Monday, June 18, 2012

Cashman Stadium: Las Vegas 51s

Cashman Stadium
Dad and I went to a game at Cashman Stadium since we were in Las Vegas for a bowling tournament and the Las Vegas 51s were in town on June 16, 2012.  Now that we are all up-to-date and will be for at least the foreseeable future on MLB ballparks we are going to start trying to hit Triple-A ballparks.  Not really going to try to hit them all anytime soon, but we are going to try to work them in when we can, which really means when we are traveling without Mik, since he is done with any baseball besides his Dbacks for now.

Cashman Stadium

Cashman Stadium is an interesting one with it being quite multipurpose like a lot of stuff in Vegas.  They have a theater and a conference center on one side of it, so it was kind of odd to park on the theater side of the ballpark and it not even looking like you are at a ballpark.
Cashman Stadium

We opted for the cheapest seats, which is called the reserved section, but is basically bleacher seating on the baselines.  It was hot (not much different than a Tucson Padres game, though) and the plaza seating for a few bucks more looks tempting with its shade and misters.  However, it is all behind the home plate netting, which I hate, so kind of a toss up if it would have really been better, except that it would have been because the reserved bleacher seating was extremely uncomfortable and usually I like bleacher seats.
Cashman Stadium

Overall Cashman Stadium was kind of a bore.  Yeah, I do not expect much from a Triple-A park, but there was not much to like, especially with the game being mostly a lot of walks, hit-by-pitch, and just dumb luck that anyone was scoring.  The food selection was also pretty disappointing, as it was mostly hot dogs, although they had quite a few different preparation styles.  The garlic fries sounded good, but ended up very oily and not really garlicy.  However, they did have Ben & Jerry's and Dippin' Dots, which is nice for hot games.  If your into alcohol at a ballgame, though, they do have a full bar.  Better yet, they totally do cutoff people they think are getting drunk, although that led to the guy next to us being a totally jerk for an inning before he finally decided to just leave.  I guess the only really interesting thing about the ballpark is that they sell inflatable aliens.

Cashman Stadium

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Mik's Mini Ballplayer Collection: Jose Reyes

Jose Reyes FigureLast week at the Dbacks game I got Mik a LEGO style mini figurine of Ian Kennedy because I thought it would be fun for his miniature collection.  Well, apparently this is a new thing for more than just the Dbacks, as at the Marlins game I spotted some Marlins ones and he ended up getting a Jose Reyes one.  They sure are expensive at $14.99 a piece, but since we are not actually going to any more ballparks this year I let him start a Mini Ballplayer Collection that he can slowly build over the years if they keep making more series of them or he can just end up with the two being cool additions to his overall miniature collection (mainly mini bats and miniature landmarks of the world).

Monday, June 4, 2012

Accessibility Review: Marlin's Park

Marlins ParkAfter seeing the Nationals lose to the Marlins at Marlins park on Monday, May 28, 2012, we can again say that we have seen a complete game at every current MLB ballpark.  This time we should stay current for quite a while as even if Oakland ever does get their new stadium it is probably 5 years away.

I have pretty mixed feelings about the whole Marlins experience.  The first thing that really annoyed me is their website info before tickets were released for the season gave a number to call for wheelchair seats and when Dad called on the day tickets went on sale they said go buy them online.  Yes, in fact I was able to end up buying them online, but I was not pleased with ending up with crappy printed tickets and still having to pay for that as a delivery option on top of the fact they charge a convenience fee per ticket (it sure is not convenient when online was the second way we tried to buy the darn tickets!).

We did have success turning them in for real tickets at no charge for my ticket collection at the box office today, but I am further annoyed at them referring us online and wasting our time when we first called for tickets because the A to Z guide at the game says to call the number for the tickets.  That just makes it totally confusing, so I do not know if they decided online does not work or if they are back to selling the handicap sections over the phone along with the online option.

The Marlins parking also ended up annoying me.  I pre-purchased the parking pass with the tickets.  I am overall glad I did, as most of the garages had signs saying parking only for prepaid passes.  No parking was open when we ended up there at 9:30 a.m. because the last hours of driving to Miami took less time than expected.  Not being open at 9:30 a.m. for 11:40 a.m. gate opening is not an issue, but what is an issue is by the time we had driven around the ballpark all the parking garages were opened except the Home Plate one where we had our pass for.  We waited about 15 minutes before deciding to just go waste an hour at a nearby Target.  It ended up being a better option, as we still got to the park 15 minutes before gates opened, but it was frustrating that nothing says when the garages open and the different garages have at least a 20 minute difference in opening time.

Marlins Park
There was one good thing about the parking, though.  We already had the handicap tag up when we pulled up to the the first traffic director and they noticed the tag and directed us to the far left lane and notified the person up ahead to direct us to the handicap parking area.  It was nice that they were observant and we did not have to ask where handicap parking like Dad usually does.  The parking is also quite roomy, which is good for speed demon Mik as seen in the photo.

Getting into the park was also somewhat confusing, but not too bad.  We ended up going in the 3rd Base Gate, which clearly said elevator access.  When we got to elevator and he saw we were sitting in the upper level, he said we could have gone in at the home plate suite entrance since the 3rd base elevator only goes to main concourse and we had to walk to get home plate one up to the upper area. I had noticed the handicap entrance sign by the suite entrance, but it made it seem like that was handicap entrance for the suites only.  Actually, it is for suite access along with those needing the elevators, as the elevators are right inside.

Marlins Park Not a big deal to end up on the main concourse and then go up again at the other elevator, though, as the main concourse is worth checking out at least for the bobblehead museum, which is not far from the home plate elevators.  Also, the entrance near 3rd base is kind of interesting with the Marlins letters in a buried sand style along the path.  The other nice thing about the elevators is that they are all controlled access to, so they not only direct people to the nearby escalators to reduce the amount using them, but also they manage what levels they are called to help more efficiently keep it flowing.
Marlins Park

Overall once we were in the park, Marlins park was good.  The staff was very helpful in directing, except when we actually got to our section.  Just like at the old ballpark there was no one there to help figure out where to sit, which is kind of annoying because the wheelchair section just has a bunch of folding chairs and no numbers anywhere to designate where your seats are.  Sure, you can count the seats and try to figure it out, but it is confusing with some seats ending up being pushed aside for wheelchairs and not actually being removed.  It worked out fine, but it could easily be confusion and moving around as the section did end up filling up and it seemed just luck that no one ended up needing to rearrange despite figuring out later that we totally counted wrong for our actual seat numbers.

Marlins Park
We sat in section 309.  The view of the whole field was good.  At first Mik was like I cannot see first base, but he was at least foot from the bar.  I told him he was being silly and if he just pulled up so he actually could reach the cup holder (first thing he looks for anyways) he would also see the whole field.  Overall the section was great, but Mik did get lost when he zoomed ahead of Dad on the way back from the bathroom (found companion one right by home plate elevator on our level).  It is a little odd that the access to the handicap row and the lower rows of the section are kind of hidden behind the stairs to the upper rows, but what really happened was a guy was standing in the way and a concession stand is right there, so he missed noticing it the first time he went past.