Tonight's elimination game at Fenway Park, starting at an absurdly late hour, should be good. In 2004, my youngest son and I took a little baseball trip to the east coast, visiting Fenway, Yankee Stadium, Oriole Park at Camden Yards, and the new stadium in Philadelphia (I don't even remember what it's called but it's named for a bank). Fenway was probably the most fun because:
1. Pedro Martinez pitched. He wasn't very sharp that day, but we sat near a man who lead cheers for Pedro that consisted of chanting "PayDRO, PayDRO, PayDRO; Ah HOO ah" and waving the Dominican flag.
2. The Italian sausage and pepper sandwiches at the ballpark.
3. The pizza at the ballpark.
4. The ballpark. We got to explore the place inside and out, wandering around during batting practice. I like it because it's old and cannot be anything else.
Camden Yard was also fun. We saw Justin Morneau hit a towering homer to right-center field, onto the brick plaza in front of the famous warehouse. The sound of bat on ball was unmistakable and brought an immediate hush to the crowd. There are lots of brass markers on that plaza commemorating home runs. I wonder if one now has Morneau's name on it. And Lew Ford (bye, Leeewww) gunned down a runner at home with an outstanding throw from deep left field. A Baltimore fan sitting in front of us screamed at the ump that the runner was safe, then turned to us, smiled, and said "Helluva throw."
Yankee Stadium was disappointing because it is kind of a dump. It looked like it had been deliberately neglected to bolster the case for a new stadium. Sad. It was a great game, though, because Toronto and New York took a scoreless tie into the ninth and Ruben Sierra (who would briefly become a Twin) hit a solo homer in the bottom of the ninth to win it for the Yankees.
And the park in Philadelphia was nice, although it has a soulless name and is stuck out on the edge of town like an unwanted relative.
I want to be at Fenway tonight, eating and drinking and cheering. I guess I can do all those things at home, but...definitely not the same.