Showing posts with label Other Baseball Sightseeing. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Other Baseball Sightseeing. Show all posts

Friday, February 25, 2011

LEGO Swinging Friar Mascot at Legoland California

Yesterday at Legoland California we noticed that they have a cool Swinging Friar (San Diego Padres mascot) made out of LEGOs outside of the Upper Deck Sports Cafe. There is of course some baseball themed stuff inside the Sports Cafe, too, but the Swinging Friar statue is by far the coolest part. Especially, since I have become more of a Padre fan than a Dbacks fan (of course, Nats are still my fav) with the Padres AAA team playing at least the 2011 season in Tucson before moving to their new permanent ballpark in California.

Friday, August 27, 2010

Other Baseball Sightseeing: Jack Brickhouse Statue in Front of Tribune Tower, Chicago

This Jack Brickhouse statue is located outside of the Tribune Tower on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. Jack Brickhouse was a WGN-TV play by play announcer for the Chicago Cubs from 1948 to 1981. He also called the White Sox games before 1968 when the team stopped being on WGN until more recent times. He also called some World Series games for NBC in 1950, 1954, and 1959 (White Sox were in this one). He was the one that said Hey Hey, which is now on the foul poles at Wrigley Field.

The statue has a bust of Jack Brickhouse. The front of the pedestal it is on has some images of ballparks he broadcasted from including Wrigley Field and Comiskey Park. The other two stadiums on it are Chicago Stadium, where the Bulls used to play, and Soldier Field, where the Bears play, to symbolize he also called the basketball and football games during his career.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

St. Louis Cardinals Arch Statue

Across from the parking lot with a small baseball field that is in front of Busch Stadium there is an arch statue decorated with a St. Louis Cardinals theme. I saw it when in St. Louis earlier this month. I think it was outside of the Starbucks.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

Day 67: Sand Ballpark

You know you think too much about baseball when you decide that you should make a sand ballpark. By the way it would be me that thinks too much about baseball and came up with the idea that to make a sand ballpark while at the beach today. I was going to make it all on my own, but as soon as I mentioned my idea Dad got involved with his way better sand building skills and make the sand part of the ballpark while I came up with the ideas and collected the shells. Mik stayed on his own and built a sand mountain and when he got tired of Dad washed him off and he sat in my beach chair where he mischievously filled my sandals with sand and literally turned them into SANDals. I did not mind, though, as at least it kept him entertained and not complaining about wanting to leave while we finished the sand ballpark.

The end result of an hour or so of ballpark building with sand and shells can be seem above. Dad named our ballpark Curly W Stadium. Personally I just call it Sand Ballpark. By the way I am not sure if he was think Curly W for the Nats only or it also had to do with W being the initial of our last name. It is not perfect, but it turned out really cool if you ask me. Below are photos of some of the interesting features of our ballpark.

The above photo shows the curly shell I found to be the ballpark's flag. The flag was placed on top of the part behind home plate. Now that I think about maybe that is part of what Dad was thinking with the Curly W name. I am sure he will comment soon and clear it up about why he named it Curly W Stadium.

The shade for the upper sections of Sand Ballpark was created with large pieces of shells.

I came up with the idea of using some of the sand dollars we found to make the batter's eye background. Dad placed them standing up in the bleacher section in line with home plate.

The infield features small white shells at first, second, and third base, a larger white shell for the pitcher's mound, and a reddish brown shell as home plate.

I placed little shells all around the stadium to mark the first row of seating. The rest of the rows are finger line marks Dad made in the sand stands.

Out behind the outfield I placed my Dr. Pepper bottle. Several Major League ballparks have giant Coca Cola bottles, so it seemed like a cool idea to have a giant bottle scale size for our ballpark. Do not worry I did not litter, as I only put it there for the photo and then threw it away in the trashcan on the way back to the car. Crazy thinker that Dad is thought I was going to leave it when I was adding it to the ballpark at the end.

Lastly, the coolest feature and most important feature of our ballpark. The number 42 recognized as retired. For those that do not know 42 was Jackie Robinson's number and it is retired throughout Major League Baseball, so pretty much all of the stadiums clearly have a number 42 marker somewhere. Our 42 is etched onto one of the sand dollars we found. It is also the one piece of our ballpark I kept to take home as a reminder of the ballpark we created while visiting the 30 Major League Ballparks this summer.

Sunday, July 5, 2009

Day 47: McCoy Stadium

Visiting McCoy Stadium was not originally on our plan, but yesterday someone tipped us off to it being where the longest baseball game in history was played. Thus it seemed liked a fitting place to stop and get a photo of the banner commemorating that game. Plus it was very on the way from Boston to New Jersey, as McCoy Stadium is located just a little off of the Interstate in Pawtucket, Rhode Island.

McCoy Stadium is the home of the Pawtucket Red Sox, who are the Boston Red Sox's Triple-A Minor League Team. The longest game in baseball history started here on April 18, 1981 with the Rochester Red Wings as the visitors. Play went until the President of the International League postponed the game at 4:07am on April 19 when the game was in the 32nd inning. The game was picked up and finished on June 23, 1981 (interesting that both stops today had a connection to one of our birthdays, as this one is related to Mik's birthday). The game ended with the Pawtucket Red Sox winning 3-2 in the bottom of the 33rd inning. Future Hall-of-Famers that played in that game were Cal Ripken, Jr. for the Red Wings and Wade Boggs for the Red Sox.

Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Day 35: West Field

Before going to the Pittsburgh Pirates game on June 23, 2009, we did some driving around the area to locate some of the old professional ballparks. One of them is West Field. It is located in Munhall, Pennsylvania, off of West St between 19th Avenue and Orchard Street. It is not exactly obvious to find since it is back behind buildings and street signs are rather pathetic in the Pittsburgh area as we discovered a lot. The best way to spot it is to be looking up and find it by seeing the stadium lights.

West Field was used by the Homestead Grays, a Negro Leagues team. Great players such as Cool Papa Bell and Josh Gibson were among those that once played at West Field. I am not exactly sure the years it was used, but I think somewhere from the 1930s to 1940s. I think it was mostly used for weekday games, as I know they also played at Forbes Field, which I will post more on in its own post later.

Seeing West Field reminded me of going to Ancient Greek and Roman ruins in Turkey. The stadium is pretty much all still there, but it has been very neglected over the decades. The stands are still in decent condition, although a few areas are fixed up with wooden boards and many of the hand rails in the aisles are rusted to the point that pieces are missing from some. You can walk up a ramp to the concourse on top of the stands or walk up the steps from the bottom aisle. The field itself is in very sorry shape and the infield is converted to a sad dirt softball field. The dugouts are in okay condition and you can sit in them, but there is some grafitti in them. You can also walk down the tunnels under the stands until you get to a locked door that I assume leads to at least what used to be locker rooms.

Overall this was an interesting old ballpark to visit even though it was not actually a former MLB ballpark. It has just as much historical significance and perhaps even more than some of the actual former MLB parks since some of the greatest players of that era, such as Josh Gibson, never lived to be able to play in the MLB after the color barrier was broken. It is kind of sad to see it in such a sorry state, but at least it has not been demolished and replaced with some sort of building. Also, nice is that it remains a public park and you can actually walk on the field unlike League Park in Cleveland, where the infield was all fenced off. Lastly, at least West Field is in way better shape than that park.

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Car Stickers Update: Field of Dreams

We finally have a non-MLB ballpark sticker on the car. We had been hoping to have a sticker on there by now from Disneyland or the National Park, but the Field of Dreams was the first place we found one to put on the back of the car. It is a blue bumper sticker style one with the words Field of Dreams Dyersville, Iowa.

Kj's Baseball Collection: Field of Dreams Signed by Owner

They had the Field of Dreams souvenir baseballs as is or for a few dollars more signed by Don Lansing, who owns the land the Field of Dreams movie set is located. I chose the slightly more expensive version because it is kind of cool that it is signed. It is an actual signature, too, and not those fake ones you get on the souvenir balls at many of the ballparks that have the year's roster supposedly signing it.

Mik's Mini Bat Collection: Field of Dreams

At the Field of Dreams they had a black or natural color as the choices for the mini bats. Mik refused to get out of the car, but he did eagerly make the choice between the two options when I asked him. He went with the natural one, which he tends to lean towards often. The mini bat has a pretty simple design that says Field of Dreams Dyersville, Iowa in black lettering.

Day 22: Field of Dreams

Today on the way to Denver we took about an hour and a half detour to go by the Field of Dreams in Dyersville, Iowa. It was not a long stop, but it is was worth it. Mik has been in full pill mode again and has been complaining about stopping here ever since we rescheduled it from Sunday to today. We just let him stay in the car since it was not worth his complaining to make him see it.

The field is not much, but it is kept like the movie and the house in the movie can be seen from the outside. The only real difference was the corn was currently not high due to the time of year. Mik actually noticed this from the car and thought they no longer grew corn and that ruined the whole thing, but the corn is there just not high yet. They also had a good gift shop where we were able to get a mini bat, a souvenir baseball, a postcard, and a sticker for the back of the car.

Overall a short stop, but it was worth going out of our way and finding a way to put it back in the plan. However, I think it might not have been as good if we went more out of the way to see it from St. Louis to Chicago than the way we ended up doing it.