Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Bucket List #9 - My favorite park x2


Great American Ballpark in Cincinnati is my favorite park thus far. I went in 2010, just because I was driving past the park going from Turner Field in Atlanta to grad school in Ashland and there was a game that night. I saw Cleveland and Cincy play and didn't particularly care either way who won. It was Star Wars night, so bonus points for that. Even without the Star Wars influence I really liked the park, despite a lack of any vested interest whatsoever in the outcome of the game.

When the Tigers announced their 2012 schedule, I was so happy to see that Cincinnati was on the road schedule. It's a beautiful park and close enough to be a one-day trip. A friend asked I wanted to go to the Saturday game. Absolutely! My brother and his father in law asked if I wanted to go to the Sunday game. You bet! When they bought the tickets it was a 1:05 start, so we would be home by 9pm. Not a week later, MLB changed it to the Sunday night game of the week, which meant an 8:15pm start, get home at 4am. Yikes! It was worth it though.

The main entry way
We got there really early on Saturday, thinking the gates opened 2 hours before game time. It was actually 1 1/2 hours. Ah well. It is so much fun being an away fan and I've learned that any chance of getting a ball signed has to take place at away games. There are way too many people at home games! Although on Saturday, it was probably half Tigers fans.

As soon as we got to the park, I headed down to the dugout area to watch batting practice and wait for Ricky to recognize me and come sign my ball lol It never happened, but I did snag a ball. Austin Jackson tossed one in the dirt toward the Tigers fans. It was headed right for me. I threw my upper body over the railing, stretched out my long arms and it rolled right to me. Sweet! Not one player came out to sign stuff. Sigh.

We had great seats on Saturday - front row upper level behind home plate. We were in the shade by the middle of the 1st inning and the Tigers won 3-2.

Sunday we sat behind home plate, 4 sections from where I had been on Saturday. No ball, no batting practice, no biggie. It was a cool night and they won again 7-6. Then it was time for the long ride home. 

Here are some pics of why I have mad love for Great American Ballpark. It's clean, it's plenty big, but feels small. Parking is easy, the neighborhood seems really good. There is a $1 food stand! lol



Tigers fans watching batting practice and waiting.


The meat lovers' hot dog - a 1/4 lb hot dog, wrapped in bacon and fried, then covered in chili and buried under pepper jack cheese, then all topped with spicy fried salami pieces. I broke my 20 year hotdog ban to eat one of these babies!


One of many places to sit!!!!!!


A mini diamond for the kiddies to play. There was also a playground piece with slides and climbing areas, a bounce house. Everything was free :)



My brother took pictures of me pigging out on hot dog. Why? (I'm laughing in this picture)


The Reds have 4 mascots. The missing one is Grapper (?) a furry red monster.


Tigers peanut gallery. The third one from the left is Ricky. Ricky!!!!!!


Sunday night view 


Saturday promotion was a grill set. I thought about regifting it to someone since I don't have a grill, but it's pretty nice. I'll use it with my George Foreman :P Here's the ball that AJ tossed my way. I now have 4 balls from stadiums - 1 was left under a seat that had been vacated for a good hour, one was caught by my friend during batting practice in Cleveland, the other 2 I caught myself during batting practice in Cincinnati and St. Louis :D

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