Showing posts with label Pittsburgh Pirates. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Pittsburgh Pirates. Show all posts

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Car Sticker Update: Pittsburgh Pirates

The Pittsburgh Pirates sticker Dad ended up choosing was an all white colored one. It is the Pirate crossed bats logo that says Pirates.

Accessibility Review: PNC Park

Parking around PNC Park was not that obvious to find nearby PNC Park. It is not that there is not parking, but rather that some of the most obvious stuff was not really all that close. When Dad dropped me off and went around the block while I got some cash for us to pay for parking, I spotted a small sign that pointed down an alley half a block from the park and we ended up parking there. The parking garage had handicap spots on every floor and several elevators. Even after the game when everybody was using the elevators it only took until the second elevator came to get on one (by the way it does bother us in the parks when able bodied people use the elevators, but we understand using them to go several levels up to your car after a game).

Getting into the park was pretty easy. We went in the entrance by the bridge, which only lets you into the river walk area that has basically nothing when they first open two hours before the game. From there it is easy to walk/roll on the concourse to the other river walk entrance where the elevator to where we were seated was located. There are steps down to the elevator area, but there is also a ramp in plain sight next to the steps. Here we waited about 20 minutes for the park to open and access to the elevators be granted.

At least going up the elevators was well managed with a person outside the elevator directing people on along with the normal ushers on the elevator. Coming down was a different story and we had to wait for the elevator to go down and back up before we could fit on and even then only one other group (one on crutches) really needed the elevator. It is not that we cannot wait for the elevator, but it was only a short wait because it was a rather low attendance game. It seems that every time there is not an usher outside of the elevator people take advantage of the elevator that do not need it and very few of the ushers inside the elevators seem to car about giving priority to those that actually need the elevator, which is almost always the official policy of the elevators at the ballparks.

The elevator situation really was not that bad, but the seating situation was and that is one of the biggest reasons we do not get why this can be the supposed best ballpark in America. Come on how the heck can a ballpark be the best if they do not even have cup holders? At least none of the upper deck around us did besides the handicap row. Even the ones in the handicap row were not that great and as you probably know by now one of the main things Mik looks for in rating accessibility and ballparks in general is good cup holders. Worst of all Mik did not even end up with a cup holder because of the lazy usher.

We sat in section 305 and when we got to the section we discovered that they have semi-permanent style seats for every spot in the handicap row. Every other two can be unscrewed and moved out of the area so that wheelchairs can roll into the spot. We showed the usher out tickets and he ended up just telling us to put Mik at the end of the row by the stairs to the upper section and sit in the two seats next to him. Mik did not seem to care, so Dad did not put up a fuss to be able to sit where we had tickets for. In the end, though it would have been worth it because Mik ended up feeling crowded when people sort of squeezed by him to get up the steps to their section. Also, Mik ended up with not cup holder, but this was not much of a loss since the ones the handicap row did have did not really fit the large soda cups and Mik would have been more frustrated trying to get it in and out on his own as having to keep asking for us to hand him his drink.

The real thing, though, is we should not have had to put up a fuss to have the seats we rightfully paid for. It might have just been this one lazy usher who did not want to have to deal with having the seats removed for it to become wheelchair spots, but I find it unacceptable, especially from supposedly the best ballpark in America. Apparently helpful ushers are not part of being the best ballpark. It worked out okay and we did still at least get a good view of the view and the scoreboard, however, I think if Mik was actually watching the game he would have had trouble seeing the batter because of his spot at the end of the row. Not to mention him being there was probably against fire code.

Kj’s Baseball Collection: Forbes Field 1909 World Series

The second baseball I got at PNC Park is one commemorating the 1909 World Series. I thought it was cool to get even though it does not say 100th anniversary. I could not settle for just this one, though, since it says Forbes Field instead of PNC Park, however I decided to get this one along with the PNC Park one since we did after all go to the site of Forbes Field before going to PNC Park. The ball has a Forbes Field 1909 World Series logo on one side and a Pirates P logo on the other side. It also says 1909 World Series Champions.

Kj’s Baseball Collection: PNC Park The Best Ballpark in America

One of the two baseballs I got at PNC Park has the PNC Park The Best Ballpark in America logo on it. There is nothing else on it, but it does have an interesting white with dirt looking background design.

PNC Park is big on them being the Best Ballpark in America. I have no idea if they were somehow actually voted that or just kind of decided it themselves, but personally we still love Wrigley the best and Progressive Field in Cleveland is about tied for second with PNC Park, Nationals Park (my opinion only), and Chase Field (Mik’s opinion only). Come to think of it is not part of a park being the best have to do with enjoying watching the home team? Anyways part of what makes it not seem the best is how much they try to promote they are the best with the logo that is on my baseball being all over the park. I think it goes way too far when I found the logo was not just on the soap dispensers in the restrooms, but also on the toilet paper dispensers (see photo below).

Mik’s Mini Bat Collection: Red Pirates

At PNC Park Mik choose a red mini bat with a Pirates logo. The logo says Pirates in yellow print on top and has the Pirate crossed bats logo below. They did have a mini bat with the PNC Park Best Ballpark in America logo (did I ever mention they brag so much with this logo that they even put the logo on the toilet paper roll dispensers in the bathrooms?), but he decided he did not want it even though I told him he could still get the logo one. By the way mini bat shopping at the Pirates was kind of annoying because all the mini bats were on the top of racks with t-shirts and I had to pick up each design to let Mik see it and there were at least 15 different combinations of logos and colors.

Mik’s Food Scrapbook: PNC Park

Mik was looking forward to the Pirates game at PNC Park since the beginning of the trip. It was partially because it was his birthday, but mostly because he heard that they served pierogies at the park. He was not disappointed, as in fact they do still serve them. However, it was a little disappointing to find out they were just Mrs. T’s pierogies. At least they boiled them, which is how we like to make them and they are still good pierogies. Also, they are served with sour cream, which I liked, but Mik does not like unless it is with cinnamon and sugar. It definitely beats the normal ballpark fare.

The pierogies were not filling enough and Mik also ended up trying a hot dog. He rated it about middle compared to the other hot dogs he has had at the various ballparks.

Friday, June 26, 2009

Day 35: Forbes Field

On June 23, 2009, we went to the site of the former Forbes Field after seeing the Homestead Gray’s West Field. Forbes Field is significant in general baseball history because it was the first all steel and concrete ballpark. Pittsburgh sports history wise is it significant for being the site of four World Series (1909, 1925, 1927, and 1960) including a Game 7 game winning homer by Bill Mazeroski on October 13, 1960. During its use from 1909 to 1972 Forbes Field was not only used by the Pittsburgh Pirates, but also the Negro Leagues Homestead Grays, the NFL Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Pitt Panthers.

What is left of Forbes Field is on the campus of the University of Pittsburgh. The main thing left is part of the outfield wall. Part of it up on a small hill is intact as it would have been when Forbes Field was used including a few spots with the distance markers on them (note one section with the distance number is at the Pirates current park, PNC Park). The rest of the outfield wall can be followed via a brick line in the sidewalk and brick benches along were the wall once stood. Behind the wall that still stands there is a replica of the original Forbes Field entrance.

There is also supposed to be the original home plate from the final game played at Forbes Field located inside a nearby building about where it once was, but I did not feel trying to locate it and wanted to get to the game early to try to find the historic marker for Three Rivers Stadium, which in the end we did not locate because of where we ended up parking and arriving close to when the gates opened for the game.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009

Game 18: Cleveland Indians 5 @ Pittsburgh Pirates 4

We got to PNC Park around 4:15pm and did a little walking around outside it along with a stop at the Team Shop before the park officially opened. There are a few interesting statues outside including one of Roberto Clemente that has Hallowed ground from where he played in Puerto Rico and Pittsburgh.

Around 5pm they opened the center field gate and we went into the river walk part of the park. There really was not much to do besides see another piece of Forbes Field's wall (more on seeing the actual site of Forbes Field when I eventually get caught up to that). It was actually kind of weird because we were in the park, but not really because even the outfield sections where you would normally go to catch batting practice before the rest of the park opens had gates closing off every section. Finally at 5:30pm the park really opened.

To get anywhere in the park we had to go up an elevator and just ended up going straight to our seats, so Mik and I did not really explore the park, since I preferred to stay seated and not try to rush back before the game started. The seats were pretty good, especially the view of the scoreboard, which was very important for this game, since we got a scoreboard message for Mik.

Up until the bottom of the 9th inning the highlight of the game was the Pierogi race. This is almost the best race in MLB, but I still think the Nats Presidents Race is the best. The Hannah one, which I think is jalapeno won the race this time.

The Indians took a lead scoring 4 runs in the top of third with the help of three base on balls, two singles, and a triple. They added another run with a homer in the sixth. The Pirates got their first run with a lead off homer in the bottom of the 9th by Adam LaRoche. They then went on to get three more runs and get back around to Adam with 2 outs and the bases loaded. He ended up ending the inning and the game by flying to right field, but boy was it an exciting almost come back game.

I was kind of rooting for the home team Pirates, but Mik was rooting for the Indians. I guess the free hats really converted him to an Indians fan or at least that is his favorite American League team now. When we got back to the car after the game I asked him what his favorite part of his birthday was and he said the Indians winning. I really thought he would have said the mini cake at DQ or the pierogis at the park, but for once the food was not the highlight for him even though it was great.

As for PNC Park and them boasting about being the best ballpark, I do not know. I am still very partial to Wrigley as the best, but I got to give PNC credit for being a pretty good park. They definitely have very few cons with the main reason Wrigley winning out being its history and its old scoreboard charm. Pierogis sure win over giant pretzel, but barely.