Baseball Parks I've Visited
I grew up in Miami Beach, which at that time didn't host a major league baseball team. Therefore, I didn't become a baseball fan until I moved to the San Francisco Bay Area. Despite my late start, when I added them all up, I discovered I have visited numerous baseball stadiums.
Fulton County Stadium, 1978 -- Noted baseball enthusiast George Alec Effinger was visiting me from New Orleans, a baseball desert, and was dying to see a game. We went to a Braves game on a weekday and when I bought the cheapest tickets, George complained. I assured him that attendance would be so pathetic that we could eventually sit anywhere, and I was right. Ted Turner personally came around to the various sections to thank the fans for coming. This was in the days when the Braves were so bad there was a popular bumper sticker that said "Go Falcons, and take the Braves with you"
Dodger Stadium, various, 1980 - 1982, 1985-1989 -- During my two stints of living in Los Angeles, I visited Dodger Stadium a few times, usually in the company of sf and baseball fans David Schlosser or Mike Glyer.
Yankee Stadium, 1983 -- My ex-husband Neil (z'l) was such a big Yankees fan that even while living in Israel, if the Yankees lost it ruined his day. We went to a Yankees game a few days after our wedding.
Candlestick Park, 1989-present -- When I moved to the Bay Area and started dating true baseball addict Rich Strauss, I ended up going to a lot of Giants games at cold, windy Candlestick Park. He and his cohorts warned me it would be cold, but nothing prepared me for the fact that when we left work in San Jose, it was 80 degrees, and by the time the game was halfway over it was probably 50 or below in the ballpark. I am the proud owner of three Croix de Candlestick -- these are given out to fans who sit through extra inning games at night and feature the Giants SF logo with icicles hanging off the letters.
San Jose Municipal Stadium, 1989-present -- The San Jose Giants, the SF Giants Single-A ballclub, is local, so I've been to see them a few times too. They feature typical minor league antics during inning breaks, like "pick a player to try to smash the headlights out of a truck wheeled onto the sidelines" and lawn bowling. My favorite, though, is their version of bingo, where the bingo letters and numbers correspond to what the home team does during an inning. This results in the curious effect of home-team fans rooting for
a player to get a single rather than a double for example, in order to fill their bingo card! (They're also famous for their outside barbecue concession stand, but all I can testify to is that it smells great!)
Fenway Park, 1989 -- The first time I ever went to a ballgame during a science fiction convention was at Noreascon Three with Rich. We loved the fact that we walked to the stadium through actual neighborhoods and non-chain vendors.
Baltimore Memorial Stadium, 1990 -- On a Memorial Weekend trip to Washington, DC, with Rich, we took the train up to Baltimore. One of my fondest memories is being able to get a kosher hot dog at the stadium!
Jack Murphy Stadium, 1990 -- During ConDigeo, the San Diego NASFiC, Rich and I went to a Padres game with the family of his former college roommate. The main thing I remember is the concession stand that featured fish tacos!
West Palm Beach Municipal Stadium, Spring Training for the Atlanta Braves, 1991 The Origin of the Tomahawk Chop! -- We combined two of Rich's key interests, baseball and Art Deco, with a trip back to Miami Beach to see my dad and the newly restored "Art Deco District" (formerly known as South Beach) down the street from my old high school. At the Braves game in West Palm Beach is where we saw history being made. Deion Sanders went to Florida State University, where the team name is the Seminoles and they have this annoying Indian hand gesture and chant that drove me nuts when I was at University of Florida, their archrival. Being as the Braves spring training was in Florida, every time Deion went up to bat for the Braves, the locals did the FSU chop. Soon, it got associated with the whole Braves team and The Rest Is History.
Seattle Kingdome, 1993 -- Mike Glyer, sf and baseball fan Ed Rush, and I went to a Mariners game during the 1993 Westercon. This was the first time I saw baseball played "indoors" at a dome and it was an eerie feeling that didn't wear off as the game progressed. The enclosed fireworks when a homerun is hit were especially odd.
Camden Yards, 1994 -- After a business trip to Minneapolis, I arranged to fly to Washington, DC to see the Holocaust Museum and to watch a game at Camden Yards. I got club seats for myself and a blind date arranged through the net(!) The seats were disappointing, since they were angled away from the field, but the stadium was great. And they kept the kosher food stand from Memorial Stadium!
Hoover Metropolitan Stadium, Birmingham, AL, 1994 -- This was the year Michael Jordan was playing for the Birmingham Barons so a group of us (including British sf and American baseball fan Tim Illingworth) left DeepSouthCon in Birmingham, loaded into local fan Gary Robe's van and headed out to a game. It was stifling hot but we did see Jordan get a hit and Tim was interviewed by a local television station.
Shea Stadium, 1997 -- Host Moshe Feder got tickets to a Mets game during my visit to New York, and other companions included Moshe's girlfriend Lise Eisenberg, baseball aficionado Don Keller, and co-California resident Debbie Notkin, whom I had to come to New York to see :-> Ah, the joys of being able to eat a kosher hot dog at a ballgame. Somehow, "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" wasn't played during the 7th inning stretch; imagine our surprise when in the middle of the 8th, the diamond-vision suddenly flashed "8th Inning Stretch" and the scratchy voice of Bing Crosby finally issued from the speakers!
Tiger Stadium, 1998 -- On mentioning a business trip I was taking directly from worldcon in Baltimore to Ann Arbor, Michigan, Dick Lynch reminded me that they would be tearing down Tiger Stadium at the end of the year. So, I arranged with local fan Mark Bernstein to accompany me and a co-worker to a Tigers game. The old-fashioned ballpark was great, including the original low-hanging wooden press box and non-pretentious traditional-ballpark-food concession stands. My one disappointment was the inability to buy a souvenir that featured the stadium rather than the team.
SkyDome, 2003 -- Well, sort of... Stephen Boucher was liaison to the Renaissance Skydome Hotel at Torcon, the 2003 worldcon in Toronto, and managed to finagle a room with a window directly onto the ballpark. (Many of you probably know that hotel guests have provided auxiliary entertainment on occasion by leaving their drapes open in full view of ballgame attendees.) He generously invited several of us to his room to watch the game (see photo). We could see nearly all of the ballpark except center field directly below us.
Kauffman Stadium, 2004 -- Snuck out of ConQuesT in Kansas City on Sunday afternoon with Parris, Stephen Boucher, and local chauffeur Paula Murray to see a Royals/Twins game. The stadium is beautiful, although the fountains in the outfield are a bit disconcerting. And it's the only stadium I've seen where the better food was downstairs rather than near the premium seats. OTOH, the top ticket price in the house was $25, which I found spectacularly cheap but which the locals think is too pricey. Good thing they don't live in San Francisco, where the cheapest seats for a weekend game are $27 for the bleachers or the nosebleed seats!
Coors Field, 2008 -- Sadly, can't report on watching a game here as the Denvention 3 convention-sponsored outing that I attended with Rich and Nicki Lynch and Eve Ackerman and husband Howard Rosenblatt was a rainout. I also had back spasms so instead of strolling around the stadium and concessions, I spent the time before the game was officially called sitting in a dry stall in the ladies room! Not sure if this entry actually counts...
Isotopes Park, 2009 - In the run-up to Denvention 3, Stephen and I spent some time in Albuquerque/Santa Fe and attended a minor league Albuquerque Isotopes game with John and Gail Miller and GRRM. This is a multi-use small park that features statues of characters from The Simpsons in honor of the team name, which we love (think Alamagordo). We probably already owned more Isotopes stuff than most people who live in Albuquerque but we bought more anyway :-> The fact that the team had a player named Hu provided hours of entertainment for the boys repeating the famous Abbott and Costello routine but I was over that pretty quickly.
Nationals Park, 2022 -- We spent a few days in DC before Balticon in Baltimore and decided to brave Covid to add another park to this list, along with local Nats fans John Pomeranz and Kathi Overton. It's a charming small park with hardly any foul territory so you feel closer to the action, plus they have the Presidents race with three people in giant foam President heads and uniforms, numbered according to their term as president. (George beat Abe and Teddy.) Given that the forecast of cloudy coolish weather was totally wrong and it was hot and sunny, I was glad to find team-branded sunscreen in one of the souvenir shops.
This page brought to you by Janice Gelb. Last updated June 19, 2004.
This page hosted by