The annual baseball excursion-The Rocky Mts. and the Desert

On Sunday the Pirates couldn’t nail down the sweep as they fell to the Giants 4-3. Brandon Moss homered for the Bucs and Garrett Jones seems to have fallen back down to earth. He went 0-4 in the game.

The game was lost due to masterful pitching from this guy.

Matt Cain.jpg If you can’t tell by the oversized head and miniature body— that is pitcher Matt Cain and that is his bobblehead. Cain was outstanding against Pittsburgh only allowing one run on five hits. He also struck out eight batters.

The Cain bobblehead rests on my night stand next to my bed. Now I’m not the biggest Matt Cain fan, in fact I’m not the biggest Giants fan, but I am a huge fan of the Bay Area of Northern Califonria.

You see each summer my family goes on a vacation. Just like a lot American families we save money, pack our luggage and venture out to a hot tourist spot. We’ve been to the beach and Disney World when we were younger but over the years we’ve tried something new. We now pack our bags and head to a big city, a major league city at that. Our goal is to hit all 30 ballparks as a family sometime in the near future. Prior to this week we have gone to 23 of the 30. After this week we will be at 25. On Tuesday I’m off to Colorado and Arizona. Home of the Rockies and Diamondbacks respectively.

Last summer Northern California was hit with the stops being in San Francisco and Oakland. It was a great trip and one I will remember forever. It was my first time to that part of the state of Cali and I absolutely fell in love with it. The attractions, natural beauty, scenery, climate, ocean life, everything thrown together to make a perfect city.

Thumbnail image for atandt.jpg Below is Zach and I at my second favorite ballpark, ATandT Park in San Fran. It is absolutely breath taking. From the views of the cove, the the splash landing zone, the boats and kayaks from the marina all converge onto the site. It is a dramatic scene for baseball and one of my favorites. That is whats nice about the area. The stadium is in exact coheasion with the city. The society of San Francisco is famous for its arts and laid back style. The ballpark provides that same essence. It was a great place to watch a game. This is where I got the Matt Cain bobblehead. We went to the Giants-Diamondbacks game here on a Sunday in July and lucky enough it was a free giveaway day. I’m a sucker for the free promotional giveaways. I have a room full of Pirates swag that has accumulated over the years. I have bobbleheads from players such as Brian Giles, Jason Kendall, Pokey Reese, Willie Stargell, Roberto Clemente, Rennie Stennett, Jason Bay and Matt Capps. Along with statues of Honus Wagner, plates of Bill Mazeroski, a Pirate Parrot piggy bank and a Roberto Clemente locker, and plenty more. The Matt Cain bobblehead earned a spot on the coveted night stand of myself.

From San Fran we traveled across the Bay to Oakland. Quite the dropff if I do say so myself.

oakland.jpg Network Associates Coliseum is a dump. You’ve seen the wide open spaces and large seating bowl is just an eye sore. It lacks the intimate setting that baseball was meant to be played in. Plus it doubling as a football stadium doesn’t help the matter. Oakland too is a big dropoff from the lovely city of San Francisco. It was quite scarry and ominous right outside the stadium. We took the subway back to our lovely, plush hotel in SF, keeping to ourselves on a train full of hooligans, hooligans to say the least.

Whats great about our vacations is that their not just about baseball. As much as we love the sport and enjoy going to the games it is nice to take in what that city has to offer. We make a week out of the trips and have fun at stops along the way.

Another tactic is trying to get more than one stadium out each trip. We did a Texas trip one year, from there we hit the two Missouri stadiums and up to Minnesota and Milwaukee. We are flying into Denver tomorrow, spending a few day in the Colorado area. On Tuesday we will be at the Rockies-Diamondbacks game. A trend is occuring with them D-Backs doesn’t it seem. Then we will be renting a car and driving to the state of Arizona. We are stopping at the 4 Corners out there and taking in the Grand Canyon. Over the weekend we will be at the Diamondbacks games against the……PITTSBURGH PIRATES. I am very pumped for this. As I’ve said before I love being an opposing fan in a ballpark, especially with the Pirates. I am looking forward to being one of the only Bucco Boys in attendance. I’m hoping to head down to the dugouts to talk with some players and get balls and autographs. It will be great to have an alterior motive at this game. Everything changes when the Buccos are playing.

It will be my first time in the state of Colorado but I have been to Arizona before.

zona.jpg That is me in second grade. I was eight years old then in 1997. My mom and dad took me out there for a convention my father attended. It was great because I got to miss a week of school. Nothing better than that, every little kid knows that. We spent a week in Tuscon and at the grand Canyon. I am exciting to be back at the marvelous attraction once again. Because I do not remember a thing about it except for the helicopter ride we took over the canyon, in which I got sick, right there on teh ride. Can’t ya see why I really didn’t wish to remember it. If you notice atop my head is the original Diamondbacks logo. I got this hat on that trip and loved it so much. You see, there were only 28 teams back then and the Diamondbacks were just gearing up for their innagural season. It would have been cool to see them in their first season in existence, but 12 years later, I know I will appreciate the ballgame so much more.

 

 

I’m all packed and ready to go and this may be my last entry for this week. If there is a business center at any of our hotels I will try to get on with some updates from my trip. I would take my laptop but it is a hassle and all, especially going through secuirty. Plus what I love about a vacation is that seperation from the real world. I want nothing to worry about. I don’t want distractions from work, friends, facebook and those problems. I left them in the terminal at the Pittsburgh International Airport. On vacation I’m free, in a new place, making memories and sharing experiences.  

15 Comments

Yeah, well us Tribe fans are tired of the same old stuff, you know? Wedge just isn’t doing it. http://tribechick.mlblogs.com/ -TC

I just picked up Garret Jones in my fantasy league and of course, as my luck has gone so far this year, he went 0-4 in his first game on my team. Just fabulous.
-Dillon
http://dillonm.mlblogs.com

Have fun out west! I can totally understand the need to separate from the real world. Enjoy your trip, hope it leaves better memories this time around!
Ginny
http://watercooler.mlblogs.com

Enjoy the trip, I am sure you will…. I just love Arizona (the state that is)….
Outside the Phillies Looking In
http://devilabrit.mlblogs.com

Have a wonderful trip! Family trips create lots of memories! Enjoy!

Julia
http://werbiefitz.mlblogs.com/

Arizona is a fun place to be. I’ve never been to the grand canyon myself, though I’ve been hiking in the mountains. That’s super fun.
And have fun at Chase Field! May the best team win.
http://imbringingdiamondback.mlblogs.com

Brandon Moss homered, at least that’s a positive. Matt Cain had his stuff, oh well, at least the Pirates played hard. The Pirates still have some time left to make it an interesting NL Central despite being last place in the division. Have fun in Colorado.

Matthew T.
http://matt7.mlblogs.com/

Cain is a tough pitcher. Hope you guys can rebound!
http://adriangonzalez23.mlblogs.com

I had no idea a Bobblehead could pitch such a good game. I bet he signed for cheap, too.

You are a lucky guy. I wish my dad had taken me around the country to visit ballparks. We took vacations, but usually away from baseball. It would’ve been neat to see the Cubs playing around the country.

Have a great time, man.
http://raysfanboy.mlblogs.com

*Yo man – we lost ADAM… This is getting scary bro. With Sanchez and Wilson not extending thier contracts, I don’t even know what to think. I’m half disgusted, half believing in whatever decisions the Pirates make lol, (after seeing McCutchen quickly rise to one of the best players on the team.) Where does it end!?

http://jquist.mlblogs.com/

I loved Adam LaRoche when he was with Atlanta so hopefully he can have success in Boston. Lincecum was just plain disgusting last night. I felt bad for the Buccos.
http://moneyball.mlblogs.com/

Oh yeah, and have a great trip!
http://adriangonzalez23.mlblogs.com

Matt,
I hope you have fun! I’ve been going out to California for the past three years and I’m in love with it. In 2008, I went to AT&T and McCaffee as well. I have the same feelings on McCaffee… it’s a dump. AT&T is so pretty though… gotta love the garlic fries. I’m dying to see Tim Lincecum pitch a game.
Elizabeth
http://redsoxgirl46.mlblogs.com

Matt,
That is so wonderful that your family trips are baseball related. Read my blog about the couple with a 6 month baby making a road trip to visit 30 ballparks. I ran into them at Dodger Stadium. Hey, maybe you ran into them! They were in Arizona.
.
I always travel with my laptop because sometimes the trip is a combination of business and vacation. I try combidning both but if not, working for IT (Iformation Technologies) department, I have to log into work’s system.
.
Have a wonderful time!
Emma
http://crzblue.mlblogs.com

I always found it funny how the personalities of the baseball parks fits the teams cities in that region.
San Francisco with Fisherman’s Wharf and the waterfront make for a great site for a ballpark. Combine that with the friendly neighborhood stands and establishments and you get a great vibe and setting for baseball.
and the city is as laid back as their team.
But then you go to O-town.
the minute you cross the Bay bridge you feel the difference in the air.
Some say it is the Raiders aura stuck in that baseball/football junk pile of a stadium.
It is on my list of the worst parks around, including some minor league Class-A parks.
The environment outside the stadium just adds to the majestic ugliness of the ballpark.
Plus they added that monstrosity in CF to block the old view of the mountains

San Frans wins by a landslide. Opps did not mean to say landslide.

Rays Renegade

http://raysrenegade.mlblogs.com

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