NOTE: Here is the seventh in an occasional series of Features describing the author’s visits to various MLB ballparks around the country. After finishing his cross-country trip at the end of June, the author went back to the most familiar baseball ground of all: the Oakland Coliseum, home of the Oakland Athletics and the closest major league park to your correspondent’s home.
How bad has it gotten for baseball in Oakland? After completing my transcontinental trip at the end of June, I made a point of going out to the local team’s digs, with the full intent of writing up a review of the Oakland Coliseum soon thereafter.
That was over a month ago. Let’s just say, interest in East Bay baseball has fallen off a bit in recent years.
It is probably fitting that the game I saw, an Athletics contest versus the Tampa Bay Rays on the night of Monday, July 17th, was the worst attended game at the Coliseum in several years. But all things come to pass eventually, and here, at last, is that long-delayed review of the Oakland ballpark experience.
NOTE: At last! Here’s the long-delayed second in a series of Features describing the author’s first visits to various MLB ballparks around the country. In this post, the author visits Anaheim’s Angel Stadium, just a couple of days after the first in this series, a visit to San Diego’s Petco Park. Further posts in the series will come during and after a major road trip planned for June of this year. Keep watching this space for further updates from the road.
Angel Stadium, the longtime home of the not-so-longtime named Los Angeles Angels of Anaheim, stands only about a mile away from the hotel where I was staying after my quick sojourn in San Diego. I decided to avoid the parking and/or transit fee and walk my way over to the park for a Tuesday night game between the Oakland A’s and the homestanding Angels.
As with my visit to Petco Park two days prior, this was my first time seeing a game in Anaheim’s stadium, so the whole experience was new to me…except that, in certain ways, it seemed strangely familiar–and not necessarily in a good way.
There are two recognizable mileposts that all sports fans pass along their journeys with the games, from youth to old age.
The first comes when all the players on the field in the game you’re watching are finally younger than you are. Having now reached my 48th birthday today (Sunday, October 9, 2016), I passed that particular milepost several years ago. It’s a moment when you realize just how far away, and far behind you, your dreams of athletic success really are.
And then there’s the second milepost: that point where many of the people you associate with the games–in particular, broadcasters–leave the scene for good, either through retirement or death. That second milepost recurs for most sports fans, as name after name disappears from the sports landscape, and it happened again–for myself and many others–just a week ago, when Dick Enberg and Vin Scully retired from broadcasting. Continue reading Pastimes and Passages→
Aroldis Chapman: a pitcher with a point…or two…or a hundred…
A visit to the Oakland Coliseum this weekend by the Chicago Cubs was an occasion for two sure things: one, a workmanlike sweep of the three games by the Cubs, and two, a lot of oohing and aahing over the very fast fastballs of Aroldis Chapman.
Every pitch from Chapman during his ninth inning appearance in Sunday’s game elicited breathless comments on the game call, as well as studious reports on each pitch’s radar gun reading. “101.7” “102.3” “One Oh Three Point 5!”
Wait. One-oh-one…point seven? Since when did the ballpark radar gun start giving readings in tenths of a mile per hour? And what exactly is the point of that? Continue reading What’s The Point?→