…

20190322_104308Time to help myself to a couple cupcakes provided to the media. That’s quite a display. I’m tempted to want to chomp on that chocolate replica trophy…

20190322_155117Counting down the minutes to tip-off between the 12th seed Liberty University Flames and the 5th seed Mississippi State Bulldogs

In spite of  Liberty U being one of those lower seed schools that could carry your heartwarming March Madness story-line, not everyone was crazy about jumping on Liberty U’s Cinderella bandwagon

Nonetheless, Liberty U would make their own March Madness history by knocking off Mississippi State and becoming the third double-seed team at the SAP Center. With one more game to go talk started swirling around the building of a complete 4-game sweep by double digit seeded teams. With their victory, Liberty U, like UCI earlier would win their first ever NCAA March Madness game. 

20190322_184924Liberty U players celebrating with their fans after their first NCAA tourney victory…

One more game to go on this Friday, this time between the 4th seed Virginia Tech Hokies and the 13th seed St. Louis Billikens. Can St. Louis pull off the sweep?

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Not quite. A cold start by the Billikens would lead to their demise as Virginia Tech would escape the barrage of upsets…

20190322_213305Counting down the final seconds…

20190322_21350020190322_213634End of Day One. Time to get some rest…

The first day of action would provide plenty of excitement. According to sources, the SAP Center would be the 7th venue to produce 3 double-seed first round winners. Had St. Louis U been able to pull off the sweep, the SAP Center would have been only the second venue to pull off a 4-game first-round sweep by double-seed teams. Hey, 3 of 4 isn’t bad, 2 of the 3 winning their first tourney game ever and the 12th seed Oregon, well, could they really be considered a Cinderella? 

Saturday, 3/23. Media Day

FB_IMG_1553531656115Interviewing UCI Guard Max Hazzard, the grandson of former UCLA Bruin Walt Hazzard. Max would hit a buzzer beating trey at the end of their first half battle with Kansas State that would send the ‘Eaters into the locker tied at 30 at the half… (Pic credit UCI Mens Basketball)

The day between rounds would give the media a chance to catch up with the players and coaches of the first round victors. 

20190323_144355Oregon Ducks forward and Bay Area native Kenny Wooten (Check out his tat…). Kenny Wooten is not to be confused with another legendary Kenny from UO, Kenny Wheaton

After the day’s media sessions, I would head over to the Hayes Mansion where a pep rally would be held for UC Irvine. (Hey, I gotta show my support for our states only team in the tourney. Besides, who doesn’t like a good Cinderella story?)

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20190323_190011Hey, I’m in Northern California. Why not indulge in some of their finest wine and cheese selections?

Sunday, March 22

20190324_120534Lil’ Bailey sure having a great time “trolling” the streets of San Jose…

20190324_120617We’re doing the best we can to stay out of any mischief before the Sunday games…

20190324_121653The second of two games. The game I wanted to watch but couldn’t because I had to catch my flight out of San Jose. The tipoff for that second game would be later than I expected…

20190324_124544.jpgWith some time to kill before the first game I decide to stroll the concourse and check out the plaques displayed along the San Jose Sports HOF. Here is one for former MLB Commissioner Peter Ueberroth, who played an instrumental role in landing L.A. the 1984 Olympics…

20190324_125742Throughout the 80’s the 49ERS teams we’re often labled a “finesse” team. If that was the case, Ronnie Lott never got that memo…

20190324_125224The man who started a Dynasty…R.I.P. Dwight Clark

 

As for the first game of Sunday between Liberty U and Virginia Tech the Hokies would end Liberty U’s dream of moving on to the Sweet 16. The final day of games in San Jose would not produce the dramatics that Friday’s games did as Oregon, in spite of a frantic 2nd half rally by UCI, would be too much for the Anteaters as they would punch their ticket to the Sweet 16…

20190324_171013Lil’ Bailey and Blue we’re on their best behavior during the weekend, even receiving some love from the UCI folks and surprisingly some of the locals as well (They must’ve been A’s fans…)

It was a fun weekend in San Jose. It was fun hearing stories from the visiting fans and reporters particularly those from Kansas and Virginia talking about seeing the Golden Gate Bridge for the first time. That must’ve been some hella-hyphy sight for our visitors (Yup, we just used the Bay-Area slang once again…)

The SAP Center is tied with the Honda Center in Anaheim as the 4th oldest NHL venue. Like the Honda Center, it has that early 90’s feel but like the OC venue, don’t expect it to go anywhere anytime soon…

20190324_170717It was HELLA fun, San Jose! Next stop…The Sweet 16 and Elite 8…Anaheim !!!

20190323_191250ZOT ZOT !!!

20190323_19130320190323_191414It was a great run by UCI…

So that was my weekend in The Bay. Here’s some other bits from my Stadium Journey piece

20190323_191755Kicking it with Peter the Anteater. It was a fun run, stay hungry Pete !!!

Check out my Facebook page, Drei and Company’s Stadium Journeys

L.A. to The Bay…February 16, 2019

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DTLA FlixBus Stop
Saturday morning, February 16th. The second of my L.A. to The Bay excursions and again I find myself taking the early morning econo-bus to The Bay. This time, my trip takes me Palo Alto, CA, 20 minutes north of San Jose, where the FlixBus will take me.
Just days after one of our heaviest storms of the season that closed The Grapevine, the main route used by FlixBus, the weather on this Saturday afternoon has cleared up enough to allow passage through. San Jose here we come !!!

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Once again, our rest stop finds us at Kettleman City. Unlike the last time when I stopped at In N Out on the way back to L.A, I decided to change it up a bit…

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If I had more time I’d have loved to check out some of the other local eats, especially the ice cream. Instead I settled for this pulled pork burger from Wild Jack BBQ…

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Pulled pork burger with cole slaw and black beans. Actually not bad…

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Something about these kitschy road stops along the interstate…

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Though the rain would stay away throughout the day, the clouds would continue to follow. My timing could not have been any better. The winter storm would clear up in time to re-open I-5 through the Grapevine. I-5 would close up again the next day…
After arriving to San Jose, I would catch the light rail to the neighboring town of Mountain View.

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Before catching the commuter train to Palo Alto I make a quick stop for a sweet treat at Olympus Caffe and Bakery…

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Revani. A semolina cake with heavy sweet syrup…YUM…

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Off to Palo Alto…

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And moments later…Later that evening I would head to Maples Pavilion for that evenings college hoops game between UCLA and Stanford…

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Maples Pavilion. Home of the Stanford Cardinal…

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This is the fourth Pac-12 school I have ventured to see my Bruins in action…As for the result, well…

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Even with the huge loss, there’s no such thing as a bad road trip…Check out my review of the Stanford Basketball gameday experience at Stadium Journey
Back to L.A., Sunday 2/17/2019

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Sunday morning in Palo Alto. Waiting for the Caltrain to San Jose where I will catch the Amtrak’s Coast Starlight back to L.A…

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Just before 10 AM in San Jose. Southland Metrolink riders should be familiar with those cars…
Though my train to L.A. is scheduled for a 10:10 AM departure, as per Amtrak custom, the Coast Starlight, originating from Seattle, is running two hours late. Hey, it could be worse. Over a week later passengers on this same train found themselves stuck in a rural Oregon town for 37 straight hours…

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To kill time I would walk a few blocks to San Pedro Square and find myself here at The Farmers Union.

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Eggs benedict with lump crab and home potatoes…Overall a pretty satisfying breakfast
My overall dining experience on this trip to The Bay wasn’t so hella overwhelming this time…(Oops, there I go again with hella. Spending hella time in the hella Bay will hella do that to you…)
Vida Abundante

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Abundant life. Life should be so filled with abundance. This is the featured mural from this trip to the bay…Between L.A. and The Bay are an abundance of murals from many talented artists. I really should take more pics of our murals in L.A…
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A hella vibrant abundance of fruits and veggies…Here’s more on the Da Anza Mural dubbed “Vida Abundante”

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Old Glory waving proudly in front of San Jose Diridon…

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Inside the lobby…


Some local rail memorabilia…

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Waiting patiently with Blue for our train to arrive…In the distance, the SAP Center, home of the San Jose Sharks…

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Just a few more minutes before Drei heads to L.A….

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And finally…Train 11, The Coast Starlight to L.A., now arriving…

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Goodbye for now, San Jose…
Along the way to L.A…

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This shot has me thinking of The Wizard of Oz…
Passing through Salinas…

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And now Paso Robles…


On the way to San Luis Obispo…

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We’re almost home Blue !!!

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I was hoping once we passed San Luis Obispo there would still be enough sun for us to catch the sunset along the ocean. With the train running late and being in the middle of February unfortunately there was no chance at snapping some shots of the sunset out in the ocean…
Almost home…

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As we now pass through Van Nuys, we’re about 30 minutes away from L.A. That old dilapidated pedestrian bridge that’s never in use? That’s an old pedestrian bridge from the days when a Busch Gardens theme park was housed here. Should you ever take a tour of the Busch Brewery you just may see some other remains from the old theme park…

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Van Nuys, CA

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As we make a quick stop in Van Nuys, as we wait atop this overpass on Van Nuys Blvd. in the distance in our not-so-great quality photo atop the sign is a neon blue P greeting visitors to The Plant. Opened in 1999, the shopping center once housed a General Motors automobile factory. Below us in the Van Nuys Blvd. underpass is a mural of several GM vehicles…

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After being delayed almost 2.5 hours we make it home to L.A. only 50 minutes past its originally scheduled 9PM arrival. Anyone who works in for Amtrak or travels the rails frequently will tell you that trains while always never on time always make up time along it’s route…

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Finally home…


Union Station L.A.

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Feels good to be home don’t it Blue? In no time plenty of Dodger Blue clad fans will be roaming these confines on their way to the Dodger Stadium shuttles…It’s almost that time of year for our favorite catchphrase…”IT’S TIME FOR…”
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The old ticketing hall and waiting area, located at the front. Today, it stands mostly vacant, used mostly for filming and other special events…
Well, that’s my L.A. to The Bay recap, part 2 of how many this year. This time, a little history revisited. What will Drei’s next L.A. to The Bay journey bring?

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From L.A. to The Bay…And Back…With Drei…’Til the Next Episode…

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L.A. to The Bay…January 12, 2019

Thanks to econo bus services like Flixbus and Megabus, turnaround trips from L.A. to The Bay have been possible for me. As a freelance writer for Stadium Journey who has provided news and reviews of venues from SoCal to NoCal, these budget friendly busses do come in handy. However, every now and then I do like to travel by rail.

Last year, I was able to travel to The Bay a total of four times, reviewing both the homes of baseball’s Giants and Athletics, as well as Haas Pavilion, the college basketball home of the Cal Golden Bears.

My first L.A. to The Bay trip for 2019 will take me to the campus of the University of San Francisco, where I will be doing a review of War Memorial Gym…College basketball home of the USF Dons. But first, the journey toward The Bay…

20190112_083231Up the Grapevine, Saturday, January 12

Prior to my departure from L.A. just after 7AM, we had been rained upon heavily. As we made our way up I-5 toward The Grapevine the clouds would follow but the rain would hold off. After a little over 3 hours, our rest stop would find us in Avenal. Our choice of eats was very limited as our stop only had one gas station and one of two choices for eats…Little Cesar’s and this…

20190112_103536The nice thing about El Sabroso is that it’s a convenient 24-hour stop for those drivers along the outskirts of I-5. As for my machaca burrito…

20190112_102159Meh…But what do you expect from your typical rest stop eatery…

20190112_103523The sun is starting to peak through…

20190112_102955Waiting patiently for our driver so we can hit the road…

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After arriving to The City just past 2, with a little over 4 hours to kill I decide to walk around and take some pics of the construction of the Golden State Warriors new home over at nearby Mission Bay as well as the changes around the Giants yard… Time to change that sign…

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The future home of the Golden State Warriors, the Chase Center, located in Mission Bay down the street from the Jints, ahem, Giants playground…

After taking some pics of the construction progress of The Chase Center, it’s time to take a walk up 3rd Street…

20190112_152852(0)From the Lefty O’Doul Bridge. New board coming…

20190112_1532233rd and King…

20190112_153357Oracle Park. Oracle won the naming rights earlier in the week. In the meantime, AT&T Park signs are still up…

20190112_153813No need to change the name of our beloved classic yard, right Blue Dog?

20190112_153702Hey Sammy, that’s 4 names in 20 years already….

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One last pic before they take down the AT&T sign. Hey, I got my SF on…Forever Hella Faithful, right? Did I just say, Hella?

After a quick stop to my hotel, I head toward The Haight for a quick bite before heading to the USF campus. In the past I would have just done an immediate turnaround back to L.A. but these days I just don’t have the energy to do late night bus rides anymore…

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Something about this corner that happened in some Summer of ’67 that draws tourists here…

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USF. A Jesuit college just a few blocks north of The Haight…

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War Memorial Gym, aka The Hilltop. Tonight’s game features the USF Dons against the number 5 ranked team in the country, Gonzaga. Whenever I think of Gonzaga hoops moments taking place in The Bay, these sights and sounds, and the voice of Gus Johnson comes to mind…

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The Hilltop is your old-school gym. When filled to the rafters, as it was on this evening, The Hilltop can have that classic intimate charm. 

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The Dons would put up a great fight on this Saturday evening but the ‘Zags would pull away late. USF could be one of those sleeper teams that could wear a glass slipper come March if they can continue their strong season and show a stronger presence come conference tourney time…

20190112_211735Gonzaga comes out on top…

20190112_212808 USF Glory…

20190112_213815Postgame autographs…

20190112_212241Kickin’ it with Don Francisco…

20190112_213056 My standard postgame shot from halfcourt…

Drei’s Bites…Slice House Haight by Tony Gemignani vs Escape From NY Pizza

Prior to the game I went over to Slice House Pizza. After the game I went back to The Haight, this time to Escape From New York Pizza. After some previous Yelp searches, I decided i’d cruise through these two and do a comparison…

20190112_172025The Purple Haze, Slice House Haight…

My first slice for the night was the Purple Haze. Topped off with Mozzarella, Pancetta, Rosemary, Pesto, Feta, Oregano, Romano, Garlic Oil and the featured Purple Potato this slice managers to fit all these ingredients nicely while also being nicely presented. 

20190112_220308You Say Potato, Escape From NY Pizza…

My postgame appetite would bring me to Escape From NY Pizza for a slice of the You Say Potato. This slice would be topped off with Roasted Potatoes & Roasted Garlic Cloves over Pesto Sauce. Oh does Drei love him some garlic. 

So, between the two, which slice comes out the winner?

The Purple Haze does a nice job of putting all those ingredients together while at the same time not having any one topping be to overly dominant

You Say Potato has a nice concept and I can never have enough garlic. But unlike the thinly sliced purple potatoes on The Purple Haze, the potatoes on my slice of You Say Potato are just to thick. Even with the cloves and pesto, my potato slice probably could have used more flavor. So the winner…THE PURPLE HAZE

More on these two eateries soon…

Back to L.A., Sunday, January 13

Before heading back to L.A. I head toward the Castro for my morning bite at Orphan Andy’s for some Chicken Fried Steak and Eggs. This is probably the first time I set foot into this 24-hour diner while the sun was up…

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20190113_084511My happy breakfast…

Across the street from Orphan Andy’s is this newly painted mural of Harvey Milk…

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Between the rival cities, L.A. and S.F. have their fair share of attractive murals. Here’s one of Robin Williams on Market Street…

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Allright, time to head to Oak-Town to catch my ride back to L.A. 

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Somewhere by those cranes a new ballyard will be in place for the Oakland A’s…Hopefully

20190113_101615.jpgThe ride across the Bay Bridge…

20190113_111118Down 101. Hey, I don’t see Candlestick Park anywhere…

Of course, one last rest stop before heading to L.A. This time, our rest stop takes us to Kettleman City in front of this…

20190113_152959Now we can never go wrong with an In N Out as our pit stop…

20190113_151755Oh yeah, a 3×3 with extra onions…

20190113_152043With fries, Extra Well. I always ask for them extra will. I love that crispiness that gives my fries that hot off the fryer, potato chip texture…

Well, that wraps up my first L.A. to The Bay adventure for 2019. Next one will come next month as I make my way toward Palo Alto. What will come about on my next L.A. to The Bay adventure?

20190112_152951That hella vibe I get when I visit The Bay…I’m almost to that point where every other Hella word I say is gonna Hella turn out to be…Hella