Saturday, June 23, 2001

The message of MasterCard's "Priceless" campaign has always bothered me. "Spending money will make you happy! Spending money you don't have will make you happier!"

But a recent commercial captured the spirit of our trip, thus earning a reprieve from my spite. In it, two young men pull into Boston in a VW bus. They wend through Boston's streets, then pull up to Fenway Park, where they run around and gape. The voiceover goes something like:

Vintage Red Sox cap: $25

Guide to Fenway Park: $7.

Seats by the Green Monster: $50.

Eight stadiums down, 22 to go: priceless.

For the record, of the 30 parks currently employed as houses of baseball, I have attended games in nine (Wrigley Field, Comiskey Park, the Coliseum, Pacific Bell Park, the Metrodome, Coors Field, Oriole Park, Miller Park and Busch Stadium), not counting the four no longer in use (Old Comiskey, Candlestick Park, County Stadium and the Kingdome). This trip will knock off four more (Veterans Stadium, Fenway Park, Yankee Stadium and Jacobs Field).

Top five parks at which I've seen a game? I'm glad you asked.

  1. Wrigley Field
  2. Pac Bell Park
  3. Old Comiskey
  4. The Coliseum (pre-Mount Davis)
  5. County Stadium


Friday, June 22, 2001

Luke's Codes of Baseball Etiquette, first in a series:

A lost wager today sent me to the Yum Yum Donuts next to Wrigley Field, where the Brewers were visiting for a day game. As late as 20 minutes after first pitch, hundreds of supposed fans milled outside the gates and streams of passengers still spilled from the El. What a disgrace.

I don't care how far we're driving in the morning: We will not be late for a game on our trip. We will be there on time or not be there at all. And unless one of us suffers a medical calamity that requires immediate surgery, we will stay for the final out. "You fell down the stairs and broke your arm? What? And you're choking on a hot dog? And your clothes are on fire? Suck it up. We're staying. Here, have an Advil."


Thursday, June 21, 2001

For this trip we plan to use my brother's truck, a 1996 Ford Ranger, so this week I took it on a test run to St. Louis for Monday's Cardinals-Cubs game. It's not as nimble as a sedan, but I found it surprisingly comfortable over the long haul. I enjoyed having a higher vantage point without the embarrassment of driving an SUV. The only liability is the modest mileage (22 mpg against the wind, 23 with). Sandy has suggested we rent a car with better fuel economy, but I've run the numbers: Gas would have to climb to about $6/gallon for this to be practical.

In the top of the sixth, I was writing down some ideas for this blog when Sammy Sosa hit a home run about 20 feet to my right. If you caught the highlight, you may have seen a small blue blur in the bottom-right corner shoot up his hands, one of which held a piece of paper, the other a glove. That blue blur was me. Sandy has the clip saved on his TiVo. If he can figure out how to take a screenshot, I'll post it here.


I was going to say "glove," but I thought it might be misinterpreted as a winter glove, and I'd hate for people to think we were too wussy to handle New England weather in September without added hand protection. "Mitt" seemed more descriptive.

And I always call it "soda pop." That way, I can piss off both sides at the same time.


What do we call those things baseball players put on their hands? It's nothing against Sandy, but the word "mitt" has always rankled me. This may be a regional difference, but I've always preferred "glove." "Mitt" sounds too much like "mitten," and grown men do not wear mittens, thank you very much. It's a linguistic schism similar to that between "soda" and "pop."

And why do we need a bat?


Things we can't forget to bring, first in a series:

Mitts. Balls. A bat. A book on baseball history/trivia. Rollerblades. Camera, digital and analog. Tripod. Powerbook. Extra PB batteries. Extra AA(A) batteries.


Wednesday, June 20, 2001

And we're off!



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