If you read my last post, you’ll recall that I was in Los Angeles. Two days later, the second leg of my business trip took my husband and I to Denver, home of the Colorado Rockies. Whereas our experience at Dodger Stadium had been sunny and warm, our visit to Coors Field turned out to be anything but that. However, it was a great night.
We were apparently following the Dodgers, as we would see them take on the Rockies on September 17, 1996.
This picture is the only one from our visit to Coors. It was not taken the night of the game we went to – note that the sky is beautiful and sunny. Less than 24 hours prior, it was dark, rainy, and cold. So rainy that I didn’t even try to take my camera to the game, which is really unlike me.
So why did we go to a rainy night game? Because this was only the second season for Coors Field, and it was still pretty hard to get tickets. I’d ordered the tickets in advance once I knew we’d be in Denver, and was only able to get Rockpile seats for the game. Still, we had the tickets and wanted to use them, considering our flight home left the next afternoon.
It hadn’t actually been raining all day, though it was looking threatening. And having just come from L.A., we didn’t have anything warm to wear. So a few hours before game time, we ended up in a Gap in downtown Denver, buying jackets with fleece linings in them.
As we left our hotel for the walk to the stadium, it was raining lightly. Once we got to the stadium it continued to rain. Game time comes, and guess what? Rain delay!
Ultimately a two-hour rain delay. Lord only knows why we waited it out, and didn’t just go back to the hotel. But we walked around and around the concourse, and eventually it was announced that the game would start. We made our way to our seats.
Not only were they in the Rockpile, the farthest section from the field, they were only a few rows from the very top of the Rockpile. But because of the delay, there were a lot of empty seats, so after an inning or two we moved down to the front of the section.
It never did really stop raining; it just sort of drizzled and misted most of the night. And even though we had our brand new fleece-lined jackets, I still froze my *ss off!
Eventually we made our way over to the first row or two of the left-center field seats. While we were there, we saw a home run hit by the Dodgers’ Tim Wallach bounce off some guy’s chest, only to be claimed by another guy sitting a few rows in front of him. The first guy tried to argue that the ball should be his because it hit him first, but to no avail.
The Rockies didn’t do much that night, losing to the Dodgers 9-0.
So what, you ask, was so great? Hideo Nomo had just pitched a no-hitter at the most hitter-friendly park in the major leagues. And we had witnessed it!
The next day was, of course, beautiful, but we had a late afternoon flight to catch. We walked around the stadium area, so I could take the above picture. A man walking down the street asked us if we wanted two tickets to that afternoon’s game, as he couldn’t use them. We said “no thanks”. After walking another block we could have kicked ourselves, having just realized that we could have gone in at least for a few innings, even if we didn’t stay for the whole game. As they say, hindsight is 20/20.
Postscript: we still have the jackets we bought in Denver, and I often wear mine during the winter. And believe it or not, the price of Rockpile tickets is still the same as we paid almost 13 years ago – only $4!
Trivia Tid-Bit! Can anyone tell me what was unusual about this game? (yes, I know, but I want to see if you do)
Up next, The Ballpark In Arlington.
My original plan was to write about Fenway Park yesterday, and Dodger Stadium today, so they would be separate entries. But my son commandeered the computer last night to work on a school project. I begrudgingly admitted to myself that that was more important than blogging. Since he didn’t finish until 10 pm, and I don’t think too clearly after that, I decided to just combine the two today.
I also want to give a little shout-out to The Ken (that’s what it says in the “Read About Me” section) over at How About Dem O’s, Hun! I “borrowed” the idea of the stadium travelogue from some of his recent entries about parks he’s been to – check it out!
Our stadium quest picked up steam in 1996, with eight new parks visited in a two year span. The first on the list was Fenway Park.
A friend of mine who had once worked in the cubicle next to me had moved to Massachusetts, and we decided to go visit her for a long weekend. While there, we thought it would be fun to check out the storied home of the Red Sox, Fenway Park. So we asked her to order some tickets to a game, since in 1996 there weren’t as many easy options for buying tickets online as there are today.
So on April 27, 1996, we made our visit to Fenway. We got a later than expected start that morning, and just missed one train and had to wait awhile for the next. Once we got to the stadium, we didn’t have any time to wander around and explore Yawkey Way or any of the surrounding areas, and had to find the will-call window to pick up the tickets.
After we made our way to our seats, we realized that one of the many support beams that hold up Fenway was directly in our field of view (note to self – in the future, always order your own tickets). And because we were in the shade and it was only April, it was a little chilly.
I hate to admit that I really don’t have too many memories of the actual game. Nothing notable happened, and the Sox got blown out 10-0 by the Kansas City Royals. Future Sox (and Yankee) centerfielder Johnny Damon was patrolling the outfield for the Royals that day.
Here are a couple pictures I took of the field:
This one shows the Green Monster before seats were added on top of it:
The only benefit of this lopsided score was that many fans left early, so we moved to a vacant area of the right field seats that was in the sun, and therefore much warmer. Here’s a photo of a warmed-up me, with a lot more hair than I currently have (I’m the one on the left):
We will definitely need to make a return trip to Fenway one of these days!
Our next stop was later that year, when I had a business trip to Los Angeles. Since my site visit was on a Monday, I decided to go out early and spend the weekend, so my husband could accompany me. So on September 15, 1996, we went to see the Dodgers play the Cardinals at Dodger Stadium.
One of the unusual things about Dodger Stadium is that it’s easy to miss if you don’t know exactly where you’re going. Whereas most stadiums are rather large and easy to spot from afar, Dodger Stadium is sort of nestled in between some hills, and not visible from Sunset Boulevard, the road we took from our hotel. Having actually been there several years earlier with a friend, I knew this.
On my first visit, my friend and I were also driving down Sunset, and unknowingly drove right past the stadium, even though the concierge at our hotel told us to “drive down Sunset, and you can’t miss it on your left.” Well, we missed it and pretty soon were driving into a rather seedy-looking area of L.A. We turned around and did eventually find it – you would think there would be a large sign saying “Dodger Stadium” with an arrow, but no, all we saw was a tiny square sign on the side of the road with a stadium-shaped symbol on it. So this time I was ready.
[This may not be the case anymore, but at the time I thought they would have better signage.]
We got there without an unintended side trip, parked the car and went to buy tickets. The weather was beautiful – warm sun, comfortable temperature. We were in the first row of the upper deck, just to the first base side of home plate, with a great view of the field.
Looking back at the box score of that game, what is pretty amazing is that at that time, the previous four N.L. Rookies of the Year were Dodgers – Eric Karros (1992), Mike Piazza (’93), Raul Mondesi (’94), and Hideo Nomo (’95). Also on the field that day was Todd Hollandsworth, who would later be named N.L. ROY for 1996. Though Nomo was not pitching that day, Karros, Mondesi and Hollandsworth were all in the lineup. Piazza came in as a pinch hitter in the bottom of the eighth, and was called out on strikes to end the inning:
The Dodgers held on to win the game, 6-5. All in all, an enjoyable day at the ballpark. Dodger Stadium is another ballpark that I would like to make a return visit to in the future.
Up next, Coors Field.
(all photos mine)