Orioles At Brewers, Miller Park

Today was the big travel day, and it could not have gone better if we had tried. We got up and got ready, took a route around the already-ongoing Wheaton 4th of July parade, and wound our way through surface roads to I-94 northbound to Milwaukee. We stopped for Starbucks and White Castle, the latter of which neither of us had ever had (and frankly, was a good snack, I don’t care what kind of intestinal distress jokes may be made), and hit the road for the last 20 miles to the city.

Milwaukee is a small-but-major city. Lots of brickwork buildings and a few skyscrapers. The highway leads straight to the field, and we were guided into lot G for General Parking by some helpful fellows in neon vests. Much like at Guaranteed Rate, the personnel there told us exactly where to park, down to the space; it has just occurred to me that this is extremely helpful for tailgaters, and Milwaukee is also good at this event, maybe better than Chicago.

IMG_8163.JPGThis picture was taken before the lot was full, and does not give any idea of the burning charcoal and cooking meat smells that permeated the air. People were blaring music, drinking, and playing that ubiquitous midwest game, cornhole. Everyone seemed friendly and relaxed.

The general parking lot is a river away from the stadium; the Menomenee River, to be exact. You get to walk over a bridge that connects the lot to the field grounds.

I had tried to make a plan so that I could see stuff that I wanted to see, buy stuff that I wanted to buy, and still make it into our seats by or around first pitch. Ninety minutes isn’t a long time to make all of that happen, and there are a lot of distractions along the way. We decided to walk along the left field/third base side of the park to the home plate entrance. This allowed us to see the Wall of Honor. There are also many plate tiles along the outside of the stadium, honoring important figures in Milwaukee Brewers history. I’d be remiss if I didn’t grab a shot of Bob Ueker’s plate. Or anything with Hank Aaron, really. Also included in this wall were Richie Sexson and Jeff Cirrillo right next to each other. But that will have to wait for me to be able to get the pictures off my iPhone.

We had planned to go into the home plate entrance, but we still had a good 15 minutes before the gates opened, and the line was stretching out into the parking lot on that side of the field. Under the clock tower, however, was a very short line of people. We walked up and asked if we could still get into the park there. They told us that yes, we absolutely could, and that it was sort of their “secret”. We thanked them, and spent the next 10 minutes in the shade, watching Orioles fans and Brewers fans alike chatter amongst themselves. Even got into a pleasant discussion about the Hall of Fame with a guy in a Brewers shirt behind us.


Once inside, we were basically on the main concourse. Miller Park is not as open as a lot of other parks I have been to. There are points on the main floor where you get a view of the field, but mostly you are walking through a bit of a tunnel with windows on the one side that look outside the park. We wound our way towards left field, and eventually to the open bit of the concourse around the outfield, and into one of the team stores, where we looked around until the crowd became a bit prohibitive numbers-wise. Walking around the main level, we found a wall of autographed baseballs, collected for quite some time by one fan and donated to the field. It is touted as a chance for ordinary fans to be featured amidst players. The attendant there had a map available for us to look up the players, though we did peruse the fans as well. Some of the balls featured had art of people’s babies, a tiny footprint, and the scrawly writing of children thanking their fathers for a first ballgame. Among these (and others) were the signatures of none other than Casey Stengel, Wade Boggs, Willie Mays, and the great Satchel Paige.

On the other side of the entrance the autograph wall is on, is an area featuring players from Wisconsin, and a great small exhibit about the All American Girls baseball teams from the area. Karen’s favorite baseball movie is A League of Their Own, so this was a cherry on top of what was a pretty decent day already.

Having done a bit of research on food and whatnot, I had decided that I was interested in having a Mudpuppy Porter. Miller has done some updating of their food and drink park-wide. The Local Brews bar stand in section 207 has a ton of local beers, and seemed like the place we needed to head to get a taste of Wisconsin. So we kept on walking around the outfield. Ran into some Orioles taking batting practice along the way.


A ramp leads up to the Loge Level, where there is a sort of Terrace Club-style level that is open to the public. The decks in Miller are much more shallow than at Safeco, and there are more of them. This makes for some really good views of the field at the lower levels. We hung out there long enough to drink one pint and grab another. My two choices were the Mudpuppy Porter, and something called Bat$shit Crazy, which was a coffee brown ale (and very good as well). After hanging out a bit and taking in the scene upstairs, we walked back downstairs to make our way around the lower concourse, where I bought a good amount of Hank the Dog merchandise, and we found our seats in section 132. Row 15 put us really close to the action, and it was time to play ball.

Spoiler alert; the Orioles lost this one 2-6. Additional spoiler alert, I did not quell my Orioles love. So I was the weirdo down front cheering for both teams. But we were sitting on the visitor’s side, so it sort of worked out, and nobody got weird about it. It was a really fun game to be at, and the Brewers got four home runs, so Bernie Brewer had to go  down the slide in his Uncle Sam outfit as many times. I have a photo I managed on the iPhone, but again, that will have to wait until a later post. Ubaldo Jimemez was starting for the Birds, and Eric Thames was ready for him. Also, Adam Jones got a few hits and of course is just great anyway.


The Brewers also have a good number of numbers retired. This strikes me as odd, as if memory serves, they have been around just as long as the Mariners have…and are, in fact, spawned by a Seattle team. The Brewers have also have had a greater number of more well-known players, so perhaps this would explain the retirements.

It is getting late as I finish this up, and we have to be up bright and early to make a train to get back into the city for our first leisurely day at Wrigley. Long story short, the Orioles lost, I had a lot of good food and drink (we did split a brat and an order of cheese curds with Stadium Sauce), we got a lot of sun (but not too much), and everything I wanted to do at this park I totally did. It was a great day. The drive back was nice and easy, and we wrapped up the day with some salad (my poor midwestern-food-filled guts) and continued watching GLOW on Netflix (watch it if you haven’t, it’s great), and I really just can’t talk enough about how much fun I’ve been having.


Oh yeah; the sausage races! Chorizo won.

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Texas Rangers At Chicago White Sox

We got off to that early start today, and I am feeling it hard; it’s 7.15PM Chicago time, so 5.15 PST, but I didn’t sleep much and we just spent all day in very humid, direct sunlight (yes, sunscreen, though my nose and cheeks are a bit pink). I am absolutely exhausted, but I had a great day, so that’s merely a statement of fact and in no way a complaint. Today was fantastic. The Sox got murdered by the Rangers, but I had a great time.

Karen and I started off with a quick cup of coffee and some heavy slathering on of sunscreen, followed by a 55-or-so-minute drive. She lives in Wheaton, IL, for distance reference. Traffic was decent for a Saturday in a busy city; and since we had a parking pass, it was easy to get to where we needed to be. Parking at Guaranteed Rate (hereafter referred to as GR, because I cannot bring myself to keep typing that name) is easy, but also a little overwhelming for a Seattle girl like me. There are staffers who tell you exactly where to go, right down to the space. I kind of like this, it makes it easy and hassle-free. Many people were already there, and they were tailgating; team flags, barbecue grills, beer, games of cornhole, some music. People seemed to be having fun and the mood was light.

We were parked on the right field side, so wandered towards home plate along a sidewalk full of people. Wind had picked up, and it was very warm out. I was looking for a team store, but GR is a very odd field; everything exists within the park, and it can be a trek to get inside. I did pick up a little stuffed Southpaw mascot, and then we  got in a line for a special event near home plate. A host kindly directed us towards gate 3, where we stood in the sun a half hour longer than we should have, per the website and a few Sox fans in line with us. A woman near us collapsed just as the gates were actually starting to open. Emergency personnel came to her rescue, and fans in line were gradually shuffled inside, where we were all given dark blue Hawaiian shirts made of a very not-heat-friendly material and White Sox logos and mascot cartoons on them. There were other fans with other versions of this shirt, so we figured they’d done similar promos before.

IMG_8089Home Plate entrance art.


In GR, you have to walk up a winding ramp or go up an escalator to get to the main concourse. I’m not sure what is hiding under the park, but it seemed like an awful long way walking up to get “down” to a main level. Once upstairs, it didn’t seem like we had walked all that way (we opted for walking). The main concourse is nice and airy, though dark, and instead of one big team store, there are several, including a ’47 Brand store; unfortunately I didn’t discover this until I had already made the purchase of a Sox sport tank top (I love ’47 Brand). My disappointment did not last long, however, there was still a lot to see. After I’d gotten and changed into my tank top, Karen picked up a Cuban sandwich that we split, along with a couple of pints of beer interestingly named “Daisy Cutter”. It was hoppy but good in the heat. I would have taken pictures of these things, but we were both tired and starving. They did not last long.

IMG_8091The view from over left field.

IMG_8092The Patio is part of Kraft Cave, and requires a special ticket to get in; but on days like today, you have to sit in the direct sunlight all game long, and your view is obstructed by a fence. 

We asked for directions to the Rookies’ Corner, where we got our first timer certificates; as a Cubs fan, Karen had also never been to GR; but she did a very good job of camouflaging herself, even going so far as to buy a Sox shirt at Target. We were virtually invisible in our new environment. We continued walking around center field, and found their player sculptures.

You can see the bottom picture there, the shirts they were giving away. Mariners colors, a little bit.

IMG_8095.JPGAn old Comiskey shower. It still works, and looked like someone had doused themselves recently.

We continued walking around the main level just to get a feel for the place. It feels sort of closed in, but you’re still very aware that you’re outside. When we had made it back to the area where we’d come in, we continued up the ramp to the 500 level where our seats were. This provided us with a spectacular view of the city.


Everything is sort of contained inside the park on the upper level; Safeco has food and shops and stuff sort of outside the seating area, where you can get views of the city; at GR, you’re routed inside a tunnel with all that stuff, and the seats are on the other side; think the lower levels of Century Link. While it is enclosed, it is a nice respite from the sun, which we were about to get way too much of.

IMG_8100Starting Sox pitcher Derek Holland and his fancy holiday socks. Unfortunately for Chicago, Holland’s pitching was not enough to provide a win. IMG_8101IMG_8102The press box with retired numbers (above) and new digital pinwheels, an homage to Bill Veeck and his “exploding scoreboard”. We did see Jose Abreu hit a home run, so the pinwheels spun and fireworks went amok. 

Before we were in our seats, however, Karen procured two more pints of beer, and some off-the-cob elotes, and I got The Heater, the jalepeno dog with coleslaw and sriracha mayo. All were excellent (we split that too). The PA blared ACDC’s “Thunderstruck”, and the it was time to play ball.

Things started off well for the Sox. With Abreu’s two run tater in the first. But Texas resonded with a run of their own in the second after Holland loaded the bases, and then in the 5th with a vengeance; a double plating a run, and then an HR to plate both runners, and the score was 4-2. With the Rangers hitting, Karen and I decided something icy was needed, so we went to get some vodka lemonade slushies that were light on the vodka but heavy on the slushy, and those kept us cool in for another inning or two while the sun jumped from cloud to cloud. Holand was replaced by Chris Beck in the 6th after Roughned Odor took first base, and Beck gave Mike Napoli three pitches he couldn’t hit before one he really, really could.

IMG_8103IMG_8104IMG_8105IMG_8106IMG_8108IMG_8109IMG_8110IMG_8111IMG_8112IMG_8113IMG_8114IMG_8116IMG_8117IMG_8118IMG_8120IMG_8121. With the score 6-2 in the Rangers’ favor, and with the Sox playing the way they did today, Karen and I figured we could take another casual stroll around the field. Neither of us had any stake in this game, and it was just unbearably hot out, we’d both had enough. But not before we witnessed three Italian beef sandwiches racing each other in center field with Southpaw encouraging them…

IMG_8115.JPGAnother leisurely stroll down the ramps, and back to the 100 level, where we ran into more statues on the other side of a food kiosk called The Frozen Zone (or something similar)…

I don’t know why I took two pictures of Mr Comiskey, but I did. After waiting for people posing with the statues to get some clear shots, we went down the right field ramp to check out Kraft Cave, our destination for tomorrow’s lunch and drinks.

The Cave is a lot like what if The Pen was under the stadium and had better seating and a really bad view of the game. I don’t know how many people reading this might have gone to the Bullpen Pub back before it was Edgar’s, but if you did, the Cave is like that, but larger and nicer; like a sports bar. It is packed with people in their 20s and 30s, all of whom seemed well into their drinks by then. We walked around to get a feel for the place, taking everything in, and then I happened to glance at one of the TVs and notice that the score was a horrifying 10-4 in the 8th in the Rangers’ favor. We had a choice to make; we could either walk back up the ramp and see if the feckless Sox had some life in them to come back from that kind of deficit, or we could get while we were on the street level and go grab dinner before heading home. We chose the latter. We are going back tomorrow, I had seen quite a bit of stuff I wanted to see, and we were sunned and crowded out. Tacos for dinner and a drive through Karen’s neat little neighborhood later, and here I am finishing up this post and ready to get to bed at 9, just as the Mariners are starting another game against the Angels at home.

It was a really good day, but I am losing steam. I’m going to get some rest, and we’ll do it again tomorrow.

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In Chicago

Quick note; I flew OK after a week of really bad anxiety (I thought I was over that, but apparently not so much), and am now safe and sound in the Windy City. Turbulence was bad on this side, but I managed to keep all my bodily fluids contained.

I have woken up at what is basically 6AM my time after going to sleep at what was around maybe 1AM PST. This may be the earlist and with as little sleep as I have ever woken up for baseball, with the exception of when the Mariners and Diamondbacks were both in Japan. Camera battery is charged up and loaded, I have removed any possible security-offending items from my bag, and I am ready for whatever it is I’m about to do. Will be needing to re-read my own stadium preview to remind myself of what I’d had planned to do while here. It’s been too much in too few weeks to prepare for this and my still-reasonably-new job.

I wish I could have made it happen on the plane, but there won’t be any preview of Wrigley. I am going to break from my own personally-enforced desire to do those posts and just let everything wash over me, with my friend Karen as my guide. It’s not my preference, and I should be able to do a little bit of research in the interim, but time is a factor for real now, and if I’m honest, I just want to enjoy a good week’s worth of vacation after a fairly tense and busy last two months of work.

But I’m still going to take photos today, so you’ll get those later; weirdly, all of the games we are going to are day games, and I was fooled by the promotion of “White Sox Hawaiian Shirt”, because my brain automatically appends the word “night” onto promotions, since we have so many night games. Imagine my surprise yesterday at SeaTac when I discovered that no, I could not sleep in because I hadn’t paid attention to the actual game time on the tickets. So I have to be flexible and make sure I get more sleep tonight, but until then, onward to the White Sox!

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Miller Park Stadium Preview

I had a friend come visit this weekend and took her to her first Mariners game. It would have been nice if the Mariners could have won against her former temporary home of Houston (and she wanted them to), but the Astros are still quite formidable and it just wasn’t going to happen. We still had fun though, and I had some garlic fries for the first time in a while. The sunset was gorgeous, the weather was nice, it was a good night.

Less than five days now before I leave for Chicago, and still so much to do.  This is the first time I will be away from home for a 4th of July; it’s not a holiday I am passionate about by any stretch, but usually I am home or at a nearby friend’s place, doing what everyone else is doing that day; hanging out and grilling, maybe having a few drinks, and enjoying the weather. This year? I’ll be in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, at a Brewers game being played against the Baltimore Orioles. Normally when I do these trips, I try to book a game against a team I don’t really care about, so I feel comfortable cheering on the home team; I told myself a while ago for these outings that if I’m in your stadium, I’m on your side. I tried to get around having to be against the O’s, but it was the only week that the White Sox, Brewers and Cubs were all going to be home within the same relatively short time, so I did what I had to do. I do mean to cheer on the Brewers, of course; but right now my biggest fear is being the only one in my section clapping for an Orioles bomb or a double play without realizing it until it’s too late. Maybe I’ll try to keep myself occupied with fried cheese curds and my camera so I don’t pull a faux pas on foreign soil.

I had a look around the Brewers website today and it looks like there is no shortage of stuff to do at Miller Park. Like other stadiums this year, they have done a revamping of their food and drink options, to better reflect the area they’re in (link, as I cannot hyperlink because of some dumb work firewall: http://milwaukee.brewers.mlb.com/mil/ballpark/food-and-beverage/).  I have a hard time choosing what I’m going to eat at most stadiums; with limited time and limited knowledge, making a decision on just one meal is difficult; but the Brewers have solved that problem for me by making those fried cheese curds available, so barring any other discoveries when I get there, either that’s my lunch, or Karen and I can share an order and find something a little more substantial to add to the fray.  They also have a beer called Central Waters Mudpuppy Porter that I’d like to try. It’s nice to see a beer list where the letters “I”, “P”, and “A” are not prominently listed (sorry, fellow Northwesterners, IPA tastes awful).

Speaking of puppies, I had until this morning completely forgotten about Hank! Bernie Brewer makes sense as a mascot, but muppet humanoids are a little freaky, so I am looking forward to picking up some Hank memorabilia. If you are not familiar with Hank and his adorable story, you can find it here: http://stories.barkpost.com/meet-hank-the-milwaukee-brewers-new-mascot/.  Hank has his own merchandise kiosk over right field, and I intend to drop by and see what sorts of trouble I can get myself into. Stuffed Hank, please? You have made a sale, my friends!

A bit of disappointment on gate opening  times, sadly. Miller Park opens only an hour and a half prior to game time, giving me little chance to leisurely get into everything I would probably want to see. A meal at Friday’s Front Row is probably out, since I want to also take in the monuments, Wall of Honor, and if time allows, maybe Bob Ueker’s “Last Row” statue, but that one is on their Terrace level, and I’m not sure if that is open to the public (the website isn’t clear). The later opening gates may force me to make some cuts in what I really want to do around the park, which is technically fine – the Brewers are not one of my teams – but I’m coming a long way to do this, so it’s kind of a bummer that I might not get to see everything. We do have a parking pass, which I had the forethought to pick up with our tickets, so that could make things a little easier as far as getting to the stadium, but I’ll need to really make sure I look at a map so I can cram everything into the first hour and get food and actually be able to watch the game. It looks like a lot of the Hall of Fame-type exhibits are around home plate and third base, so maybe it will be  manageable, since that is the approximate area our seats are in; there is something called the Home Plate Plaza, which I am assuming is an open spot for the public art and other bits of interest for the team.  They also have an All American Girls Wall of Honor, Autograph Alley, and retired uniform numbers of multiple players.

A Google image search for Miller Park shows what looks like a gorgeous brick, steel, and glass building with a clamshell-style roof enclosure. I would love to be able to see a game outdoors, but the weather in that area is going to be a little iffy – lots of heat and thunderstorms – so we’ll see. I’m not sure how many the park seats, but it looks larger than Safeco. The upper deck also has seats over LF – think another two tiers of seats over the bleachers in our park here in Seattle. And windows everywhere! Four decks of seating make for an impressive structure. I expect to be blown away when actually there, it looks incredible in photos. I have no idea if they have anything planned for the 4th, or if the windows even allow for fireworks to be set off, but it won’t matter; there will be baseball, it’ll be a great new experience, and I can hardly wait.

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Go Call Your Dad

I am still working on cleaning up my photos on the laptop, battling the ridiculous iCloud in the process. I have less than two weeks to do previews of both Miller Park and Wrigley Field and go through about 4 more years of pictures; this doesn’t sound like much but it is a daunting task. My photos are bits of my life, and I am trying to maintain the storyline as I took pictures of it, and choosing what goes and what stays is really difficult and time consuming. I am hoping that by the All Star Break, I will be able to return to this site more frequently and with more pictures.

Today is father’s day. My father is still alive, but Tom’s is not. I wrestle with this a little every year. When Tom’s dad took his own life in 1999, Tom and I were still two years away from even meeting yet. I never knew him. I see him in Tom and in Tom’s sister Kate, and he was clearly an excellent father to both of them, and would have been a fantastic grandfather to Kate’s kids. My own father would be an excellent grandfather to our kids, if I had chosen to have any; but living in increasingly-expensive Seattle and being married to a musician isn’t exactly a kid-friendly situation, and that part of my brain that was supposed to make me want kids (I guess? Is that how it works?) never woke up. And I’m OK with that, always have been.

My father was surprised by my sudden turn to watching baseball as a part of my life; most of my family is, and if you’ve ever seen me at the ballpark, you would know that my appearance kind of belies my fandom. One of the Jays fans we spoke to during that series thought I was there on a lark, and was quite shocked to find out that I had been a season ticket holder/regular at the park since 2008. My dad likes trying to organize a yearly family ballgame, and we were doing OK for a few years, but it has been a difficult thing to do, what with everyone’s schedules. Last year fell by the wayside; this year might too; Tom’s been taking every job that comes his way, and festival season is happening now, which means a lot of flights to a lot of far off places, and a lot of weekends away. My brother and sister in law are on the go a lot, as are her sister and brother in law, who live up in Bellingham. So this year may fall by the wayside as well, which is a shame. I love being at the park with my family, since we have kind of scattered and it’s a good few hours by car for any of us to visit each other.

But that’s not why I’m writing, really. I’m writing because I read this amazing piece of work by Amanda Cumming this morning, and it hit me really hard. My friend Julie just lost her father the other night to a heart condition. My friend Katie’s father is dealing with the end stages of that devil cancer. Our parents are the people who most shape us, who help us be who we were, are right now, and will be. My father played a big part in my life, and I see wonderful dads in all my friends who have kids. My friends’ kids are going to do great things some day, because they all have fantastic men raising them or men in their lives who are helping inspire them to grow up and be good people.

I don’t really know where I’m going with this, but Mandy’s article there really affected me. So do yourself a favor; read it.

Then go call your dad.

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Guaranteed Rate Field Preview

Things have been quiet here, I know. I lost my camera battery for a year, then discovered that my laptop is way too full of photos (have been trying to move them to a USB stick, it’s taking forever), and am trying to get everything squared up for my trip in less than a month. I just transitioned to a new job, and a lot of the time wind up either working through lunch or wanting to get as far away as possible from my desk, which doesn’t do me any favors as far as getting the time to write. Also, I think I have been having WAY too much fun on Twitter with all the good folks there, so this space has fallen by the wayside, which frankly kinda sucks.

But I am leaving for Chicago on June 30th after a day of work, and the following Saturday  my friend Karen and I are going to go to a White Sox game. I am lukewarm on the White Sox and most AL and NL Central teams, so I think that is another thing contributing to my apathy on this, but that is neither here nor there. In keeping with my self-driven tradition of trying to research where I’m going, I’m finally getting around to stadium previews. So let’s do this, shall we?

Screen Shot 2017-06-04 at 10.40.08 AM.png

One of the first things I always look at is food, of course, and Chicago is a well-known food mecca. The one thing you’re going to notice first on the food drop down on the White Sox home page is the amount of cylindrical meat products on the docket, followed by the descriptor “Polish”. This is to be expected, and I’d be disappointed if it was anything else. They also have tacos, burgers, Cuban sandwiches, and a lot of places that are helpfully named after their locations; Batter’s Eye Brewhouse, Batter’s Box Beer, Dick Allen’s Rooftop Dogs (and Polish, natch). Of particular interest to me is Southside Sandwiches in multiple sections that serves an Italian beef sandwich; though I can’t decide if I would rather have this particular Chicago delicacy at a place other than a ballpark. Beltin’ Bill Melton’s Brats and Sausage has something called “The Heater”, a picture of which (along with a bunch of other information that I literally just found on Google) can be found here.  A jalepeno dog with coleslaw and sriracha mayo? I think I’m in love!

I allow myself two beers per game on these visits, mostly so I can remain alert and actually enjoy the game and see the things I want to see most. I am hoping to try some Chicago or Midwest-specific beers, though The Pen at Safeco is currently under Coors’ control, and we have a lot of Leinenkugel already. Guaranteed Rate apparently has quite a few places to stop for “assorted craft beers”, so I will be looking around for something I can’t get here. At the link posted above, there is also a space called Craft Kave that serves some ridiculously crazy looking burgers and a good selection of porters and stouts, my beer preference (though very few things beat a good Manny’s on a hot day). Further reading over the link above shows that I literally could have just posted the link and not done so much writing on my own. Bacon on a stick in the 500-level? Yes, PLEASE. Seriously, if you’re going to a Sox game, click that link and spend some time checking it out, the author has provided photos and in-depth descriptions of what to have and where to go. Also, I think I may need to grab a bite to eat soon here myself; just reading all of this is making me hungry!

Another thing I like to check out is various stadium art or landmarks. A few of these don’t appear to be accessible unless you’re on one of the fancier levels of the park. This is pretty par for the course, we have a lot of cool stuff to see at Safeco at the Terrace level that you just can’t see unless you’re ticketed there. There is a sculpture park over center field, much like at Camden. Should be easy to get to, as it looks like GR does feature a walkaround main deck.

Screen Shot 2017-06-04 at 11.33.26 AM.pngMinnie Minoso sculpture, courtesy Daily Herald, used without permission.

GR also has a first timer’s certificate place called the Rookie’s Corner over section 154, and if you don’t think I’m going to make a beeline for that area, you’d be wrong. At Camden, I was the oldest person in line, but I didn’t care; that Orioles certificate is on my wall in a frame at home. It’s little stuff like that that make a visit to any stadium a little more fun. Also on that level is a Comiskey Park shower. Why? No idea; but it’s a point of interest, and I’m going to take a picture of it. There is the old ballpark homeplate and something called Loretta’s Lounge around the right outfield area. The old homeplate is the place where that was when Comiskey was still standing. It is currently out very close to an area used for parking. Reminds me of how Sick’s Stadium home plate is still out in front of Lowe’s on Rainier Ave here in Seattle. Very cool.

Guaranteed Rate (not for nothing, that is just a terrible name though) also takes an odd approach to their decks. Safeco has 100, 200, 300, GR has 100, 300, 500; which made me think we were sitting up higher for the first game on July 1st than we actually are. I went for cheaper when I got our StubHub tickets, and wound up sitting in approximately the same place Daniel and I are sitting this year; Section 331. Only in Chicago, it’s 535 (soooo close to the bacon in section 529) the view is about the same. I am hoping to get some nice height-advantage pictures up there. Sections go from home plate “clockwise” down the third baseline and back around. Every stadium has a learning curve, and GR will be no exception. My issue right now is that I’m not sure if we are going to wind up at one or two White Sox games yet. The tempation to spend a lot of time at the park is great, but Karen and I haven’t seen each other since the 90s, and Chicago is a big place with lots of other things to do (and unfortunately, South Side, my focus on this trip is mainly Cubs-oriented).

So that’s that. I hope to have a lot more to bring back with me after the game on July 1st, which is Hawaiian Shirt Night (I love lucking out on a promo night with these trips), and many more tales to tell. Most of the trip will be ballpark-focused. There is even the possiblity that one of the nearby minor league teams might be in the vicinity that week, so maybe I’ll get to go check one of those out as well. But Karen is also keen on taking me to Hamilton and I am interested in the Chicago Art Institute, and maybe some other fun, if I can squeeze it in. This is going to be my last baseball trip for a while, probably; at least a couple of years. So I want to make sure I get in as much fun as possible while I can.

Now, I have about an hour and change before the Mariners try to sweep up the Tampa Rays.

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Refuse To Abuse 5K At Safeco Field (Request For Donations)

It’s that time again! Our little team is back together, and ready to go walk and run another 5 KM around, inside, and over Safeco Field. It’s a great event for a good cause, and we would surely appreciate it if you would help us out by donating to help fund the Washington State Coalition Against Domestic Violence and the good work they do to take care of the men, women, and children who might need their help. You can donate anonymously if you wish, and all donations go directly to help this wonderful organization. You may or may not be aware of it, but the chances are very high that you know someone who has been affected by domestic violence in some way or other. Maybe you yourself have been involved in such a situation. We want to remove the stigma of DV and make sure that those who need help can receive it. Funding of this organization is very important.

If you can’t donate, please share our link. I’m not trying to win any prizes here, I’d just like to make sure we get the word out to anyone who might want to help us out. Some members of Lookout Landing are also participating this year last I heard, something I think is wonderful, and fully encourage. I can’t find their donation page or I’d link to it. Ours can be found here.  If you want to join the team, you most certainly can do that; we welcome everyone and anyone, of all walking/running levels. The runners in our group do their thing, and the rest of us maintain a good pace while chatting as we walk through the main concourse, the suite level, up and down both ramps, and around the back and sides of the park and the parking garage (you really do go all over Safeco Field). Registering for the race is easy and not too expensive; $40 before the June 15th, $45 after to the day of the race.

So please consider a donation, asking others to donate to us, or joining us in our walk/run! Your consideration is very much appreciated.

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