Sunday, July 11, 2004

Phillies Lose, I Win

How often does a wonderful day that you’ve planned really work out the way you dreamt? Today did. My long awaited trip to Citizens Bank Park was just wonderful from start to finish.

Like any true Philadelphian, we took the subway from Center City down to the stadium. The directions are clearly marked (see below)

The Phillies new stadium is built by the parking lot of the old stadium, The Vet. It actually is in a spot we used to call Al’s Diner because an old diner used to sit there and we’d park for free on either side. Long story.

As you approach, you can see in the distance that the park is something special. I just felt myself smiling remembering the first game I went to at Connie Mack Stadium 45 years ago. I told my wife that I should wear a patch that says, “45 years of Phillies baseball.” Standing outside the park. I had my wife take a picture of me holding a photo of my father (see below). He would have loved the game and the park as it is a blend of the best of the old stadium and a lot of great new touches. I made the snotty remark that it was way too cool to be in Philadelphia. It’s much nice than Petco Park in San Diego and is as nice as SBC, but who could compare the views of the Bay to those of downtown Philadelphia. I guess you can interpret that anyway you like.

The game was well played although the Phillies lost. Jim Thome, who was announced with thunderous applause, left lots of men on base especially coming up in the ninth inning representing the winning run. John Smoltz, the third best reliever in baseball (after Mariano Rivera and Eric Gagne) made fast work of Thome and Pat Burrell.

My wife loved it all although it was very hot and humid. Imagine that coming from a Scottsdale resident. It’s why the Diamondbacks play indoors. She was surprised at how much she enjoyed the Phillie Phanatic (the best mascot currently in all sports) and especially laughed when the game ended and someone yelled out, “You suck Phillies.” Heck, I knew that 45 years ago.

The subway ride back to Center City was a breeze. We scouted out the Mitchell & Ness store, which we’ll visit in the morning before picking up our rental and heading down the shore. We’re off to a great start and have more than a week left. I marvel over the fact that after 20-plus years my wife and I just love each other’s company and float through vacation days together like we’re on our own private red carpet. How lucky can one man get?

Decisions, Decisions

Today's pitching matchup is Russ Ortiz vs. Randy Wolf of the Phillies. I was a long-time Ortiz fan when he was with the Giants and saw some of his best games. Difficult to root against him... but I will.

ESPN.com - Philadelphia Phillies - Clubhouse

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