Sunday, August 12, 2012

We're DEFINITELY going to need a bigger shelf

Taking stock of my mementos from the games/ stadiums visited so far. My O's crab is pretty cramped now.

Monday, August 6, 2012

Sailing into the sunrise

One last shot from New York Baseball Trip #1: Parrot on the Staten Island Ferry just after sunrise.

We're returning for New York Baseball Trip #2 next month (to see the Mets on September 22). While every game has had a certain amount of emotion associated with it (which I expect to continue), I'm kind of glad that I have the two big minefields out of the way. Not that I expect that a visit to, say, PNC Park will ever be NOT be fraught with emotion, but I cling to a tiny bit of hope that it won't be as bad in the future.

Maybe. At some undefined point in the distant future. Very distant.

Sunday, August 5, 2012

Five down, twenty-five to go

Yankee Stadium

Well.  This happened.  We spent 27 hours away from home, during which we must have trekked at least six miles plus untold number of stairs in the subway stations plus the 6+ hours on the Megabus, so we've been recovering all today.

It was indeed as expected-- really, really, REALLY fricking hard.  I couldn't even look at the tickets without tearing up, so you can only imagine how it felt to be there.  We first got intimately reacquainted with the subway system (feces and vomit and urine, oh my) and did a little silly touristy-on-the-cheap stuff (like the Staten Island Ferry back & forth), but then there was the main event.

Hall of GreatsThe gate staff were super nice, even more so when they saw the Parrot and we told our story.  Our coincidence stream continued.  But his time, instead of the boy scouts making an appearance, it was a blood cancer awareness/ bone marrow donor registration drive (for those of you following at home, blood cancers include lymphoma & leukemia--Nick also developed leukemia in addition to Evans syndrome), and we now have hats to that effect.

The stadium itself is really nice-- and REALLY big!  The climb to our peanut heaven seats was really, really long-- and oddly not ventilated really well, as the ramps are completely enclosed with cinder block (very unpleasant on a hot and extremely humid day), but the levels were nice.  The food & beer were about as expensive as I expected, but too far off from ball park prices we've encountered elsewhere (and the garlic fries were fantastic!).   I couldn't get to Monument Park (it's only open for about an hour and closes at least 45 minutes before the game starts, which is a little tough to make), but the team store's air conditioning was blissful.  Instead of pierogies or presidents, there was a subway race (but seriously-- live mascots are far better than animated condiments or subways on the scoreboard!).  No vocalist for the national anthem, and they used Danny Kaye's version of God Bless America-- really odd, as I'd have figured that there are PLENTY of aspiring vocalists in New York.  They also sang "Root, root, root for the home team" instead of "Root, root, root for the Yankees" during the seventh inning stretch.  The bleacher seat folks were raucous and the large group of folks that sat near us were nice, but the sun and heat and humidity were brutal.

ScoreboardView from our seats

Not to mention the emotions.  It was too much to stay for the entire game without constantly thinking either that I need to tell/show/get something for/ call Nick or how much I wished that he was with us, or how I needed to find him the in the team store or in a crowd.  Luckily, my companion on the adventures thus far is extremely supportive, able to provide hugs faster than a speeding bullet and wipe tears in a single bound.

So, here's to you, Nick.  I'm sorry I couldn't make it past the 8th inning, and I'm sorry the Yankees lost, and I'm sorry that the hall of monuments was closed and I couldn't recreate your picture.  And I'm sorry I didn't do this with you when I had half a chance-- I always thought there'd be more time.  But I hope that, in some small way, you'd approve of what I did manage.

Saturday, August 4, 2012

New York, New York...

We made it. We're also exhausted physically & I'm exhausted emotionally. More later.

Ballparks left to visit: 25