Things I Love

FUN AT THE ALL-STAR GAME!

Lucky me … I’m going to the 2016 All-Star Game! And I don’t even have to travel very far — all the better.  Whichever MLB stadium is picked to host this annual “Midsummer Classic” pulls out all the stops to show the rest of the country (and likely viewers around the world) what a great place it is to see a game between the best from each league.  Does the outcome of the game matter? It didn’t use to, save for friendly bets among folks who prefer one league over the other. But it has mattered a lot since 2006, when MLB and the players’ union reached a permanent agreement that the league whose team wins the game be awarded home-field advantage in the World Series.  Suffice to say, not everyone was happy with that decision.  
 


Given the proximity of my Studio City home to San Diego, the decision to attend took little thought.  Tickets were acquired from a Minnesota friend who was not using his allotment from his hometown Twins.  And hat’s off to the greater San Diego area for having sufficient hotel rooms.  It is quite typical when attending a major sporting event (Super Bowl, Final Four, World Series) that every room within a reasonable drive is either unavailable (big blocks pre-reserved) and/or priced “excessively” (I’m being diplomatic).  In this case, I secured a room at a Sheraton for an average rate within two weeks of the game.  Unheard of … 

Petco Park is a magnificent stadium that opened in 2004.  Prior to that time, the Padres shared Qualcomm Stadium with the Chargers football team. Petco is one of those stadiums that is easily accessible on foot, car or via light rail.  The stadium’s location in the heart of the city gives one a real feel for the location and is quite different than the Dodger Stadium experience, where virtually no one walks to the park.  
Going to the actual game without first attending the Home Run Derby held the day before would be missing out on some great fun. Think it’s easy to smack ball after ball into the cheap seats?  Think again.  Despite the fact that they get to pick who pitches to them, it is a tall order.  I was happy to see the Dodgers’ Corey Seager hit 15 home runs as the first one at bat. In the end, the night belonged to the Marlins’ Giancarlo Stanton with a record-setting performance and well-deserved trophy.  He hit some massive and towering homers ..

FanFest at the Convention Center for gear (if you must!)

On game day, one needs to get to the general area well in advance of the start time for a couple of reasons:  to get a parking place, but more importantly to soak up the environment and interact with fans from all over the country.  Since most everyone wears gear from their team of choice (or sometimes teams), it is a lot of fun to high-five others of like mind.  The FanFest at the Convention Center is really more fun for the younger kids with lots to do, and for the older fans who choose to way overspend on gear … seriously, $40 for a t-shirt?? I’ll buy it online, after the fact .. !
The pre-game festivities last a good hour, and are American patriotism at its best.  We happened to be on a side street just when the Marines began their walk to the stadium holding the enormous flag to be unfurled on the field.  It was several minutes long for all of them to pass, and quite fascinating to see up close. 

As for the outcome, the American League emerged victorious with a score of 4-2, not to mention the hubby $30 richer.  And then it was hightailing it back to the car … and home in under two hours after a great time was had by all!

Spectacular flyover … 

A boy and his dog … baseball at it’s best.

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