Showing posts with label Cincinnati Reds. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Cincinnati Reds. Show all posts

Saturday, April 9, 2011

Arizona Diamonbacks Opening Day 2011: Dbacks beat Reds 13 to 2

Yesterday we went to the Dbacks home opener. Mik was happy to get the lanyard giveaway to replace his red one from last year that is getting kind of dirty looking since he has used it for a year for his school ID.

Chase Field has not changed much, but there is some minor changes. For one, there is a All Star Game signage and merchandise, since the game is at Chase Field this season. Secondly, some of the food vendors have changed. Some might think it is good and to some extent it might be for those that need Gluten-Free stuff (there is now a place just for that), but the pizza is a major downgrade. Forever it has been Peter Piper Pizza (Arizona based chain) and now it is some stupid New York style pizza place. Now I do not know what kind of pizza Peter Piper would be classified as and it is not spectacular, but it is better than the new stuff, which I do not even think is actually New York style pizza.

This year we sat in section 138. The first time we went to opening day we say just two sections over in 140 and boy what a difference that makes. 138 just stinks handicap section wise. If you are lower in the section it would be fine, but at the top you cannot see the scoreboard except a bit of the corner due to the overhang. It even seems worse when the section to the left is obstructed at the top and gets TVs to compensate for no scorebord view. I do not get why 138 and probably 137 does not also get that. 138 also has the foul pole, but I did not mind that. At least you can see the Circle K strikeout meter, though.

I do not know if the problem is 138 area or the sound system being louder this year, but Mik was almost in tears covering his ears and ready to scream when we first got there and the sound system was playing stuff constantly. He has never acted like that at any ballpark before due to sound, especially not one we go to pretty much just because he is the Dbacks fan. It was still loud during the game, but it was not constant sound due to it being quiet during play.

We ended up leaving at the 7th inning stretch because Mik fell asleep and we wanted to get out of the parking garage before they closed if for the post-game fireworks. We missed the big scoring, but heard and saw the fireworks for the homers.

Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Game 23: Cincinnati Reds 2 @ Philadelphia Phillies 3

After pathetic Mets game and the dismal experience at Citi Field last night it did not take much to make tonight more enjoyable, so of course the experience at Citizens Bank Park was a million times better than last night. It is not quite the best ballpark, as Wrigley and Fenway are definitely above it, but it is among the best of the modern ballparks about on level of Jacob’s Field and Yankee Stadium. It might seem better just because of yesterday’s experience and otherwise I might see it as a middle of the road ballpark with little bad and a good amount of positives. However, I really think it is a great ballpark even if the Phillies are currently leading the division the Nats are in. It is not like the Nats are in contention for anything as they pretty much have last place in the bag for the whole Majors, so I have no bad feelings toward the Phillies in that respect and even rooted for them to beat the Reds tonight.

We got to the ballpark around 4:15pm and barely got into the Team Shop before they closed until one and a half hours before the game. It was so much better to get that out of the way first thing again compared to the crowded late opening store at Citi Field last night. After the shop we headed back to the parking lot. No I am not mentioning that to simply inform you that we put the souvenirs in the car. The real reason to go back to the parking lot was to go to the far end and find the statues marking the old Phillies park, Veterans Stadium (I think the NFL Philadelphia Eagles also played here), and the markers for the bases, pitching mound, and home plate. More to come on that in a separate post eventually, though.

After exploring the parking lot and Dad totally annoying Mik by trying to run the bases with him, we headed to the Ashburn Alley entrance to the park, which opened two and a half hours before the game. Only the outfield Ashburn Alley area is open until about an hour and a half before the game, but at least here you enter an area with plenty to do and everything open. Here we saw the timeline history of the Phillies the Phillies Wall of Fame. There is plenty of food options here and really the best place in the park for food, but we were not that hungry and just got some fries to share, drinks and found a place to sit until the rest of the park opened.

Once the park opened we just headed to our seats. Not sure if there is anything worth seeing beyond the stuff in Ashburn Alley, but I am pretty sure it is just shops and food places beyond Ashburn Alley. Our seats turned out to be good and the accessibility was great as expected from a modern ballpark other than Toronto, which proved to be a poor accessible modern ballpark.

The game was a great one, especially in comparison to last night. It started with some great pitching with only 3 total hits allowed by the two starting pitchers in the first three innings. Then the 4th was a hitting inning with the Reds scoring 2 runs and the Phillies scoring 1. The Phillies tied it up with a homer in the bottom of the 6th. Both teams then remained scoreless until the bottom of the 9th when the Phillies scored a walk off run. The run was scored with a single to the outfield with two outs and a man on second (the winning run that ended up scoring) and a man on first. By the way the winning run was an RBI by Victorino, who is one of the five finalists for the last position on the National League All Star team. I would not be surprised if fans vote him in, as the Phillies were really promoting voting for him and they have a large fan base having sold out a lot this season and coming off being World Series Champions last year. Of course, I want the last player to by the Nats player, Christian Guzman.

Overall tonight was a great baseball game experience and something we really needed after last night. I am so glad we did not have to go more than one day between seeing the Mets and another ballpark, as it is nice to get a good ballpark back to being fresh in my mind. Of course, it helped that Mik was well behaved once he got done with his fit in the parking lot and the game began. With it tied in the 9th, though, he was getting ready to throw a fit if the game went into extra innings, so thank goodness it did not and the Phillies still won in an exciting way (some may say nail bitter way).

Wednesday, July 1, 2009

Car Sticker Update: Cincinnati Reds

Despite looking three different times when we were in the Cincinnati area we never could locate a Reds sticker there. In Cooperstown we went through several shops before I finally found on that had a Reds sticker. It is a baseball logo one like we have seen at a lot of other team shops including the Angels, where we got one like it. Now the National League side of the car is up-to-date with all the teams we have seen.

Friday, June 19, 2009

Car Sticker Update: Cincinnati Reds

I have no photo update for the National League side of the car after the Reds game because it has not changed since the Rockies game. We looked at the Team Shop and the stands inside the park, but we were unable to find a Reds sticker for the car. Now both sides of the car are missing a sticker. At least the White Sox one we might fix because we are in Chicago today, but the Reds one will probably just continue to be missing.

Accessibility Review: Great American Ballpark

Being one of the newer ballparks Great American Ballpark is accessible appearance wise, but not very conveniently so. It is much like the annoyance of Petco Park. If you do not know the place well, you can easily go annoying extra long ways to your seat. Parking was not easy or obvious either.

Our first annoyance came with parking, as we got there and Dad did not know where to park. I think there is actually parking right next to the park under the Arena, but we did not know about that and no signs made that obvious from the way we got to the ballpark. The first downtown area parking garage we drove into was this really odd one that double parked the cars and said they do not have handicap spots because they are a private parking lot, while at the same time they have a big sign that says public parking. Anyways the next one we came to did have spots, but actually they barely did, as we got the last one.

Getting inside the park turned out really easy, as we came through the gift shop after the Reds Hall of Fame. This entrance into the park from the back of the Team Shop has no turnstile to go around, so way easier than any other entrance. However, getting through the shop is not worth it if we had not been souvenir shopping because as usual the shop was hard to navigate the wheelchair through.

Our seats were in the Kroger bleachers in left center field and we entered the park on the third base line near the outfield. We saw a map and it made it seem like you can just walk around the back of the outfield and easily get to the elevator to go up to the Kroger bleachers. Well, we get to the outfield and encounter stairs. The usher we asked gives us awfully vague directions to go way to the edge of the outer concourse (i.e. back to the street almost) and then there was a ramp way to go around the back of the outfield. It was not too hard to locate and do, but was annoying to assume the whole concourse was the same level as the mapped seemed to show and arrive and have to go quite a ways out of the way just to get down and around. If they map had made that clear going the other way around the park would actually have been the faster route. Since we had spent so much time in the Hall of Fame we really were looking for the fastest route as we did not have as much time to spare to get to our seats as we usually do.

At least there was an accessible route that way and we did soon find the elevator. We did encounter the elevator being full when it got to the level we were on and no one in it was disabled. Two employees were on it and noticed Mik in the wheelchair and got off to take the stairs so we could get on. It was still very squished, but at least the employees did care about wheelchairs getting priority on the elevators, which was more than the usher on the elevator cared about, as that person was ready to close the doors and leave us waiting for the next load. At least it was only because the elevator had been loaded at a previous level and not because people not needing it were trying to load in front of us.

The seats in the Kroger bleachers were pretty good. The scoreboard is up behind you, but the way it is lit makes it still very easy to read if you just look over your shoulder. The view of the rest of the park is also pretty good. Only a little of the warning track is blocked. Also, the fireworks stacks are mostly blocked, but you can at least still see the tops were the fireworks go off from for homers and Reds wins and smoke comes out of with every Reds pitcher strikeout. The bar in front of the handicap seats is a little high, but the top bar does angle towards the seats, which makes it a little easier to see over without having to lean forward much.

Kj's Baseball Collection: Great American Ballpark

At the Reds game I got a souvenir baseball with a Great American Ballpark image. It is just a simple image of the field, but the logo part is pretty interesting. The other strip is red and has a Reds logo on one side and says Cincinnati Reds on the other.

Thursday, June 18, 2009

Mik's Food Scrapbook: Great American Ballpark

Instead of having a regular hot dog, Mik had the Skyline chili dog at the Reds game. The dog has chili, mustard, and cheese on it. You can also have it with onions, but Dad asked for it without the onions. He did not realize they put mustard on it and would have asked for without if he had known. Mik still ate it all and really enjoyed it, but he does think it would be better without the mustard because he did not like having the mustard on the cheese.

With the rain delay Mik got hungry again later and had a Pretzilla, which I had tried earlier and he thought was really good. The pretzilla is the best pretzel we have had on the trip. It is a good size and has nice fluffy dough. It is basically made with pizza dough. Best of all is it has salt, but it is not too much salt.

Baseball Museum 6: Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame

The Cincinnati Reds Hall of Fame is located next to the Great American Ballpark. I knew it was there and planned to see it, but I did not realize that it was not exactly part of going to the ballpark. I assumed it was one of the things you could walk through and see before the game started. Instead it is its own separate admission price thing. We paid the $10 per person ($8 for Mik at student price) to do it still. It is not too bad of a deal, as it is a pass for unlimited visits in 2009.

The first floor of the Hall of Fame at least currently has an exhibit on Crosley Field. Mik found this interesting since he did not even see the Crosley Field replica, which Dad and I went to earlier in the day we went to the Reds game and the Hall of Fame. In particular Mik was fascinated by the Pete Rose jersey, as it looked like a basketball jersey. It was one of the style jerseys meant to be over long sleeves and without the long sleeves it really does look a lot like a basketball jerseys. The exhibit also included some interesting things left over from Crosley Field including glass pieces from the field’s backstop.

Along the wall by the staircase they have thousands of balls in a display to represent Pete Rose breaking the all time career hit record. By the way there is a white rose bush in the landscaping right outside this part of the Hall of Fame.

The second level of the museum currently has a small exhibit about the Negro Leagues. This was not all that interesting to us because it was mostly similar to what we had recently seen at the Negro Leagues Museum in Kansas City. Mik did enjoy the Clowns playing.

On the second level there is also an interactive area about different aspects of the game. It includes videos with tips for different positions. Mik liked the one with pitching tips, as that is the position he likes to play in his video game. There are also things like catching a ball against the outfield wall and throwing a pitch. There is an even interactive part to be a sports announcer.

The exhibit ends with a small Hall of Fame room with plaques of the Reds Hall of Fame players. Right before this Hall of Fame room there is an interesting room with a timeline of the Reds history. It includes a life size sculpture of the 8 players nicknamed the Big Red Machine.

Overall the Reds Hall of Fame was worth seeing. However, we did feel a little rushed because we only got to the ballpark 2 hours before game time and we easily spent an hour here and could have spent longer if we had had time. It is open way before game time (10am most days, I think) and we could have come earlier, but as I said before I thought it was part of the game ticket ballpark experience and I thought it was open at the same times as the gates for the game.

Day 28: Blue Ash Sports Complex Replica Stadiums

Back on June 16, 2009, before the Cincinnati Reds game Dad and I went out to the Blue Ash Sports Complex in Blue Ash, Ohio, to see the replica baseball fields they have there. Since we were not going straight to the game from there we let Mik stay at Grandpa’s while we went to the Blue Ash Sports Complex. While dragging him to experience all the current MLB ballparks is a must, we have been lenient with him not having to truly experience the extras such as him staying in the car at the Field of Dreams.

The main field to see at Blue Ash Sports Complex is the Crosley Field replica. Crosley Field is where the Cincinnati Reds used to play from 1911 through 1970. The replica in Blue Ash recreates Crosley Field’s original dimensions for the outfield. It also includes a replica of the outfield wall and scoreboard. Most of the original Crosley Field has been destroyed, but one of the original ticket booths is here and I believe the scoreboard and/or the clock on the scoreboard might be original. I think some of the seats are from the original Crosley Field as well. Lastly, if you look inside the window of the ticket booth you can see the original outfield wall sign for the 366 foot part of the wall.

Of course, visiting Blue Ash Sports Complex is not exactly the same as the original Crosley Field, however, it is way better than just the home plate plaques that honor many demolished ballparks. It also serves as a great ball field for youth baseball games. It really gives the feel of what the field was like, except for all the seating and concourse.

Along the back of the bleachers on the 3rd base line there are plaques representing different former Reds players that have played in the Reunion games at the Crosley Field replica park. This includes Ken Griffey, Tug McGraw, and Pete Rose.

At the Blue Ash Sports Complex there is also a field that has the dimensions of the Reds’ Riverfront Stadium, which they used after Crosley Field and before their current ballpark (Great American Ballpark). The Riverfront one is not anywhere near as interesting as the Crosley Field replica, but it is kind of cool that they have recreated its dimensions as well.