I’ve finally posted all the photos I’m going to post from my trip to the All-Star game in Detroit last summer. Have a look if you have the time!
Okay, I’ve finally posted some all-star game photos. There are only 2 there right now as I need to convert all my files from bitmaps to jpegs. I’ll post more on Sunday.
Going to listen to the game on the radio today on my way to London. I’ll try and post something on Sunday.
It’s Saturday morning and I’m taking the time to figure out the ins and outs of this weblog thing of which I’m new to.
I just realized people were commenting on my posts and that is excellent. I welcome all comments and look forward to commenting on other blogs.
Now that I have a bit of time, I thought I’d talk about my trip to Detroit last summer to catch the all-star game. I went with two of my good friends who got tickets to the game through one of their connections. As they only had two tickets I wasn’t going to go but since Detroit is only a 3 hour drive from Toronto I figured I’d go and at least soak up the atmosphere and check out the Fanfest and maybe get a ticket to the Home Run Derby.
A little history first. Back in 1996, when we were all 18, my two friends and I went down to Philadelphia for the All-Star game. Again, my friend’s connection got him two tickets and he had promised my other friend first dibs, I was the odd man out for the tickets. However, I still went, got to see the Homerun Derby (Bonds won it that year, although McGwire was hitting peppering the bleachers in left field for much of the opening round). My friend Chris actually caught a McGwire blast in the left field bleachers. Come game night, I stayed at the hotel and watched the game from there. I was disappointed I didn’t get to see the game but glad I went.
So there we were in Detroit (we actually stayed in a hotel in Windsor) the day of the homerun derby. We just walked up to the box office and there were still tickets available so we bought them. We ended up in the upper deck adjacent to the left field corner at Comerica. I forget what section we were in exactly (I’d have to dig up my ticket stub). It was a site to see Abreu get in that groove but he hit so many in the first round, it kind of took the lustre off the rest of the night. However, it was a great time and I love that ballpark. The one thing that I love about Comerica Park is that from the outside of the park you know that the Detroit Tigers play there. They have all the tiger sculptures prowling on top of the stadium walls. In the park they have statues of all the former Tiger greats (Cobb, Kaline, Greenberg etc.) paying tribute to that franchise’s great history. I was recently to St. Louis (I’ll post my story about being in St. Louis for the opening of the new Busch stadium at a later date) and the same can be said for the new Busch stadium and even the old Busch (all I have to say is I love the Stan Musial statue…what a landmark!). When I walk up to the Rogers Centre, there is very little on the outside of the building that lets me know the Jays play there. I see about 25 large signs telling me that I’m at the Rogers Centre but besides some new large murals above Gate 9 of Wells and Glaus (I think there is one of Burnett too but I can’t remember right now) there is nothing there. How about a statue of Joe Carter hitting that historic home run in 93?!?! At least a plaque or something! Okay I’m rambling…I’ll get back to my All Star game story.
So the day of the game arrives and I’m without a ticket. My friends figured that since they had to lower deck tickets we should be able to find a scalper and trade the two lower bowl tickets and some cash for three upper bowl tickets. Well after searching around the stadium for a few hours and trying to trade our tickets to an undercover cop and almost getting arrested (it’s not even legal to trade tickets in Detroit…go figure!) we pretty much gave up. I appreciated my friends efforts and told them not to worry about me as I’d go to a nearby pub to watch the game and meet up with them after.
As gametime neared we were just hanging around the stadium in a last ditch effort to see if anyone had an extra ticket they were willing to part with when I saw a small line starting to form in front of a box office window. One of my friends asked what the line was for and the gentleman told us that if any extra tickets became available that they would be sold at that window. I immediately got in line (I was probably 15th in line…maybe 20th). I waited in that line for 2 hours and it didn’t move. The game was about to start so my friends went in and found their seats and told me if I got a ticket to let them know. I had pretty much given up hope of getting a ticket when the line started to move. Tickets were available! Now I didn’t really have a lot of cash to spare so I was a little concerned about the cost of the tickets that were available and wondered how many they actually had. I was getting closer to the front of the line when I saw people leaving and wondered if they were out of extra tickets. I did get to the window eventually and said I needed one ticket and sure enough they had tickets left. The problem was it was $200 US face value. As I had stood in that line for two hours and missed out on the 1996 game I said screw it, took out the Visa and got the ticket.
The game had just started so I quickly ran to the gates. My heart was just pumping as I never thought I’d actually get to see this game. It turns out my ticket was in the first row directly behind the National League bullpen…it was amazing! Clemens, Peavy, Willis, Lidge, Smoltz et. al were right below me. I had trouble concentrating on the game as I kept watching some of the greatest pitchers in the game warm up. It was a great experience. I’ll post some pictures when I get the chance. I tried earlier but there was an error when I tried to upload them.
So I went to meet my friends in the ninth inning as the ushers weren’t letting anyone down into the sections without a ticket for that section until the ninth. They were surprised to see me but very glad as I think they felt kind of guilty that this was the second trip to the All-Star game for us and both times I was the guy without the ticket (there is a perfectly rationale reason for this so don’t think my friends are selfish jerks). Since they didn’t pay for their tickets they told me they’d cover my Homerun Derby ticket (which wasn’t cheap either) and my share of the hotel so the $200 US I shelled out wasn’t so bad after all.