Showing posts with label Philadelphia Phillies. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Philadelphia Phillies. Show all posts

Monday, July 13, 2009

Car Sticker Update: Philadelphia Phillies

At the Phillies Team Shop we got a set of stickers. We could have put a sticker of just the Philies logo on to the National League side of the car, but instead we decided to go with the special one. The special one honors the Phillies being the World Series Champions last season. It is a ball and bat design that says Phillies World Series Champions in the middle. Below the ball is a little Phillies Liberty Bell logo.

Accessibility Review: Citizens Bank Park

Plenty of official parking lots at Citizens Bank Park are located around the park. We found a spot right across the street they close for pedestrian traffic. They seem to have a good amount of handicap parking here and it seemed that even after though the game was sold out not that many arriving by car arrived early to the game.

When the park first opened they only had Ashburn Alley open behind the outfield. Here they have an area with a time line history of Philadelphia baseball history and the Phillies Wall of Fame. This area has steps down to it with a ramp next to the steps. The ramp works for the most part, but it would have been better if they had flipped the set up of the steps and ramp or just made it all ramped. The issue is that to see the timeline up close you have to go by each chunk and then turn around to get to the ramp to the next chunk. It was not really an issue since it was not crowded when we were there, but it is potentially an annoyance if this area is crowded, which really does not take much since the path is not that big here.

In Ashburn Alley before the rest of the park opened we got some fries and sat in the picnic area by the barbeque place. Mik was not really able to get up to the table due to them being circular picnic tables without enough room between the bench parts for Mik’s wheelchair to scoot up to the table. It was not a problem for Mik at the time, as he was not trying to eat anything, but it certainly would not have worked if he had wanted to eat at the table and not on his lap at that time.

Once the rest of the park opened we headed to find our seats in section 207. It was not easy to find the elevator up to the seats, but we were finally shown by a staff member where the elevator to the club level was located. It is kind of hidden and no signs point to it, which is actually a good thing because it keeps people that do not need it from hogging it. At the end of the game there was a little bit of a wait because up top it is easier to find, but the usher outside the elevator made sure we got on first as soon as he noticed us waiting.

Our seats in section 207 were good seats. The view of the field and scoreboard was unobstructed and even the bar in front did not really get in the way. There were also cup holders at a decent height for Mik, however, there was only one for every few spaces and between the three of us there was only the one for Mik and Dad and I had to put our drinks on the ground. It is one thing if the seats in front do not have cup holders, but when they all do it is an unfairness that annoys Mik that not every spot in the handicap row has a cup holder.

Overall the accessibility experience at Citizens Bank Park was great. It lives up to the expectations of it being accessible since it is a newer ballpark. The only issues are the somewhat poor design of the Philadelphia baseball timeline area and the cup holders and both are rather minor inconveniences, especially the cup holder situation, although to Mik that is an important aspect of accessibility.

Kj’s Baseball Collection: Citizens Bank Park

At the Phillies Team Shop I was able to get a ballpark baseball for Citizens Bank Park. The ball has one strip with a brick background. On this strip there is a logo that says Home of the Phillies Citizens Bank Park Est. 2004. On the other side of the strip is a red Phillies P logo. The other strip has a view of the infield including the World Series 2008 logo.

Mik’s Mini Bat Collection: Red Phillies

At the Phillies Game Mik choose a red mini bat. The mini bat says Phillies in dark blue. It also has the Liberty Bell logo in dark blue on it.

Day 50: Veterans Stadium

Veterans Stadium is where the Philadelphia Phillies played before moving into their current ballpark, Citizens Bank Park, in 2004. The stadium was used by the Phillies since it was opened and until the end of the 2003. The stadium was demolished and turned into a parking lot for the Phillies new ballpark next door before the 2004 season began. The Philadelphia Eagles also used the Stadium from 1971 to 2002.

Outside the parking lot we first found the obvious statues of baseball players and the Veterans Memorial. The statue of the baseball players is bigger than life and has plaques commemorating the history of Veterans Stadium as it is related to baseball. There is also a football one that commemorates the history of football played there. The Veterans Memorial not only commemorates the former site of the stadium, but also is a memorial to veterans, as the stadium was.

In the parking lot we found the markers for home plate, the bases, and the pitching mound. The markers are granite and have a plaque in the middle with a ballpark image that says Phillies and Philadelphia Veterans Stadium 1971-2003. The bases say which base they are, so they do not all look exactly the same. There are also goal posts markers in the parking lot somewhere to honor it having been a football stadium, but we did not find them or even care to try to locate those.

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Baseball Museum 12: Play Ball A History of Baseball in Philadelphia at the Betsy Ross House

Most of the places we visited in Philadelphia other than the Phillies game was left to Mik to decide to do or not. There was one thing I learned about after we got there, though, that I forced him to let me do anyways because it was baseball related. This was the Play Ball: A History of Baseball in Philadelphia at the Betsy Ross House. By the way I only have photos of the outside of the Betsy Ross house, since no photography was allowed in the exhibit.

The Play Ball: A History of Baseball in Philadelphia is not very big and is housed in a small room at the back of the gift shop. There is a small admission if you want to go into the Betsy Ross House, but I was able to go to just the baseball exhibit for free. This area is also the only accessible part of this attraction, so Mik could have seen it even though the actual Betsy Ross House is not an accessible place. Mik did not want to, though, so Dad just stayed with him in the car while I quickly saw this small exhibit.

The exhibit tells the history of baseball in Philadelphia, which is kind of similar to what we later saw in the Ashburn Alley area of Citizens Bank Park. This is actually more simplistic of a timeline than at the park, but there are actual items to see here. The items on display include seats from Shibe Park, seats from Veterans Stadium (you can actually sit on these), 1929 World Series tickets, brick from Shibe/Connie Mack Stadium, Philadelphia Athletics jerseys, old Phillies jerseys, 1950 World Series tickets, and 2008 Philles World Series Champions stuff including tickets, champagne bottle, and base.

I enjoyed going to this small exhibit. It is way better than just seeing the timeline at the park since it has actually artifacts to see first hand. The Betsy Ross House was a somewhat crowded attraction, but everyone that came in while I was looking at the baseball exhibit skipped it and went straight into the house. They might have come to see early American history and baseball history does not quite go that far back, but this exhibit is worth stopping at as it does have early Philadelphia baseball history.

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).

Saturday, June 27, 2009

Game 19: Philadelphia Phillies 10 @ Toronto Blue Jays 0

I really thought the Dodger Stadium would continue to stand out as the worst ballpark other than perhaps one of the New York ones, which we go into with bad taste due to the ticketing experience. However, I was totally disgusted with the handicap seating situation at Rogers Centre. Now it is not exactly a horrible ballpark and it is not the worst if you are part of the general public going to the game, but boy are they the worst by far when it comes to accessible seating to the point it is hard to believe this is among the modern generation of ballparks. Maybe, it is just the culture of Canada, but I doubt that is it because the campground has better accessible facilities than most we have stayed at in the United States and the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame yesterday was even accessible despite being in an old house. Let’s just leave it at do not go to the actual park if you are in a wheelchair and I will go into more depth on it and the possible alternate accessible ways to see a game at Rogers Centre when I get around to the Accessibility Review for this park.

The seating situation kind of left me majorly negative about the park from the start, but it did not turn out horrible just not worth the extra $120 Canadian (sure its Canadian, but it is still a big non-planed expense in US$) to upgrade to where Mik could actually see the game. I was also not impressed with the concourse feel of the park. It just seemed cluttered with a bunch of concession carts rather than built in concession stands. It really got bad as the game began because the lines got pretty bad, especially when you notice that there were not that many people at the game. Boy would it totally stink to try to get concessions during a sold out game if that ever happens here.

The game itself did not improve the ballpark experience at all unless you were a Phillies fan, which there were probably more of than Blue Jays fans today or at least close to the same. The Philies totally dominated beating the Blue Jays 10 to 0. I really wanted to the Blue Jays to win since the Phillies are on top of the Nats division, but that hope was soon gone with them scoring 4 in the top of the first with 2 two-run homers.

The Blue Jays never really even had a chance with only four innings getting four men up to bat and that is the most they had up to bat in any inning. They had a few singles, but only one guy even got to second and that was on a double in the sixth. After that double the last 10 batters of the game were retired in order. The only interesting thing was the Blue Jays pitcher having a three up three down 2nd inning in which he struck out all three batters faced.

Overall second worst ballpark experience of the trip. Dodger Stadium is still the worst because the atmosphere ruined what could have been a good game and the seats were not cheap and were horrible. At least the more expensive seats we ended up upgrading to turned out to be almost worth the extra paid for them. We loved the Canadian Baseball Hall of Fame yesterday, but we are ready to go back to the States as far as baseball road tripping is concerned. Sure there are some great things worth doing in Canada (i.e. Fishing!!!), but getting out of here as fast as we can on a baseball road trip is a must. I realy wish I had planned for us to drive to Cooperstown after today’s afternoon game and not tomorrow morning.

Update 6/28/09: Now have added photos from the game. Also, forgot to mention about the FedEx delivering the game balls to center field with the mascot signing before the game. Photos of that below. Might seem trivial, but Dad missed it and did not believe it happened because it was not like he left his seat. So, here is the photo proof.