Want to know an outstanding way to combine seeing the USA and enjoying America’s favorite pastime? Get out on the road and visit ballparks! (Click HERE for last year’s trip) It’s relatively inexpensive, easy to plan and navigate and you’ll see and do things you wouldn’t normally do without investing a bit of time.
A three-stadium baseball trip was great fun notwithstanding the typical hot and humid weather. The trip began in Philadelphia and continued on to Pittsburgh, Cincinnati and a visit with a great friend from LA now living in Louisville, KY (post to follow). One needs to allow two days in each city in case a game is rained out. This being August in the east/midwest, there’s a high probability of that. About two hours prior to game time in Cincinnati, we were driving to our hotel in a blinding deluge. The rain stopped, the skies cleared for the most part and the game started on time.
I grew up as a devoted LA sports fan, just not of baseball. It was the original LA Rams, Lakers and, of course, UCLA basketball where my dad played. Baseball is probably my favorite now which is why I enjoy visiting so many stadiums. And it’s a shared family pastime, which is a big bonus. I hardly have the encyclopedic memory of particular games and plays possessed by both the hubby and son, but I can hold my own. Below is the list of the stadiums I’ve been to so far. Some are older and/or have been renamed (i.e., US Cellular is now Guaranteed Rate Field). Two big ones are missing: Cleveland’s Progressive Field and Detroit’s Comerica Park (e.t.a. Summer 2020). Cleveland was a near miss in 2012 due to a rain-out but at least I got to see the Rock ‘N Roll Hall of Fame instead.
Citizens Bank Park is located in what’s called the South Philadelphia Sports Complex. We walked out of our hotel in downtown and took the Broad Street Line to the last stop. From there it is a haven for sports lovers — Phillies, Eagles, Flyers, 76’ers and even the Lacrosse team — all in view. Easy access, ride-share vehicles and taxis just waiting to be hailed if the train isn’t for you. Vendors sell water, pretzels and peanuts on the way to the stadium. All that is needed is more Phillies fans to fill the seats. Oh, and the choice of concessions? Don’t get me started on how our beloved Dodger Stadium pales in comparison.
PNC Park is widely favored by baseball lovers as America’s best stadium. It is walkable from the downtown area, has spectacular views from most every seat, is right at the junction where three rivers meet and provides an outstanding fan experience. Can’t beat that. It would be hard to find anything about which to critique the venue, therefore it deserves two photos!
Great American Ball Park is also located in the heart of the city. Again, few fans. We walked up to the box office at game time and had seats behind home plate at a very reasonable price. The stadium even has underground parking! We left the game and walked across the street where there were lots of restaurants to choose from.
The concession stands were a bit lacking — no mustard anywhere. Fortunately a kind person brought me a side order ..
Other trip highlights will be posted in Snippets from the Road. Here’s a few fun photos from the road trip including Philly foods. Can we just talk about how outstanding ice cream is in this part of the country? Died and gone to Bassetts heaven lower left; pies at the Rittenhouse Square Farmers Market (genius idea to sell half pies!); a Philly cheese steak of course.
Below: Philly, standing in the shadow of two giants; with Columbus friends Todd Applebaum and Larry Levine for impromptu lunch at Giuseppe’s as we drove through the area; WE WANT A RING TOO … but with blue sapphires! This one belongs to a scout for the Cubs attending a game.
I would be remiss in not thanking son Sam for selecting my new phone (OnePlus), which was used to take all of the photos contained here ..