Jan
21

Touring ballparks in 2012

By

The Yankees acquisition of Michael Pineda and signing of Hiroki Kuroda couldn’t have come at a better time. While the weeks and months leading up to the moves were filled with frustration, they were still filled with discussions of the team’s direction. Those discussions usually end in mid-January, when we hit the ultimate lull. Two and a half months removed from live baseball and a month and a half away from the first spring training games, mid-January is the worst time of year for baseball fans.

Dreams of warmer climates can help us pass the time. Lately I’ve been lamenting my relative lack of ballpark experience. Outside of Yankee Stadium and CitiField, my personal ballpark experience is basically nonexistent. It consists of a game at Petco Park, and once, while in high school, standing outside of Fenway Park, behind the green monster. It’s time for that to change this year. Thankfully, it’s easier than ever to make your way to other parts of the country. And it doesn’t even require a time-consuming summer road trip.

One thing the internet has brought us is an abundance of cheap flights and hotels. Where before we’d have to pay fees to middlemen, or we wouldn’t have easy access to the best prices, now we have automated middlemen and the ability to constantly check prices. Plus, the best time to book is several months out, so now is the right time to be thinking about any summer ballpark trips. Here are some shortish trips that a Yanks fan could take in 2012.

Nationals: June 15th through 17th

You can bet the RAB crew is going to make the short trip down to DC for this three-game weekend set. It’s a chance not only to see an up-and-coming team, but also to experience their new ballpark. Friend of RAB Rob Iracane led a group outing down to Washington last year, and it was a smashing success. While this trip might not be an organized one, we hope to see plenty of Yankees fans in DC that weekend.

Red Sox: July 6th through 8th

It’s the last series before the 2012 All-Star Game, which is always nice. Nothing better than watching some live baseball before we’re deprived for a few days. It’s also way better than taking the April trip up to Boston. Who wants to travel North in April, anyway?

A’s and Mariners: July 19th through 25th

With two brothers in California, my family tries to find a West Coast series every year where we can meet up. Last year I missed the Anaheim trip due to a wedding. This year, since there aren’t any weekend series in Anaheim, we’re going to Oakland for a four-game set in July. That’ll be nice, if for no other reason than the cheap tickets. Plus, Hannah will be there. Oh, and Bartolo.

The Yanks go up the coast to Seattle directly afterwards. While the whole trip would require a week, it could be worth it to see Jesus Montero in his new digs.

White Sox: August 20th through 22nd

Spending a few days in Chicago is never a bad time. The Yanks will have just come off seven straight games against the Rangers and Red Sox, so it will be nice to see them in a slightly less intense environment. Plus, there’s the possibility of heading to Cleveland, following an off-day, for a weekend three-game set.

Orioles: September 7th through 9th

An Orioles trip is pretty standard for any Yankees fan. That it’s not in the summer heat and humidity is even nicer. The O’s always work it well for Yankees fans. There’s a night game on Saturday and day game on Sunday, so you can drive down during the day Saturday, spend one night in a hotel, and catch two games. It’s easy enough to get home in time for work Monday. Plus, since it’s after Labor Day there won’t be massive shore traffic on the Turnpike.

These are just a few examples. There are plenty of road trips worth taking this year — even ones that don’t involve the Yanks. Which ones are you planning to take?

Categories : Musings
  • 23553

    I’ll definitely be at one of the nats games.

  • http://yankeeanalysts.com Matt Imbrogno

    That Washington weekend is the weekend of my birthday. Definitely going.

    • http://www.riveraveblues.com Mike Axisa

      Caught a game at Nats Park last year, the day of the earthquake. Nice little park, didn’t try any of concessions though. IPK vs. Jordan Zimmermann, and Sean Burroughs (!) hit a homer.

      • Elliot F

        That weekend is going to be great! Just letting you know that DC hotel prices have already spiked. Also, if you book an amtrak ticket now, it should be cheap (lowest you can get is $49), but if you cancel before printing the ticket (even if you miss it) you get a full refund no questions asked.

    • http://www.yankeeanalysts.com Eric

      See you there buddy

  • Mickey S

    That sounds like an action filled summer! I’m heading to Turner Field June 11-13th for the three game series againist the Braves, I’d love to see a CC home run, it’s only a 30 min drive. I’ll be making a trip to NY, my first since the the first game EVEA (albeit the exhibition game against the Cubbies) in YS3, just not sure what series yet. I can’t wait for some baseball!

  • goterpsgo

    You guys are going to me in my neck of the woods twice? Awesome!!!

  • ThatstheMelkyMesaWaysa

    Can’t go wrong with Camden. Took a trip down in 2010 and I was going to go to the AJ game right before Irene this year but we didn’t wanna try to beat the traffic back up north especially with the garden state closings and stuff

  • Monterowasdinero

    I’ve seen the Yanks play in lots of parks-east/midwest/west including a great exhibition game at Pac Bell years ago! ST is great too-especially road games at Lakeland for the Tigers and Sarasota for the Orioles. As a general rule, if you want better, cheaper seats and a chance to see the players up close for an autograph or a shout they’ll respond to-anyplace is better than Yankee Stadium. I have not been to a game at Safeco but that will change now.

    • Billion$Bullpen

      Safeco and Citizens Bank are the most over rated new parks to me. People hyped me on Safeco and I went out there on a biz trip that I planned mainly to see a game there and thought it was almost cookie cutter for a new park.

      Best newer parks to me is Camden and PNC in Pittsburg, I have not been to the newest one in San fran though and I heard thats great.

      I may be at the Nats, and some Red Sox and O’s series this year, usually at all of the Yanks games at Camden Yards.

      • gouchonyy

        I have to disagree on Safeco. I liked it a lot and rank it as good as Camden. The sight lines are good. The park looks good, open or closed as it is really an umbrella rather than a dome. The view over left field towards Qwest field is very nice.

  • Freddy Garcia’s 86 mph Heat

    I’ll definitely be at the 3 games at Safeco. Can’t wait to see Jesus, albeit in another uniform.

  • GardnergoesYardner

    Usually I don’t go to see them anyhwere but one or two games at the stadium a year, but luckily their West Coast trip coincided with my trip to Anaheim two years ago, and I got to go to Angel Stadium, which is beautiful, for those who haven’t been. It’s got Disney’s fingerprints all over it with the waterfall in center. But man, the Yankees were up by one in the 8th, the Rally Monkey came out, and Morales hits a two run homer off Joba. I do not lie, there is something weird about that monkey.

    I’ve also been to Camden, not to see the Yanks, but for Orioles – Cardinals last year. I’m sure you’ve all been, but it was my first time, and I was really impressed by the quality of the stadium. Plus you can’t go wrong eating at Boog Powell’s BBQ.

    The best thing about traveling to another stadium is meeting fellow Yankees fans on the road. I sat next to this older gentleman in Anaheim, and we talked about the Yankees for probably most of the game. If you haven’t seen the Yanks on the road, it really is a worthwhile experience, and hopefully I can get to a road game in Baltimore or elsewhere this year.

  • Joe Lupo

    I’ve seen the Yankees on the road at Detroit and Chicago (Wrigley Last year)and have been to some others. I still feel like there’s nothing like the Old Yankee Stadium but I’m biased….

    Other parks I’ve been to beside shea / citi

    Wrigley – Awesome a must see for baseball fans
    PNC Pittsburgh – Great Park very small in-person
    Nationals Park – nice and seems to be in an up and coming area
    Philly Vet and Citizens – Citizens is very boring even for a new stadium
    Toronto – not a fan, felt like being at shea or the old vet in philly
    US Cellular – surprisingly a lot nicer than it seems on TV but in an area of chicago with not much around
    Detroit – another nice surprise of a stadium, very big in person

    • gouchonyy

      As to US Cellular—the upper deck is extraordinarily steep.
      If you like Chinese food, mChicago’s Chinatown is one stop away on the Red Line. I had a very good Peking Duck meal before going on to the park.

      • Tyler

        I’ve sat in the first 3 rows behind the Yankee dugout last 2 years for under $100. It’s only a 2 hr drive for me so I generally go to 2 games @ the cell to see the Yanks yearly.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    My boy will be a year old in July. My plan is for him to get his first taste of YS3 sometime in the summer.

    • ryan

      That is just ridiculous a one year old should not and can not sit through a game..

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Do me a favor: Go fuck yourself.

        • Plank

          Nothing is worse than a crying baby at a baseball game. If your baby starts crying, you should leave the seats and go somewhere until the baby calms down. Having a baby means there are certain things you don’t get to do anymore, like seeing 9 innings of uninterrupted baseball.

          • Robinson Tilapia

            Plank, go grow some hair on your balls before you try to comment on someone else’s parenting decision.

            • Plank

              Why are you taking it so personally? I’m not saying kids shouldn’t go to baseball games, but parents should have some common decency when they do.

              I wish there were kid free zones at the stadium.

              before you try to comment on someone else’s parenting decision.

              Babies crying in your ear is a decision the parent makes that directly affects others. If they let their parenting decision affect me, I’m allowed to have an opinion on it. If your kid is wailing in the middle of a group of hundreds or thousands of people within earshot, parents should take them out of the situation until they calm down.

              • Billion$Bullpen

                I agree but I have had a lot less issues with this than I have had with drunk morons usually in their early 20′s at all parks and all fan bases. They are usually very uneducated in regards to whatever their favorite team is and should skip sporting events.

                First rule in life is have some basic human respect for people. You step on my toes enough you get to catch an elbow.

    • Baron91

      Start early! My Dad tried to make me a Giants fan, and as you can probably guess, that failed.

      • Robinson Tilapia

        Oh, you’re not going to tell how to parent, like Ryan is apparently trying to above? :)

        Here’s to hoping he finds another way to rebel other than fandom. I’ll try not to be too heavy-handed. :)

        • Baron91

          Haha, I’m 20. I know nothing about parenting.

    • Kiko Jones

      My nephew went with his dad and myself in 2010 when the kid was just a year old and he behaved like a champ. It depends on the kid. I’m sure RT knows his kid well enough to know if if he can bring him to the game or not.

  • Robinson Tilapia

    As for where I’ve been?

    YS2 and YS3, as well as Shea and Citifield (obviously)
    Camden Yards
    Whatever the hell they’re calling the former Marlins/current Dolphins stadium nowadays
    Dodger Stadium
    AT&T Park

  • Mickey S

    One of the last games at SafeCo I went to, I was talking shit (surprising, I know) to a couple of M’s fans as Mo was coming in to close out the 9th about how the game was over, I could leave now and avoid the traffic due to his greatness, blah blah blah. I’m pretty sure Ichiro heard me and hit that GW HR off him. The sad part? I didn’t even know until after midnight as it was the top story on SportsCenter for the next seven to ten business hours. The other time I was talking smack to a soccer mom about how god awful Jack Wilson and how he couldn’t park my car and how he wouldn’t even play back-up for a AL East team, then he hit a HR againist CC. The moral of the story, talk shit AFTER the game or a respective AB.

    I’m going going, back back to Seattle at least for the July 25th game, hopefully the whole series…with my mouth in check.

  • nettles

    I saw game 4 of the 2001 Division Series in Oakland (the night after the “Flip” game). Great game, but Oakland Coliseum is a POS. You should reward yourself with a trip up to Seattle. Safeco is lovely, better than Yankee Stadium, I hate to admit.

  • Sarah

    Unless something exciting happens in my life, the only ballpark I’m going to this summer is Rangers Ballpark in Arlington. Looks like the Yankees are in town early in the season so we won’t roast at the games.

    Maybe if I go to California this summer, I’ll try to catch a game out there.

  • Eirias

    Join me in Cleveland for a game sometimes.

    • http://www.youcantpredictbaseball.com bexarama

      Progressive Field/Jacobs Field/whatever the hell it is these days is great.

  • H20man

    Beware of the white sox fans… For some reason they feel the need to drink as much as possible and pick fights. In the past I have gone the whole series but haven’t in years. I understand that being a Yankee fan will get you a few jeers but it’s a whole other level there. I refuse to bring my kids there, I would rather go see a brewers game.

    • JD

      Ive had a bad experience w Oriole fans last two times there. They’re getting angrier each year it seems, yelling at kids etc…

      • GardnergoesYardner

        The last time I went to Camden, I sat by all of these scouts. I was talking to one who worked for Minaya before they fired him and his group, and worked for the Blue Jays. The really cool thing was that he was there scouting the Cardinals, and he told me that he was scouting for a potential trade. Then a month later, Rasmus goes to the Jays. I thought that was pretty cool.

        Anyway, O’s fans can be vicious, but sometimes they just seem sad and clueless. For example, the guy behind me was yelling at Felix Pie to steal second when they were down by four with two outs in the ninth.

    • Tyler

      It’s funny you say that because my experience has been the exact opposite. I hate listening to Brewer fans and found White Sox games more enjoyable.

  • Fin

    Wow, looks like the Sox really want Oswalt, you would think with their health issues already, that they would stear clear of that injury waiting to happen. Youk, Bucholz and Oswalt would seem a pretty big hail mary to stay healthy. NOw they also are going with a platoon at ss, RF and catcher. Man, they are really gona need CC to bounce back. I mean it could all work out for them, similar to the way things worked out for the Yankees last year, but essh, I wouldnt count on it. I think they were better off with Scutoro and Padilla then Oswalt and a platoon.

  • Baron91

    I really need to make it out to the West again to see some games. I’ve been fortunate to have a father that loves travel and baseball and as a result I’ve been to 21 parks in 20 years. I can’t wait to do the same with my kid(s) someday.

    The List (which strangely does not include Fenway):

    Yankee Stadium II
    Yankee Stadium III
    Citi Field
    PNC Park
    Citizens Bank Park
    Turner Field
    Rogers Centre
    Wrigley Field
    U.S. Cellular Coliseum
    Miller Park
    Kauffman Field
    O.co Coliseum
    AT&T Park
    Cinergy Field
    Great American Ballpark
    Progressive Field
    HHH Metrodome
    Comerica Park
    Nationals Park
    Oriole Park at Camden Yards
    Coors Field

    • Kiko Jones

      I’m sure you forgot to add Shea Stadium to your list.

  • Rainbow Connection

    #whitepeopleproblems

    • Sayid J.

      It’s true; black people do not enjoy baseball, and certainly do not enjoy traveling to different parks.

  • Dara

    As a Washingtonian who’s adopted the Nats as my NL team, I will so be there. But a note: Nats fans are used to being overrun by fans of the visiting team, most often unbelievably obnoxious Phils fans. In fact, ownership put ads on Philly radio stations last year encouraging them to come down for Opening Day. Upshot: the fans’re a little sensitive about so often being in the minority in their own park. So please, cheer your heart out, but be nice to any locals you find (and maybe buy them a beer).

    • Kiko Jones

      Cool beans.

  • RetroRob

    The Bay area enjoys the distinction of having one of the greatest parks around (Giants) and absolutely the worst stadium in MLB (Oakland). Don’t let that discourage you from going to see the A’s. It’s still baseball, but your visit will instantly put your support behind the drive to find the A’s a new home. Oakland and Shea were easily the worst places I’ve seen games.

    • Kiko Jones

      The Coliseum can’t be worse than that 100 year old barn on Yawkey Way.

  • Yank the Frank

    I’m going to be in SF in July and plan on seeing the Yanks vs. A’s. Tickets for A’s games go on sale 1/29. Right now my focus is on todays Giants game. Go Big Blue !!

  • mr.jigginz

    I’m seriously considering doing the A’s and M’s trip in July.

  • Kiko Jones

    As a hater of the sweltering heat I become Mr. Cranky McCrankerson during the summer, so generally speaking, I only go to Yankee games in April, May and September. However, once I noticed during a night game last year, that while it was 102º in NYC, folks at Coliseum were wearing hoodies and enjoying 65º, Oakland in July has become quite appealing to me. An Indians/RRHoF two-fer might do the trick. Closer to home, the Nats series seems doable.

  • Jim

    I make the following trip every year. There are typically 2 Fridays that this occurs, but looking at the schedules this year it seems there are more.

    Fly out of NYC Friday morning to CHICAGO
    Day game at WRIGLEY
    Hop on 1-hour Amtrak ride to MILWAUKEE
    Night game at MILLER PARK

    2 games, 2 parks, 2 cities, 4 teams in 1 day

    Fly back to NYC Saturday

    Whole trip usually costs $300 before food and beer are factored in.

    HIGHLY RECOMMEND THIS

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