Friday, April 16, 2010


One of my claims to fame is that I’ve been to a Major League Baseball game in roughly half of the cities* that have a MLB franchise. I can tell you that the hot dogs at Fenway are the best, the parking at Wrigley is the worst, and the fried calamari in San Francisco is better than any I’ve had at any restaurant before or since.

*Orioles, Dodgers, Angels, Padres, White Sox, Tigers, Cubs, Twins, Pirates, Mets, Red Sox, Yankees, Phillies, Mariners, and Giants in case you’re wondering. JunkieGirl has been to most of those with me.

Pittsburgh has the best stadium, but watching the roof close in Seattle is to witness an engineering marvel. The White Sox built a new stadium just over a decade ago, and it’s still a crappy stadium in a crappy part of town—if I were a fan of the south siders, I’d be pissed. Sitting in the cheap seats at the old Yankee stadium and cheering for the visitors as they won was a moment I will always cherish.

The worst fans are in Philly. New York fans are known for being harsh, but the Philly fans are like the New York fans fueled by decades and decades of frustration suffering inept teams (the 2008 World Series notwithstanding, that championship being somewhat of an aberration). If the opponents hit a home run, expect the ball to be thrown back. You may not want to touch it afterwards, either. They’re cruel to opponents, opponents’ fans, their own team, and even each other.

Spilling beer, cursing, and whatever else are de rigueur in a lot of parks. Max Hall may hate you for it, but it’s part of the experience at many venues. For better or for worse. Apparently one Philly fan, however, felt like he needed to take the disgustingness to a whole new level when he induced himself to vomit on another fan. And not just any fan, but an eleven-year-old girl.

The father showed incomprehensible restraint throughout, knowing that if he got arrested, his girls would be left alone. But any cop who arrested the dad rather than holding the puker so the dad could hit him should be suspended. Without pay.


  1. I never go to baseball games. The last time I attended a game was in the mid-90's.

    Next month I have a business trip to Philadelphia. In the evening we're doing a team-building activity. Yup, we're going to a Phillies game.

  2. I have seen things in stadiums that make me cringe. Maybe 8 or so years ago I was at the Utah BYU game and There was an obnoxious guy in front of my seats. I could care less I think it is all in good fun. I dish out my fair share so if someone wants to rub it in so be it. The 70 year old idiot behind me decided he had had enough and went after this guy. In the process he stepped on Erich. I picked him up and very roughly put him back in his seat. The 70 year old idiot's son told me I should be proud of myself handling a Senior citizen like that. I said some things and security was about to escort me out of the stadium when the people around me explained what happened. Basically they saved my butt. If someone had intentionally puked on one of my kids I cannot imagine what I would have done. That dude showed amazing restraint.

  3. I can't recall anything about the game played at Wrigley, but plenty about the atmosphere: The antique sign at the entrance. Old metal girder construction with untold layers of paint. The ivy covering the outfield wall. The drunk, shirtless fans in the outfield bleachers. The rooftop barbecuers watching the game from across the street.

    I agree, the White Sox stadium, ug. Only one glimmer of joy from that experience: It was K-Mart seat cushion night and a bad call caused a 5 minute seat cushion snowstorm from the fans. Took over 15 minutes to clean up the field. Meanwhile on the jumbotron the cable TV announcers were scrambling to fill and fill until the game resumed. One of the funniest spontaneous sports moments I've witnessed.

  4. Agreed, PNC Park is tops in the league (tied with Petco Park in SD). Some of my old playing buddies and I had a road trip tradition trying to hit every park in the MLB. Alas marriage, munchkins, and mortgages killed the dream. Here's my list (if you are interested):

    Mariners, Giants (Candlestick - not AT&T), A's, Padres (both Jack Murphy & Petco), Dodgers, Angels, D-Backs, Rockies, Tigers, Pirates, Mets, Spanks, RedSox, Twins (Metrodome), Blue Jays.

    Oh. And FranklinCovey Field.