The last ballpark on our list this trip was also probably the most unique. It was the first indoor (AC cooled) baseball stadium I have been to, and it was a beauty! They opened the roof right before the game and I dreaded the 105 degree Phoenix heat bearing down on us, but they kept right on blasting the AC. Great seats once again. I also stumbled across a $25 18″ jumbo corn dog stuffed with cheese, peppers, and mustard. No, I did not get one. My goal is to see every park, not die from the food they serve.
I write this last post from the comfort of my home. We were up at 4 am Arizona time (Mountain zone sans daylight savings). That’s really like 6 am at home, which isn’t so bad, but psychologically it feels worse. The tiredness was all worth it. With this trip plus the last one, and a couple parks I’ve been to individually, I have now seen half of the major league stadiums! 15 to go!
I’ve visited the Grand Canyon before but was entirely too young to appreciate it. What a creative marvel to behold! If something like this doesn’t stir a higher affection for God the Creator, then why not? A Grand Canyon carved by the hand of a grander God!
We walked the south rim trail and barely even saw any of the enormous expanse of this place. I loved leaving the trail though and pushing the boundary to the edge. What a thrill and view! Far closer than my mom would allow when I was younger! Ha! Climbing and exploring took me back to a time when I was a Boy Scout and definitely brought out a side that few in my life now are even aware of. So just a few of my favorite shots below, which I’ll let speak for themselves.
San Diego is really nice! We stayed right near the shore of the Bay. We only had a few hours to go look around and visited the USS Midway aircraft carrier. Pretty amazing! But all too soon it was time to head to Petco Park. No really, it was too soon. Turns out they had a crazy start time of 5:40 pm and we didn’t realize it until we got there. So we missed the first three innings, which made me really sad because I like to keep score. But I worked it out with a little recap help from the At Bat app, and we settled in. Oh and did I mention it was Star Wars night at the Padres?
This park is REALLY nice! It had an outdoor mall feel to it out on the concourse. Alas, I had already missed so much of the game, I didn’t want to go stand in line for a vendor, so I didn’t get to try any food speciality they may boast in. Anyway, one really neat part of the stadium is how they used a building along one side. Kind of reminded me of Camden Yards a bit. Nice but short stay and we are off to Arizona!
Deep in enemy territory, I proudly wore my Texas Rangers cap at the inexplicably named Los Angeles Angels Stadium of Anaheim. It didn’t help that I offered up the fact that I live in the Angels’ AA-affiliate town and go to several of their games. But that’s okay.
Angels Stadium of Anaheim is pretty nice and of course features the water fall in center field. Pretty cool getting to see Mike Trout at his big league home park. Last time I saw him in person was a couple years ago at Dickey-Stephens, and I’ll proudly keep his autographed minor league rookie card until I can retire on it. Haha.
We rented a car for LA because public transport is not as extensive as we typically need. Trip Advisor came in handy to find things to do, because apart from spending tons at the theme parks, LA is a little lacking. But we started the morning on Hollywood Drive. Many stars were seen. I could’ve endlessly snapped some favorites and notables, but I forced myself to stop after a few. Took some shots of the notable Chinese Theater, with all the imprints of hands and feet in the courtyard. Overall, I was thoroughly unimpressed with the whole thing.
An online friend suggested we hike up Runyan Canyon, right off Hollywood. So we did. It was pretty tough but rewarding. Great views of the city and the ol’ HOLLYWOOD sign. I was told celeb sightings are pretty frequent, but I didn’t see any that I could tell. It was probably too hot for them.
Next, was the science center where the space shuttle Endeavour has made its home. Wow. This is definitely a standout moment. As much of a science and space nerd as I am, I could not believe I was seeing Endeavour with my own eyes. Up close. Make fun of me if you will, but I even got a little teary eyed. Absolutely stunning achievement in technology and science.
We popped over to the Colesium about 10 min too late, but the guard kindly gave us two minutes to run in and snap pictures. The day ended at the famous Griffith Observatory. Again, what a treat! Unfortunately, the main show was not running for maintenance and we were a bit too early to get to look through one of the telescopes, but the displays were more than enough.
Wow, no offense to A’s fans, but this stadium is a dump. So much so when I asked one of the guest relations workers what there was to see, she said that if I wanted to see something, I should’ve gone to AT&T Park. O.co Field is the last of the stadiums serving both football and baseball. And just Sunday, there was a football game. The extra bleachers get piled in the parking lot. The field was not in great shape and the faint lines of the yard markers could be seen.
I did have epic seats though. And most excitedly, I got to see my Texas Rangers on the road! Lupka scored us front row right by the visitor dugout. I was giddy as a child to see the players so close. So pardon me if my photos are a little biased. At one point, I had a ball hit my hand thrown by the first base coach, but of course it bounced out of my palm and into the awaiting arms of the guy behind me.
The game lasted 3 hours and 40 min. The last inning made us Ranger fans a little nervous, but we pulled it out, aided by one of my favorite player’s, Mitch Moreland, home run! Got back to our room a little after midnight and on a 7:00 am shuttle to the airport bound for LA.
Plenty of time in San Francisco between games to go see the sites. We hit all the things you should when you come here. Golden Gate, Fisherman’s Wharf, Pier 39 and the seals that chill there, Alcatraz (sorta), the uniquely winding Lombard St, ride a trolley, walk the incredibly steep streets. (Sorta on Alcatraz because they apparently sell out tickets weeks, if not months, in advance. Had no idea such planning would be required. So I rode a ferry instead and got close.)
I also had a nerd day and went out to Petaluma and visited a studio of a internet network called This Week in Tech, created by Leo Laporte. I’ve listened to/watched them for years. And while I was at it, I was determined to meet a couple of tech journalists and podcasters, Jason Snell and Philip Michaels, who I greatly respect and enjoy their work. They were incredibly gracious. It was a genuine pleasure to spend the evening with them talking everything from baseball to tech to geek culture. They’re just a couple of regular guys, but it was still pretty surreal to meet them. May even beat seeing Buster Posey play in-person. 😏
Tomorrow is the A’s game then on to LA!