MLB Parks Tour #9 – U.S. Cellular Field, Chicago, IL – 2009

Working through these as quickly as I can preparing for the trip in June!

As I said in the previous installment on Wrigley Field, Yvette and I really loved Chicago. I think we were surprised to like it as much as we did actually. We have always been huge fans of Boston and of New York City as well, but Chicago always had that tertiary “oh yeah” quality to it. That faded very quickly as we spent time there. The trip from our hotel in the Northwest O’Hare Rosemont area to the more southern “Comiskey Park II” was an interesting one. We decided we wanted to visit the University of Chicago as well, and that train ride took us on a very unique journey through the different cultures and communities of Chicago. That train ride alone is a blog post all it’s own.

U.S. Cellular Field was built in 1991 season, after 81 years in the original home of the White Sox, Comiskey Park. It was initially named Comiskey Park II, until 2003 when U.S. Cellular bought the naming rights. It’s gone through many iterations and renovations over the years, some due to fan complaints, namely the very steep upper deck (which we sat in) that was the subject of many fan’s scorn. On the other side of the coin, perhaps one of the most recognizable features of “The Cell” are the pinwheels on the centerfield scoreboard, a holdover from Bill Veeck’s original installation at the original Comiskey Park. They make up part of the “exploding scoreboard” that was one of the first to feature a combination of fireworks and lights when the Sox would score home runs.

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MLB Parks Tour #8 – Wrigley Field, Chicago, IL – 2009

Working through these as quickly as I can preparing for the trip in June!

Chicago is an undeniably unique and wonderful city. From Sears Tower to Lincoln Park to El-Trains to that big, shiny, reflective bean thing in Millennium Park, Chicago is bursting at the seams with culture. And no Chicago culture tour would be complete without visiting one of America’s most iconic ballparks…Wrigley Field. You simply cannot look out from the seats of the “friendly confines”, see the ivy walls, the old scoreboard, and the unofficial rooftop seats, without feeling transported to the glory days of classic hardball. Wrigley was stop #2 in our 4-stop summer road-trip through Kansas City, Chicago, and St. Louis. In short, Chicago did not disappoint.

Wrigley Field was originally named Weeghman Park when it was built in 1914 to host the Chicago Whales. In 1916 the Cubs began use of the park, when chewing-gum billionaire William Wrigley, Jr bought the park in a trust with Weeghman. The field went by Cubs Park from 1920-1926, until it was finally dubbed Wrigley Field. It’s the oldest National League park in Major League Baseball, and the second oldest park in all of the MLB to Fenway (1912). The iconic Ivy was planted in the outfield in 1937, and has served as one of the most recognizable stadium features in baseball ever since. I could go on and on.

We had a great time at Wrigley, and sat in some of the oldest seats in baseball. Can’t beat that.

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MLB Parks Tour #7 – Kauffman Stadium, Kansas City, MO – 2009

Working through these as quickly as I can preparing for the trip in June!

The trip that involved Kansas City was a really exciting one for Yvette and I. We had already been a lot of places, not to mention stadiums, but for some reason, the idea of getting on the road again across middle America had us in stitches. Kansas City was the first stop in a three-city, four stadium tour in the summer of 2009, which also included St. Louis and both Chicago ballparks. Kansas City is an underrated place, teeming with great food and culture. Even though we didn’t stay long, and it rained incessantly, we enjoyed our time nonetheless.

Kauffman Stadium was built in the early 70’s, but underwent major renovations starting in 2007 and going through the summer of 2009. The game we attended was in May of 2009, and the park just felt brand new. Adding to the sheen of everything was the incredible amounts of rain we received during the evening, making everything appear brand…spanking…shiny…new. We were concerned that the rain would ruin our parade, as we were leaving the day after for Chicago, but luckily we got the game in after a 2.5 hour delay.

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MLB Parks Tour #6 – Dodger Stadium, Los Angeles, CA – 2008

I promised last week that I’d get these all out before we go on our trip in June…so far so good. Sorry you’re going to be inundated with baseball posts for a while.

After spending a few days in sunny San Diego (I think it’s prounounced Sawn Diago…), we headed up Highway 1 toward the City of Angels. The trip up the coast was relaxing and beautiful, even if it took us twice as long as the 5 would’ve. After a few stops in Venice, Huntington Beach, and of course the Disney “mall”, we made our way into the valley and toward another iconic ballpark: Dodger Stadium.

Dodger Stadium has been around a while, and because of that, it’s got some mojo that’s hard to explain. Perhaps it was memories from my childhood spent in California, or maybe the overall feeling that Dodger Stadium is from an older era. Whatever it is…we loved being in California, and loved being at Dodger stadium.

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MLB Parks Tour #5 – Petco Park, San Diego, CA – 2008

So I haven’t written an installment on our MLB Parks Tour in over a year…and the guilt is eating me up inside. 😉 Really though, it’s terrible I haven’t gotten these caught up yet. So I’m making you a deal. In about 8 weeks, Yvette and I are headed out on a trip that will add three more parks to our list. It just so happens I’m 8 behind (not including this one) on the parks we’ve seen so far. So each week over the next eight weeks, I will post one of the parks and our experience there. That way we’ll be caught up before our trip. Sound like a good enough deal? Good…let’s get on with it then.

San Diego is simply one of the few places on Earth that you just can’t complain about anything, ever. Beautiful weather, sunshine, pristine beaches, gorgeous people. Seriously, what’s there to complain about, other than your mortgage/rent for living there? Nevertheless, the California trip was a bit of a whim. We had gotten back from New York a month earlier (where we saw the Mets and Yankees), and were still feeling restless. Disneyland was calling Yvette pretty strongly, so we hopped in the car and headed that way.

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