Two news tidbits to share with you this afternoon, one about a former and the other a current Phillie.
In the Phormer Phillie Phile, Curt Schilling announced his retirement today. Schilling’s Phillies career began in 1992. His best year with the Phillies was 1997, when he won 17 games and struck out 319.
He was traded to the Arizona Diamondbacks midway through the 2000 season. He went on to win World Series titles with the D-backs in 2001, and then the Red Sox in 2004 and 2007. He did not play at all in 2008, due to shoulder problems.
In addition to World Series games won with Arizona and Boston, he also won a World Series game for the Phillies in 1993, although the Phils would lose the Series to the Blue Jays. He is the only pitcher to win a World Series start for three different teams.
I don’t have any photos of Curt from his time with the Phillies, but I do have a photo of the infamous bloody sock, which is on display at the Baseball Hall of Fame in Cooperstown, New York.
Whatever Curt decides to do now that he is retired from baseball, I am sure we will hear about it! Curt is not one to keep things quiet. 🙂
In current player news, the Phillies announced today that Kyle Kendrick has been optioned to minor league training camp. Considered the front-runner for the fifth starter’s postion at the beginning of Spring Training, Kendrick has been unimpressive thus far, going 1-3 with a 9.20 ERA in four Grapefruit League starts.
Kendrick is still only 24 years old, so hopefully he can get some issues ironed out in the minors, and be back up in the bigs soon. Good luck Kyle!
(both photos mine)
The first part of our stadium quest had gone past pretty quickly, with 10 stadiums visited within a span of four years. That was because this was the BK era. No, not Burger King; Before Kids.
Kid number one was born in 1998, so we were on hiatus for awhile. Come the year 2000, we felt he was old enough to stay with Grandma and Grandpa for a large enough chunk of time that we could begin to resume The Quest.
June 14, 2000 found us on a bus trip to New York City to visit that cathedral of baseball, Yankee Stadium. We decided on a bus trip because we could relax on the bus and leave the driving to someone else, and we were a little wary of the idea of driving into NYC ourselves. Once we got there and the bus had parked, I felt justified in this decision. The area immediately around the stadium didn’t seem like the nicest part of the city.
This days’ matchup would have the Yankees hosting the Boston Red Sox. Our seats were waay up in the upper level, so the picture quality is a bit less than I would like (keep in mind that I am scanning these photos into the computer, and it doesn’t seem to like me to use too high a resolution, so they might look a bit grainy).
Here is the view from our seats during the pre-game batting practice:
I must say that the upper levels of the stadium were incredibly steep, almost enough to induce vertigo. Good thing I only had one beer this day!
On the mound for the Red Sox was this guy:
The Yankees had Roger Clemens starting that day. He only pitched one inning, not even long enough for me to have taken a picture. Clemens walked two on 28 pitches, though no runs were allowed. He was removed after the top of the first due to a strained groin, and replaced with Ramiro Mendoza.
Even without the Rocket, the game was a classic matchup of these two teams. The Yankees scored first, in the bottom of the first, with a run scoring on a bases-loaded walk to Jorge Posada.
Here is a shot from the top of the third, as Jose Offerman, who had walked to lead off the inning, is out on a force at second. Derek Jeter tosses the ball to Chuck Knoblauch:
Boston finally evened it up in the top of the seventh, on a solo home run by Nomar Garciaparra.
The Yanks went back on top in the bottom of the eighth, when Tino Martinez hit a monster shot to the upper deck in right field, off of Tim Wakefield. In this view of the outfield, you can see the scoreboard – Yankees 2, Red Sox 1.
In the top of the ninth, Boston had a chance to tie it up against this guy:
Jeff Frye singled to lead off the inning. But the threat was eliminated with a strike-’em-out, throw-’em-out double play – Trot Nixon was called out on strikes and Frye was erased in this play at second:
Down to their last gasp, Nomar grounded out to the pitcher to end the game. Yankees win, 2-1. By now I had a splitting headache from the tension of such a close game – and I didn’t even have a rooting interest in either team! Thank goodness I could sleep it off on the bus ride home.
A Cautionary Note:
Since this was the first new stadium visited since the birth of our son, of course we decided to bring him a little something back. So what do you get a two-year-old? Without thinking of the possible ramifications, we got him a little cap, of course! And that was our mistake. He wore that thing constantly for at least the next three years, until it was finally so faded and frayed that I threw it out. In the meantime, he decided that the Yankees were his favorite team (!) and demanded a new cap. This was sacrilege in a Phillies household! So always make sure to get your child your own team’s cap before any others.
Next stop, Pacific Bell Park in beautiful San Francisco.
(all photos mine)
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)