Tag Archives: SF Giants

Cruising The N.L. West, San Francisco 5/1

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Throughout this 2019 season it is my goal to catch our Boys in Blue in every NL West venue. Though I’ve have been to each venue and have seen my share of Dodgers games in San Diego and San Francisco, it’s been awhile since i’ve been to either Chase or Coors Field. When I last set foot inside Chase Field, it was known than as Bank One Ballpark, or simply , The BOB. I’ve made two trips there, in ’99 and in ’03 to see the Dodgers do battle with the ‘Snakes as Hideo Nomo would pitch a masterpiece with Eric Gagne collecting one of his saves during his record breaking streak. 

I would venture to Coors Field in August of ’06 on my ballpark journey to see the Rockies take on the Mets for a couple of games. It was during the second game a Long Beach State Dirtbag, some guy named Troy Tulowitzky would make his MLB debut. 

But of all the NL West yards, I’ve yet to see my Boys In Blue in the Mile High City. And for that matter, it’s been 16 years since I’ve seen The Blue in Downtown Phoenix. While it’s still my goal to venture to all 30 MLB parks, my goal for this year is to catch the Blue in every NL West yard in the same season. 

As of now, I’ve been to and seen games at 16 current yards, 7 past and set foot inside one other former yard and passed by another relic.  Of the total 9 former yards, two are still  standing and one is still in use. If all goes well for me, my count of current yards will be 17 come September. 

So as I venture my way through each NL West city and venue all Dodger Blue, I’ll also be sharing other ventures as well.  

As I have mostly done with my trips up north, I’ve been as economical as possible by using the Flixbus. On this occasion I have decided to red-eye it both ways, leaving L.A. on Tuesday evening on the last day of April…

20190501_020436Rest stop, Avenal, CA

Though we would arrive to The City about 30 minutes late, I would still have enough time to catch the Golden Gate Transit to San Rafael to catch a connecting train to Petaluma. With a whole day ahead of me I decide to venture outside The City…

20190501_060422Wednesday Morning, May 1, 2019. In the distance, you can see the light towers from AT&T, ahem, Oracle Park

After arriving in Petaluma shortly after 8:30, I would venture into this Hallie’s Diner. I would start my day with their fried plantain rum souffle. 

 

 

The diner is very intimate and gives you that classic Americana vibe. Though my breakfast was anything but American, the plantains are just the way I remember dining on many Filipino and Latin dishes. I really wanted to get an omelette with my souffle and had I known the omelette’s served we’re not so big I may have ordered one. Oh well. Perhaps the next time I find myself around these parts I can double my pleasure. Oh, speaking of that classic American vibe… 

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Cruisin’ through 1962. Before Star Wars, George Lucas had American Graffiti. One of my favorite movies because of the music and the classic car culture of the early 60s. I decided to take a stroll through some of the spots where AG was filmed. Above is the corner where Toad’s accident occurred during his failed street race…

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It was at this corner where Carol, after getting splashed by a water balloon, gets her revenge with the help of badass John Milner…

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As for that building…

20190501_111859More history to venture to next time…

More American Graffiti and sights of Petaluma soon…

Moving on, I now hop back aboard the SMART Train  on my way to Santa Rosa for another venture before The Blue’s Wednesday evening battle against the hated one’s. This time, my venture takes me to the Charles Schulz Museum. Many of you may be familiar with that name as he is the creator of all those classic Peanuts cartoons. 

20190501_145251HEY CHUCK !!!

The Charles Schulz Museum is a small 2-story museum which features many of his work with a special feature on the 50th anniversary of Woodstock, for whom best bud would be named after

20190501_144508Something really needs to be done about this…

20190501_162643STOP!!! CHUCK DON’T DO IT !!!

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Just a couple of us “Blockheads”… To this day, like Chuck, I still have a hard time comprehending what certain people who call themselves adults say. It’s as if all I hear coming out of their mouth’s is “WAH WAH WAH WAH WAH…”

SAN FRANCISCO OPEN YOUR GOLDEN GATE…

20190501_165856Gotta give The Bay’s most famous landmark a Touch of Blue…

Of course this isn’t the first time Drei has done this…

20170913_135712.jpgFLASHBACK, SEPT ’18…KID N DREI !!! 

Even local legend Karl The Fog provided for a nice backdrop…

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Oracle Park. Now under it’s FOURTH NAME in just it’s 20th season !!! Hey, that female Dodger fan just gave me an idea…

20190501_180043Ready to bring my Blue in enemy territory…

Since opening in 2000 I’ve ventured inside 18 times. The Blue came out victorious 10 of those 18 times so I guess I can say my presence has helped…

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Tonight’s eats…The 40 clove chicken garlic sandwich and garlic fries. Yes, the mints we’re included (I get a feeling I won’t be heckled tonight…). In spite of the early 6:45 PM start time, I would still have enough time to down my meal. As for the 6:45 first pitch, it’s something the Giants are doing for Monday-Thursday evening games, something that would never work in L.A….

Because i’ve taken so many trips here over the years I didn’t bother taking many pics tonight…(OK, my battery ran low from all the pics taken earlier in the day…)

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Oracle Park’s new board. Come October these two will be neighbors. It’s funny how both these team’s fanbase has expanded throughout the Bay since 2010…Some of these folks don’t recall baseball played at Candlestick and some of these folks think Run TMC is that famous rap trio from the 80’s…

A lot of teams partner up with another local team or school during these theme nights. The Dodgers have done so with all the pro and several local colleges as well. Across the bay the A’s have done their theme nights, even having a Cal-Stanford night. The A’s though never seem to have an A’s-Raiders night…Hmmmm….

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Triples Alley. This is where home runs and long fly’s come to die. There’s been recent talk about possibly moving in the fences sometime in the future and maybe relocating the bullpensA couple fans I spoke with said they like the deep dimensions. I also understand the concern for moving the bullpens to the outfield as well as i’ve never cared for bullpens being in the field of play. 

The game would be a classic pitchers duel between Hyun-Jin Ryu and longtime nemesis Madison Bumgarner. The game would remain tied at one until the home ninth, when with two outs Buster Posey would deliver a 2-out walk-off single off Pedro Baez to give the Giants a 2-1 win over The Blue…

20190501_215438Postgame…A Flock of Seagull’s. Time for the locals to run so far away…

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Yard One of my Blue Journey through the NL West is complete. Where will my next journey be?

Extra Innings…Oracle Blue Out

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OK. Time to catch that red-eye Flixbus back to L.A. But before Drei leaves The Bay, there’s something Drei need’s to do to repay Kid back for this pic he sent from that “HIPSTER FEST” called Coachella… 

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Because Drei know’s how much  you love IHeart Radio, Kid…

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Two can play this game…

Here’s some past pics from AT&T Park from April 2018

‘Til the next episode…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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. 

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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

Stadium Journey

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

My Favorite Dodgers-Giants Moments…From Vin

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Over the years you’ve told us many a tale about a rivalry between the North and the South…The tales have brought joy and heartbreak to both sides of our proud state. It was up north on the final day of the 1982 season where I got my first taste of this classic rivalry…

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Even among longtime bitter rivals, you are given the greatest amount of respect, as told by longtime broadcaster and the voice of the Giants, Jon Miller…

Photo courtesy Jon Miller (Vin Scully with Giants broadcasters, L-R, Duane Kuiper, Mike Krukow, Jon MIller and Dave Flemming, 8/25/2016 via Jon Miller)

The stories over the years are countless. They resonate beyond Dodgers fans…Giants fans…baseball fans all over…

Yup. It’s hard to believe that in the 67 years you’ve told your tales, 37 of them that I’ve had the pleasure to listen to, everything has come full circle…

Drei’s 2 Favorite Dodgers-Giants Moments From Vin…

Like many of you, I have my share of more than just 2 Vin Scully moments involving the Good ( Dodgers ) and The Bad ( Giants )…Moments that I was there for…

2. October 3, 1993…103 Wins and Not a Scene In The Bay…

Just like 1982, the Giants had to win the final game of the season to force a one-game playoff against the Braves for the NL West crown. The Dodgers, particularly 1993 NL Rookie of the Year Mike Piazza, had other ideas…

The Dodgers would torch the Giants 12-1, leaving the hated ones one game behind the Braves. 1993 would be the last year of the pre Wild Card era. In spite of having baseball’s 2nd best record in 1993, the Jints we’re nowhere to be seen in late October, much to the delight of this fan, and the dismay of those who made the long trek down I-5, only to make the longer trek back home…( Perhaps that’s what Nancy Bea meant when she serenaded our visitors with Do You Know The Way to San Jose…). 

1. October 2, 2004…Wherever It Lands…

The Giants, 2 back of The Blue with 2 to play, carried a 3-0 lead into the home 9th. The Dodgers would rally to tie, then Steve Finley slammed his way into Dodger Blue lore…

The slam would give the Dodgers their first division title in 9 years. The hated ones would be knocked out of post-season play the next day…

It really hasn’t set in yet that this weekend is your final curtain call. It’s quite fitting that your final call comes with these two storied rivals on the field…The Dodgers and the Giants…One getting ready for a post-season run…One fighting for a post-season run..Yet it was you (And Joe Morgan, ironically Jon Miller’s longtime EPSN Sunday Night Baseball partner…) introduced this kid to the Dodgers-Giants rivalry…

Extra Innings…A Sunday Tale…From The LFP…With Kid N Drei…

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Kid: Drei, I’m gonna miss Vin more than I’ll miss Kobe…

Hey Kid…How ’bout a tune paying tribute to Vin…

(Best when listened with headphones…)

 

Dear Vin…From Jubilation to Heartbreak, My Love-Hate Relationship With The City By The Bay

Dear Vin. In many ways, it is only appropriate that you finish your storied and distinguished career as two long time rivals battle it out. Two rivals who have a long history of Jubilation and Heartbreak. 

It was at Candlestick Park, the final game of the 1982 season, October 3rd, where I got my first taste of the Dodgers-Giants rivalry. The Dodgers needed to win and hope for a Braves defeat in San Diego to force a one-game playoff at Dodger Stadium for the NL West. The Dodgers got the help in San Diego. Unfortunately, in the home 7th with the score tied at 2 and the crowd yelling BEAT L.A, to the angst of this 8 year old,  Joe Morgan had other ideas

Morgan_Clark (Joe Morgan being greeted at home plate by Jack Clark…UGH !!!)

It was Morgan’s 3 run blast over the right field fence that would knock the Dodgers out of the playoffs, leaving The Blue one game behind for the NL West. It would be my first true taste of the Dodgers-Giants rivalry. Joe Morgan may be best remembered for his time with the Big Red Machine of the 70s. This Dodger fan will always remember Morgan for one at-bat in the dreaded Halloween Colors…

IT’S A MADHOUSE AT CANDLESTICK…

What a lot of today’s younger fans may not know is that you once called gridiron action for CBS. On occasion you would pair up with John Madden. Heck, you nearly became John Madden’s permanent broadcast partner

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As we all know, Pat Summerall, another legendary voice would end up with the gig. But it wasn’t like you left the gridiron mic on a quite note…9 months prior, much to the joy of this Dodgers/49ers fan ( Yes Dodger fans, there are plenty of them…Just like there are plenty of Dodgers/Cowboys fans too) you called another epic moment between two longtime rivals, a moment simply known as…The Catch

It would be the end of an era…The end of one dynasty…The beginning of another one… What a way to go out…Ironically, this Sunday, down the road in Santa Clara, yup, both the Niners and Cowboys meet…Perhaps you can do both at one time?…You know Vin, I could only imagine you calling Niner games during the Montana to Rice years…Just imagine…

So there’s my story of my love/hate relationship with The City By The Bay…As The Blue heads north, with the hated ones battling for that last Wild Card spot, perhaps The Blue, even with the NL West all locked up, can provide more heartbreak in the City By the Bay…The way Joe Morgan tormented us in ’82…Imagine that…All for us and our rivals up north to enjoy. As fierce as the rivalry is, even our longtime rivals enjoy A Touch of Class…

 

Counting Down The Magic Number…19

Jim Gilliam - "Mr. Versility" (Getty Images) (Jim Gilliam. “Mr. Versatility” Getty Images)

The magic number is now in the teens! Here is a re-post from 2014 of a fan favorite from both the Brooklyn and L.A. days, Jim Gilliam

Jim Gilliam would play for the Dodgers in both Brooklyn, 1953-57, and Los Angeles from 1958-1966. He was a 2 time all-star, in 1956 and 1959, was named NL Rookie of the Year in 1953 and would play …

Source: Magic Number Fun Facts…19

picsart_09-08-12.27.08.png Feels Good to Be ” All the Way Up…”

Counting Down That Magic Number…22

22 Brett Butler

Dodgers_Brett Butler Brett Butler would don the Dodger Blue for just over six seasons from 1991-94, and after a brief stint with the Mets to start off 1995, would return to The Blue later that season and finish his career in Dodger Blue in 1997. Throughout his career which would span 5 teams Butler would amass a career .290 batting average along with 558 stolen bases. Many a Dodger fan would remember Brett for his speed as well as his ability to get on base while bunting. 

Currently Brett is the 3rd base/outfield coach for the Miami Marlins, whom the Blue will see this weekend, just in time for our present day 22 to return to action

Dodgers_Kershaw (Kid K. Photo: Allen J. Schaben/L.A. Times)

Welcome Back Zack…

We never said we’d be gracious hosts, did we ?

This has been one crazy 2nd half. After whacking around former Dodger Zack Greinke with 5 home runs en route to a 10-2 win, the Dodgers now find themselves 4 games in front of the hated ones. Since the all-star break the Dodgers have erased a 6.5 game lead by the Giants, gaining 10 games in that stretch. Regardless if the Giants have gone through and continue their 2nd half swoon,as pointed out by a certain sports network, The Blue, for all it’s injuries, are still on pace to win 90 plus games for the 4th straight season. As for the Giants, they are on pace to be the first team to have the best record before the All-Star break and the worst after it.

picsart_07-12-09.01.55.jpg Feels great to lead the way, doesn’t it Kid ?

Chasing Dreams at The Skirball Cultural Center

As The Boys In Blue continue to chase their dreams toward October, the Skirball Cultural Center features Chasing Dreams: Baseball and Becoming American, the first large-scale exhibition featuring the story of Jews and baseball as well as the sports impact on other immigrants and minority communities, including Italians, Asians, Latinos and African Americans. Planning on bringing the kids? Check out the Family Art Studio where the whole family can create one-of-a kind art projects themed around Skirball exhibits, as well as its current baseball exhibits.

Bringing the kids along? One thing the whole family will enjoy is making personalized baseballs using ping-pong balls to be placed along the wall of Skirball All Stars, lined of course with baseball cards of various MLB players from the 80s and 90s.

 

You will also want to take your kids through Noah’s Ark. Inside this wooden ark, kid of all ages are invited  to experience a hands on experience filled with endless imagination. 

Monkeying around inside the Ark…Just another SUN-DAY, FUN-DREI !!!  We’re just never to old to monkey around are we…

The Skirball Cultural Center is located on 2701 N. Sepulved Blvd. The museum hours are Tuesday-Friday 12:00-5:00 P.M., Saturday-Sunday, 10:00 a.m.-5:00p.m. General Admission is $12, $9 for Seniors 65 and over as well as for F/T Students with ID, and Children over 12, $7 for Children 2-12. Admission is free on Thursdays.

Extra Innings…Ross Porter on the 2016 Dodgers and Dave Roberts

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Former Dodger Ross Porter recently spoke to an audience at the Skirball Center as he presented Baseball Stories. A Q&A also took place and I asked Ross his thoughts on this years Dodgers as well as Dave Roberts. Please excuse the audio quality.  Here’s a snippet…

Throwing Back Thursday…Giving The New Yard a Blue Christening

fb_img_1459916138621.jpg Today marks the home opener for the Giants. 16 years ago the hated ones opened in their new home against the Dodgers. After 40 seasons at Candlestick Park, the Giants would move to China Basin to a gem of a park, and Kevin Elster would give it the proper christening…

Though I would not be at that first game, I did however catch the 2nd half of the 2nd game that had been suspended due to rain and all of the 3rd game of that 3 game series, which The Blue would sweep all 3 games to open the Giants new digs…

fb_img_1459916056346.jpg The locals giving me a Royal Blue treatment…LOL…

fb_img_1459916155526.jpg August, 2009. Hey, you guys coming over for dinner ?

 Always proud to turn The Bay…Blue !!!