May 11th, 2015. A’s lose to the Red Sox in extras.
After seeing one of most highly regarded ballparks in all of baseball the day before we set out from San Francisco to Oakland. Oakland’s O.Co Coliseum is quite the contrast from the geographical rival San Francisco’s AT&T Park. There is nothing pretty about this ballpark, from the outside it is just a giant concrete wall and on the inside the stadium ballpark serving as a football stadium is someone how both obvious and jarring. We didn’t check out the area around the park and we didn’t really want to. Getting to the stadium from San Fran is quite easy, just get on the BART train, the stadium has it’s own station stop. We when arrived at the stadium stop, there is a pedestrian bridge that takes you over some train tacks. Along the entire bridge is a high fence with barbed wire. It certainly doesn’t help paint a good picture of the surrounding area as a fun place.
In a twist of fate the athletics were playing the Red Sox, the same matchup when we saw a game in Boston the previous season. One thing that was obvious while waiting for the gates to open is that Boston fans are everywhere, roughly half the crowd were Red Sox fans. When we entered the stadium we took a walk around looking for a shot glass. Not sure if I mentioned this previously but we get a shot glass at every ballpark. To our complete shock Oakland did not have any shot glasses in there store. Apparently the shipment for the season hadn’t come in yet(Season started a month ago), the other thing we heard is that the truck delivering had been robbed. So we had to settle for a bottle opener key chain.
It was a little strange seeing a football stadium being used for baseball or a baseball stadium being used for football. There is a huge foul area because of this, which for me I don’t mind if ballparks have little quirks that affect gameplay as long as they don’t ruin a game, such as the low catwalk in Tampa. The ballpark also doesn’t have one big main scoreboard but two smaller identical scoreboards on opposite sides of the park. From where we were sitting the stadium is actually pretty symmetrical which usually the asymmetrical aspect is what makes baseball stadiums more unique from the other top 4 sports. There is a huge upper deck section of seats that were tarped off, I guess those are probably used for the football games. It did remind me of the Rogers Centre in Toronto which with the exception of the dome looks very similar to O.CO Coliseum. The other thing that reminded me of Toronto was seeing good ole Brett “The Rally Killer” Lawrie play. This was of course the season that we(Blue Jays) got Donaldson for Lawrie and Donaldson ended up getting the MVP award. Great trade.
We had some decent seats sitting well behind home plate. Now last season we almost got a foul ball in Detroit, during this game in Oakland we managed to get even closer but somehow still came up with nothing. The guy sitting directly in front of us took a ball directly to his face. While he and the girl was trying stop his face from bleeding some guy a few rows over found the ball rolling around the floor. Still feel bad for the guy. Now I’m writing this blog in the year 2018 so everything has been based on memory. I cannot remember anything of note in the game or anything of note for what the park has to offer for food. Which leads me to believe the beer is probably decently priced. Also I have a Oakland Athletics Pint cup in my kitchen right now so the beers were probably the highlight that day. The Athletics lost in extra innings so at the very least it was a close game.
That completes our second game in two days. The next day we are renting a car and driving to LA to see a game at Dodgers Stadium.
Completed Stadiums: 8 of 30
To see the current completion status of our baseball stadium tour Click Here
Our first full season of our baseball stadium tour is complete. We saw 5 MLB stadiums plus a former MLB stadium. Our tour began at the end of March when we flew to Montreal to see the Toronto Blue Jays take on the Mets. Overall we had a great time in Montreal but the stadium was one of our least favorite.
In May we flew to Boston to see a game at the Legendary ballpark known as Fenway. My wife had been there before but I was completely new to Boston and can’t wait to back. Being early on in the season the weather was very cold which made us consider leaving early. Ultimately we stayed through the extra innings to see Oakland beat the defending champions.
In July we rented a car and drove to Detroit to see a game at Comerica Park. We both though Comerica was great and consider it to be an underrated ballpark. We were hoping to see David Price pitch for Tampa but missed him by a day. The home team lost again and we got soaking wet trying to find our car. Which made for an interesting car ride as we drove from Detroit to Sandusky, Ohio(Cedar Point) in the middle of the night.
The first weekend in August we flew to Washington where we were able to see two parks in one trip. We saw and loved Orioles Park in Camden Yard. Again the home team lost and we were beginning to think we were cursed. The next day we went and saw a day game at Nationals Park. It was a pitcher’s duel between Max Scherzer of the Nationals and Cole Hamels of the Philies. Ultimately the Nationals won which broke the losing streak for us. We saw the end of the game and hustled to the airport at fast as we could and just barely made our flight.
Near the end of August we flew to Florida to visit Orlando. While we were there we drove down to Tampa to see a game at Tropicana Field. We were glad to check it off but did not have a high regard for the stadium. I would say Tropicana Field is considered our least favorite stadium, as the very least it was the worst stadium we had visited up to this point.
The 2014 season gave us a great start to our tour. Instead of one trip we did small getaways about once a month. We saw the defending champs, a grand slam and almost got a foul ball in Detroit. Our favorite park visit so far is Baltimore with Washington in second. The 2015 season we took a different approach and visited another 5 parks but all in one trip. Next up we are going to the west coast and visiting all the California parks.
May 4th, 2014. Oakland defeats Boston in extra innings.
Fenway Park is what we consider the trip that truly started our stadium tour. Roger’s Centre doesn’t count as we live in Toronto and Montreal is just exhibition games. Fenway is our “Lead off” stadium in regards to travelling across America to experience a home game for every MLB team. My wife had been before whereas I was completely new to Boston. We hadn’t yet developed our traditions when we visited Fenway. There is no picture standing in front of the stadium name sign, we didn’t buy a shot glass and we didn’t try to find it’s unique food (I think I just had a pretzel). It was such a good experience we both thought we have to see more stadiums. Fenway is a great park even for those that are not big baseball fans as it is such an iconic part of history of sport and in many respects American culture. You can’t help but feel the importance of Fenway when attending a game.
We stayed in a hotel in downtown Boston and was able to walk to the stadium so I’m not sure how easy it is to get to using transit. The area around the stadium is a great place to chill and grab some food and drink either before or after a game. When we entered the stadium after a couple of rounds at a nearby bar we walked around a bit and found our seats. We had great seats for the game but it did seem like there were some seats with pretty obstructed views due to the supports for the second level, perhaps one of the few negatives of an old stadium. The other being I had to walk quite the distance to find a restroom during the game. I suppose in that regard newer stadiums are designed with those things in mind. Fenway is obviously famous for it’s green monster (or as I call it after a few beers by mistake the “Green Giant”) and it’s strange outfield dimensions. It was cool to see it in person and to see just how different and game changing it is.
The game took place on Mother’s day. They had a special ceremony before the game featuring Red Sox Mascot Wally with Wally’s Mother and Father. The mother and father costumes were actually pretty funny, the mother was just a Wally costume with lipstick and a purse and I think the Father costume was a Wally costume but with a mustache and dad shirt. The game got underway and we saw the Word Series Champions the Boston Red Sox take on the Oakland Athletics. The game would end up going into extra innings and it was so cold that day we actually debated leaving. Of course we did end up staying for the end of that game when Oakland defeated Boston.
Seeing a game at Fenway was a great experience. Despite not having the most modern amenities and having super bad weather that day we had a great time. In fact we had a great weekend experiencing all that the city of Boston has to offer and look forward to returning again someday. If you are looking to do a bunch of stadiums in a road trip the next closest parks to Boston would be the two New York teams and then Philadelphia.
Completed Stadiums: 2 of 30
To see the current completion status of our baseball stadium tour Click Here