Monday, April 24, 2006

Take Me Out to the Ballgame

We went to the Arizona Diamondbacks baseball game last Wednesday night. We have a great winning streak with these games. So far, they haven’t lost one game we’ve attended. You’ll be happy to know we kept our streak intact even though they lost the next two games. They were playing San Francisco, and we were hoping to boo Barry Bonds since our seats were good ones, 27 rows back just off third base. Alas, he heard we were coming and was a last-minute scratch. This is from our seats. I apologize for the poor picture quality. It was from my camera phone.

The Diamondbacks play in a really cool stadium. It used to be called Bank One Ballpark, or the BOB. That’s kind of catchy. You can say, “Hey, we’re going to the BOB tonight.” But then Chase bought out Bank One and renamed it Chase Field. Not so catchy. At least our debit cards still have the Diamondbacks logo on them.

Anyhow, it’s quite a contrast to Angel Stadium (or whatever they’re calling it now) and Dodger Stadium, the only two other places I’ve been to baseball games. In those places, the stadiums are surrounded by huge parking lots and it takes you a good half hour of walking just to get from your car to your seat. Leaving after the came is an additional half hour of bumper-to-bumper traffic trying to get out of the parking lot.

But Chase Field was built like the stadiums back East. Right smack in the middle of downtown. It has a parking structure ,but we usually park in one of the lots that local businesses open up. For $5 we are a five-minute walk from the front gate and from there, two minutes to our seats. On top of that, the whole stadium has an old-fashioned feel with lots of brickwork and open steel girders. There's also a pool and fountain outside right-center field. Not exactly old fashioned, but it’s Arizonan. But the best part is the retractable roof. One time we got there early enough to attend the roof-opening ceremony. It’s something to see. The panels start to slide back on top of each other to the strains of some great orchestral composition. The big screen shows close-ups. It’s quite the production. We didn’t arrive in time for the ceremony last week, but the effect was still the same: baseball under the stars. This is the roof open. You can see the panels stacked on top of each other on the right-hand side.

I think this was one game both kids really enjoyed. Our daughter had her mind set from before we left the house on buying a Diamondback Rattle, a purple and aqua noisemaker in the shape of a giant rattlesnake tail. Buying one pleased her to no end, and she paid attention to the game, asking Peter, “Should I shake it now?” Of course, she’s still a girl, so she commented to me: “That’s a really unusual color for a rattlesnake, purple and turquoise. A really dark turquoise, almost a greenish.” Can’t put anything over on her.

“Calvin” still struggles with loud noises, covering his ears with his hands when the crowds got loud. Our seats were in a prime position for foul balls. We had four or five hit really close to us. That didn’t bother Calvin. Just the noise. But mostly the game and the goings on kept his attention until about the seventh inning when Peter had to walk around with him for a bit.

One of the interesting things about baseball games is the people who attend them. When someone from San Francisco hit a home run, the person who caught the ball threw it back. I haven’t seen that happen much outside of Wrigley Field.

And there’s the wave. The ultimate in peer pressure created by a group of drunk people. I don’t get it.

I think we got a great compliment when a couple of diehard D’backs fans who were sitting behind us told us we had the cutest kids, and that my daughter was a great fan with her rattle. I was happy. I breathe a sigh of relief any time we don’t annoy everyone within our general vicinity.


michael snyder said...

Sounds like fun. Baseball is the only sport I'd rather see at the park than on TV.

I've only been to 5 or 6 ballparks, but the most memorable had to be Yankee Stadium. We got off at the wrong stop and had to walk a LONG way at dusk. Very surreal and creepy--but a pretty cool memory nonetheless.

Malia Spencer said...

I miss baseball games. We haven't had any type of organized team above college level since the Hawaii Islanders franchise moved to the mainland when I was like 7.

But some of my favorite memories are attending games with my Dad. He even caught a ball for me once. That was one of my prized posessions as a kid. I think I still have it somewhere.

Hmm...I guess I need to go see a baseball game next time I'm on the mainland. When does the season end anyway?

Jennifer Tiszai said...

I've been to football games (used to go quite often when the Rams played in Anaheim, just to see the 49ers back when they were good) but it really does work better on TV. I haven't been to a basketball game since I was four and went with my dad and uncles. I only remember it being loud. Peter swears I need to go see a hockey game.

Malia, if you stop by here on your way to Dallas in Sept. we might be able to swing something. I should check the schedule.

Malia Spencer said...

Ooo, a baseball game? I'm so there. Not to mention the fact there are two great kids waiting to be spoiled and played with. Doesn't your daughter love to shop as much as I do?

Can you tell I love the auntie role? I get to do all the fun stuff and then hand them back to the parents when they get difficult. LOL

Okay, crawling back into the cave. Lots of homework waiting for me!

Dineen A. Miller said...

Hye girl! Hope you're feeling better. I love live sports. That's about the only time I'll watch them, especially soccer and volleyball. Those are my favorites. And watching hubby play disc golf...but what's not to love? LOL!

Jenny said...

Great pics from BOB for a phone camera! And to me it will always be BOB--what is Chase thinking? Duh! I hear Gonzo is set to put one in the pool real soon. He's been practicing.:-) I agree with Mike about watching in the park--especially at BOB. I always thought baseball made for great movies and stories but was boring to watch. Then Phil took me to a D'backs game and taught me how to keep score. This transplanted Hoosier switched from being a basket ball fan to a baseball fan so fast it made Phil's head spin--or was it that game BK lost for us (I know, which one--huh?)Okay, I miss a lot of the guys from the World Series team--not so much Randy Johnson but Tony Womack was amazing and the most photogenic athlete I've ever seen--not pretty but his action photos are amazing. And Jay Bell--there's a great guy. Everyoine remembers that Gonzo hit the winning HR for the final WS game but they forget it was Jay who ran in. Steve Findley wrote to my class once and of course, Craig Counsel is great--does he ever age? He still looks like he's about 16.

I'm hoping this year's team has their act togetehr and we can go all the way again. Last I heard we were 1/2 game out of first so maybe...

I know, I let the hidden personality loose so I'll slink away now. Glad you had a great time, Jen. Maybe one of these days you and Peter can meet Phil and me downtown for a game.
Later dudette (et al)

Abundant blessings!

Robin Caroll said...

Sounds like fun, except I don't like baseball. Had to play it and hated it! LOL