Travel Fuels Life Podcast and Show Notes
Taking the Ultimate Baseball Road Trip (Ep. 15)
Back in 2012, my friend Pete Kirby and I took off for the Northeastern United States to see as many baseball games and stadiums as we could see in 7 days. Join us as we recall how we first met watching a baseball game on TV at the radio station we worked at, and then discuss each of the stops we made on our 7 day journey. And, for a bonus, we each talk about our top 5 favorite ballparks in the bonus video available on YouTube at https://www.youtube.com/c/drewhannush or below in the show notes.
Here are some of the things we discuss:
- What to do in Lawrenceville, GA
- Where Drew and Pete Kirby met
- Chuck Knoblock, Lonnie Smith and the fake throw
- Bobby Cox and Charlie Leibrandt finish Drew's interest in the Braves
- Larry Andersen gives Mitch Williams a bad name
- 20 years of planning for an east coast baseball trip
- The logistics to consider when planning for multi-team baseball trips
- The two tragedies that occurred at the beginning of the trip
- Pete's two favorite teams and the struggle
- Which is worst? Rooting for a sucky team that wins once or one that almost always wins but never does.
- The Washington Nationals against the friggin' Marlins!
- Our impressions of National's Park and I complain about "red" ballparks
- The historic areas of Washington, DC and the Smithsonian and being free
- Philly, gotta have a cheesesteak. And is it Pat's or Geno's? The danger of botching your order.
- Heading to Philly for photocopies!
- Hall of Famer Roy Halladay (yes he's going in this year) and the 30 yard line at Veteran's Stadium
- Citizens Bank Ballpark and the Philly skyline
- The five boroughs, driving in Brooklyn, and the parking lot of chance
- The new Yankee Stadium, impressions, hot hurling, and the view.
- My first introduction to bizarre behavior, Al Michaels Monday Night Baseball, and cigars at the ballpark
- The Dark Knight Rises in the strangest place.
- Getting familiar with Woburn, the crappy Hilton, and Hotel Impossible
- The Bull and Finch (Cheers) and things to do in Boston
- Williamsburg in Fenway versus behind home plate and stubbornness
- The super secret breakfast room at the Hilton
- Black light at the Queens hotel, where is Anthony Melchiorri?
- Pete miscalculates the length of Manhattan
- Sorry McSorley's, we'll catch you later
- All the cool stuff to see in New York City
- Mets and the Marlins? What brand of hell is this? Impressions of CitiField and spell check.
- The amazing drive down the New Jersey Turnpike to reach Camden Yard for our self-created doubleheader
- Camden's new impression on me and Manny's surprise appearance
- Where to next?
Drew and Pete's top 5 ballparks compared.
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Reasons for ranking:
- Having a Waffle House
- Being able to see the game from anywhere in the stadium
- Having a city view
- Shows respect to the history of other ballparks
- Something memorable happened there
- Best name to fit the state it is in
- A stadium with personal firsts
- Seeing a favorite player there
- Watching Tommy Lasorda get tossed
- People tell you to bring your own beer
- A really cool design that grows on you
- Extremely fun fans
- The skyline feels built into the park
- A great game experience
- Taking an old ballpark and adding to it's character
- Other great attractions in town that add to the experience
- Tailgating before the game
- Nice concourses and open layout
- Iconic elements
- Feeling like you've gone back in time
- Your favorite team plays there
- Attention to detail including making the entire stadium a hall of fame and team history museum
- A historic stadium that hopefully will never go away
- The rabid fans with those crazy accents
- The most historic ballpark hands down
I'm Pete Kirby, and you're listening to Travel Fuels Life.
Hey everybody, and welcome to Travel Fuels Life, the show we share stories, tips, and inspiration to help you live a travel lifestyle. I am your sound effect master host, drew Anish, and that was my week and feeble attempt at a baseball sound effect. But baseball's always been a huge part of my life, and with the spring comes all of that joy and excitement for the season to come. No matter how bad my Detroit Tigers are, I always have to get pumped up a little bit for the season. So a couple of years ago, gosh, man, it was more than a couple years ago, quite a few years ago, my friend Pete Kirby and I took off for an East coast baseball trip, and we went to a bunch of different ballparks and I wanted to sit down with him and have a chance to recall some of our memories from that very, very memorable trip.
So we're going to talk a little bit about our baseball game experiences. We'll talk about how we planned it, and we'll also talk about some of the extra things we did. Like going to Pat Steaks in Philly, the oldest beer pub in New York City, and watching the premiere of Batman, dark Night Rising in one of the oddest movie theaters I think I've ever been to. So the timing is perfect for this talk. I was just heading on down to Florida for spring training, and there's Pete's house on the way down. So I said, Hmm, all right, so I'm going to warn you about this episode. The first few minutes, we spent some time talking a little baseball shop, and it's really hard for me not to do that when the subject of the Atlanta Braves and Bobby Cox come up, so forgive me, but from Pete Home down there near Atlanta, Georgia, 1130 at night. Mind you, we had a couple of margaritas in us. Let's listen in to Pete and I talk baseball road trips. So I'm going to take us way back.
All right. So we're going to start off all the way back in our radio days. And so you and I first met at Kiss FM W W N C in Asheville, North Carolina. That is correct. Now, my first recollection of knowing you was a baseball memory, which was we were in the newsroom, I think, and the Braves and the twins were playing each other in the World Series. That's right. And I seem to recall that a certain home run was hit that particular night by Kirby Puckett, which was memorable, but probably not in a good way for you.
Probably not, because of course, I was pulling for the Braves. And what was aggravating about that series in general, and I always talk about this to this day, the Braves should have won that series and they should have won it in game six. And this is the most aggravating thing for me. Chuck Knob block faked a throw to second base. Lonnie Smith was running from first base, and he would've scored on a hit to the, I can't remember who the hitter was at the time, but there was a hit to the outfield. He was running from first base, he would've scored, but Chuck Knob block faked the throw to the shortstop at second base. Lonnie Smith thought the ball was in Chuck Knob block's hands, but it wasn't. So he held up and he didn't score. They went on to lose that game, and they went on to lose game seven.
And see, I, it's funny because I have a completely different recollection of that. That was the game where I decided I was no longer going to root for the Atlanta Braves. And my reasoning for that was that it, Bobby Cox as a manager always seemed to have a formula, and he would follow that formula no matter what was happening. And if the pitcher who was in at the time looked like he was unsteady, and it was Charlie Lee Brandt.
Yeah, no, I remember you went on a tear about Liebrandt. Right? I do remember that. Right? That's
Right. I'm like, take him out. What do You can see he's laboring. And what's funny is that a year later when the Phillies were in the World Series, they had the exact same thing happen to them. Everybody blames Mitch Williams for the home run that Joe Carter hits the home run and the series is over. I go back earlier than that when I say in the previous game when the Phillies had a huge lead, and Jim Fgo is the manager for the Phillies, was like, I'm not taking Larry Anderson out. He's he my guy in the eighth inning, and that's what's going to happen. And you could see the guy was sweating bullets and he was uncomfortable as could be. And for go For Go, he wasn't going to take him out, and Toronto came back in that game. There wouldn't have been a need for the Mitch Williams home run because the series was going in the right direction for the Phillies. But a certain manager said, I'm sticking with my plan. So for me, that was it for Bobby Cox.
So I would draw the same parallel though, if there would've been no, if Lonnie Smith had a scored, there would've been no need to take Lieber out of the game.
Okay. All right.
Agree to disagree. I don't know, whatever. But it's funny because my first memory of you is a baseball memory, so it seemed to me like the perfect person to talk about baseball on the podcast would be you. And then somehow we ended up doing a baseball trip years later.
Yeah. Like many things that you and I do, we talk about, and then 20 years later we actually do it.
Although what's funny is I was trying to recall how did we end up deciding to go on the baseball trip that we did? And it was a year earlier in 2011 that I was on a baseball trip through the Midwest, and you called me while I was driving through Chicago, and I was at the end of my trip and I was talking about where I was going and what I was doing. And you're like, we should do a baseball trip.
I think the idea me, like many other baseball fans have always had the dream of doing a tour to all the stadiums. You know, want to go see a game at every stadium, you want to do it one season, you know, do it during the summer, that'd be great. Obviously that's not practical for most of us. But when I was talking to you and you were on this baseball, they said, you know what, instead of having the, I'm never going to do unless I win the lottery, I'm never going to do a whole stadium tour. But it'd be fun to do a regional tour. And you were doing one of the Midwest, and I'm a huge fan of the Northeast. I love New England. I've spent a lot of time up there, and I just thought that since you liked doing it, I would love to do it. It'd be a fun thing to do, and it'd be a fun thing to do in the Northeast.
So pack the bags and figure out the logistics and make it happen.
And from what I remember, and maybe you can correct me on this, it seems like we did most of it on the fly. I mean, these days we all have phones in our pocket, we can pretty much check anything. But it seems to me we didn't have a set plan on what games we were going to, where we were staying necessarily. This was
The behind the scenes stuff that I did ahead of time. I think because I have tried to plan these trips out before, and I can tell you it can become a logistical nightmare because if you are picking out certain teams that you want to go see, and you have to figure out when are they home, when are they not home? If I want to go see these, we saw six teams, is that right? Six teams.
So yeah, six teams, five cities in seven days.
So to figure out those six teams and make sure that they're all home at the same time, especially when you have two New York teams that we wanted to go see, usually they tend to plan where one is in town while the other one is out of town, even when they have separate stadiums like this. So it becomes a, how do we make this work from day to day? So I looked at the schedules and figured it out from a standpoint of, okay, if we go here and we go here, can we do go to Philadelphia first? No, we can't because Philadelphia's not going to be there or that kind of thing. So that's the tricky part.
Yeah, as you say that, I do realize, I remember you doing that because it would've been silly to drive to Philly and then realize they're way, yeah, they're not coming back. But I think what we did, we is, and this is I guess how we decided what week we were doing it. And lemme tell you, early August is a great time to take a
Baseball, right? I swear what I remember was hot. Yes. But yeah, I think that determined the week that we were going to do it by the home schedules. But I think my recollection is that beyond that, and maybe you did more and just kind of guided me, and maybe I was just kind of floating along. I just thought I knew we were going to be there when they would be there. But as far as what game we hit first, I think there was a little bit of indecision about going to DC and then Baltimore, or would we catch Baltimore coming back? It just seems like there was a little on the fly. Yeah. Planning
There. And we ended up actually taking off and heading up in that direction. I remember two tragedies happen on that trip. Okay. One you may not remember. I remember it. And then the other one that I know that you remembered. Now, when I go on trips, I like to just go, go, go, go, go. And so we have all these cities planned out, and I'm thinking, Washington, here's all the stuff we could do when we go to Washington. And so the first thing that happens for you is that I don't think we were more than probably an hour into Washington DC and what happened?
So I had a very serious knee injury, gosh, I think when I was 24. The official term for it is a tibial plateau fracture, but it was actually much worse than that. It was basically my knee shattered. And the doctor that rebuilt it, and there's still a plate and pins in there to this day, put it back together, did a great job, did the best he could. But I remember laying in the hospital and him telling me before the surgery, we're going to put this back together and you're going to be able to walk hopefully, but it's rebuilding an engine in a car. It's never quite as good as it was from the factory. And then the next thing he said was that probably by age 35, which at that time would've been 11, 12 years away, you're going to have to have total knee replacement.
And you go on a trip with me where I walk endlessly. And
Yeah, when we went on this trip, by the way, was roughly eight, nine years past the time that the doctor told me I needed a knee replacement and I still had not had a knee replacement and probably should have had one,
And you were fine when we left.
And that's typical sit, but sitting in the car in the same position for a long time with your knee in the same position and then starting to walk quite a bit, just not conducive for,
So it was your own brand of torture. And then I was being tortured as well. I don't know if you remember this or not, but the first hotel we stayed in, you were quite partial to Hampton Inns. So the first hotel we stayed in was a Hampton Inn in North Carolina, I think just as we were heading into Virginia. And we got into the room and then my phone rang and it was my programmer. I have a small company, it's just me and my programmer and my programmer is telling me, I found another job and I'm going to be leaving in two weeks. I will give you two weeks notice. Well, I'm going on a baseball trip for a week, and then I'm all of a sudden here going, oh crap, what are we going to do? This guy's been with me for five years. I got to find some way to replace him. So it was kind of in inauspicious beginning there for our baseball journey.
It's funny. I do remember I had forgotten about that, but when you brought it up, I do remember that happening,
And I forgot about it too until I started putting the notes together for this, and I was like, oh crap. That was the trip when all of a sudden I found out that I'm going to be working solo when I get home. We'll see how that all goes. So I guess to give everybody kind of a little bit of a background, you mentioned that you are a Braves fan, but the Braves aren't your only team, right?
That's right. I mentioned earlier that I have a very fond, a lot of fondness for New England. I just always have, like I said, I've been up there many times. I love it up there. And because of that, I started following the Red Sox and I became a Red Sox fan way back before they won a World Series in 2004. Mean we were still always thought the curse of Babe Ruth was going to be in effect. We were never going to win a World Series. And I just appreciated just the struggle. And Boston always kind of seemed like they're always struggling against new, just that New York's a bigger city, it's more powerful and all that. And it just seems like the Red Sox at that time, they were the scrappy little fighters that just couldn't win a championship, always had bad luck. We don't want to bring up Bill Buckner, but that kind of thing. And so I became a Red Sox fan, and in those days there was no league play, so you never would see the Red Sox play the Braves. And it was fine having a team in the American League in the National League, unless they met in the World Series. No big
Deal. So I'm going to take you back because we have a long history together and we used to be roommates. That's correct. And when we were roommates, we had a discussion one time. I'm a Detroit Tigers fan, I like the Tigers and the Phillies. Those are my two teams, American League nationally. But I asked you the question because the Detroit Tigers in 1984, I remember them winning the World Series, but most of their other years, especially through the nineties, they were horrible. I mean, they were always last place or challenging. They were getting a lot of number one draft picks, but nobody cares about that in baseball. So they really weren't winning anything. And so you were following a team that every year was almost winning, but not quite winning and always finding some distressing way to lose. So I asked you the question, which would be worse for you to root for a team that has one World series, but they suck the rest of the time, or that you're rooting for a team that almost always gets there.
What, and I don't remember what answer I gave you because I'm thinking about that, and honestly, a lot of time has gone by since then and
A few championships
And a few championships. So my perspective might have changed, but I, I'm interested, well, how did I answer that?
I think you casually avoided that question actually. I don't know that you answered that.
Yeah, I don't, because I'm thinking about it now and I don't know that I could answer it now. Yeah, it's difficult because you think about the poor Eagles fans and they suffer for years and years and years and years. Never win a Super Bowl, finally win a Super Bowl. I'm not saying that's the only Super Bowl they're going to win, but is that one year of joy worth
Another 50 years of misery
Of another 50 years of misery, or would you rather have him get to the championship, the NFC Championship game year after year and lose?
Yeah, I think you were still happy to be a Boston Red Sox fan. I was still happy to be a Detroit Tiger fan. Mean well,
Yeah. And part of me falling in love with that team is actually going and seeing them at Fenway Park. And I don't know if I, I can kind of articulate the feeling that you have when you're in a park like that with all that history, and not just the players on the field, but actually the fans in the stadium, the whole experience getting a Fenway Frank listening to the guys who are sitting next to you with their thick Massachusetts accents threatening to throw the first team. Actually, the first game I ever saw at Fenway was they were playing the Indians, and this was when the Indians were starting to really be good. And there was an Indians fan in the stadium. And of course the Boston fans were just the whole game, just giving this guy a load of crap mean in the best possible Northeastern way. And just that whole experience, it just kind of imprinted on me just a real connection with it.
When you drive around all of New England and you can't get away from a Boston Red Sox game on the radio, to have a whole region that is so absorbed by a team, it's an interesting experience.
So I guess I could say that it almost did. I mean, of course I wanted them to win a World Series, but it almost didn't matter. Still really pulled for that team because I just loved the whole experience.
Well, you could give the team those championship rings up to the tigers, we wouldn't mind at all. Right. Okay. So let's recount some of this trip because it is baseball season coming up and some people maybe won't thinking that might be kind of interesting to roll off and take a trip. So we planned the whole thing out. We start on our way, your knee goes, I find out I'm losing an employee. We end up in Washington dc. The one thing that I remember, and we were passing some notes on Messenger the other day about this. I remember us going, when we got to Washington DC after we did a little sightseeing, we stopped into a restaurant to get lunch, and we had tickets to a double header. It was the Nationals against the Marlins. And we knew we weren't going to survive through. I really don't care anything about the Marlins. And
We had this discussion too, about how little we cared about the Marlins. I
Wanted to go see, and somehow we were going to end up watching the Marlins in a couple of games on this trip. So I'm like, I don't know that I'm really that ready to jump right over there and go see this double header. So why don't we just go towards the end of the first game? So we watched a little bit of it on tv. We were in a pub on Pennsylvania Avenue, I think. And then we just wasted enough time until we got over to the ballpark, probably in the seventh of the first game,
I want to say seventh or eighth inning. It was near the end.
So once we got there, of course don't, you're not into the nationals at all either, right? No. So this is the hard part about doing a baseball tours that sometimes you're going to end up watching teams that you're like, I really don't care. And now we're in doubleheader zone watching how much of this thing are we going to actually suffer through? Well,
Not only do, sometimes we watch teams that we don't care about. We watch teams we hate,
Happened on this trip.
Yeah. All right. More on that later. Right, right. Yeah. Okay. So we saw the doubleheader, your impressions of Nationals Park.
I actually, I was impressed with na. I don't know that I was so impressed with the field. I think I was impressed with the kind of layout, I guess, I don't want to say courtyard, but kind of the area leading up to where you walk into the park. There was a couple of restaurants and shops, and then it was kind of in what actually the Atlanta Braves have right now, the battery, where there's things to do as you're going up to the park. I think I more enjoyed it outside the park. And then once we kind of got in, yeah, I was like underwhelmed by the inside of the stadium. I mean, it was nice stadium, don't get me wrong, but w with this new era of Revivalist Ballpark, she kind of looked for something special. And I didn't really see anything special inside the park to me.
We were sitting right on the first base side, and I felt like I was lost in the sea of seats. It was an odd feeling. I don't know why, but for some reason, other ballparks that I've been in, you know, get a sense of where you're sitting and you feel like you're part of the game. And we just felt like we were kind of on the outskirts. And I don't know if that was because we were watching two teams. We really didn't care about, we didn't watch the end of the second game. I think we got to the sixth inning and said, okay, this was okay.
And it was incredibly hot. I know I said that before, but I'll say it. I mean, this was a hot trip because I do remember there wasn't a lot of airflow. And so I don't recall what the temperature was, but I do know that it was hot. And sitting there in kind of stagnant air and watching teams, we didn't care about that.
It didn't help.
Think I have something against Red Ballparks too, because I went to St. Louis and at the place just annoyed me, and it's so sad. I'm going to spend money to go to a baseball game. And they were playing the Giants, and I liked the Giants, and I'm sitting in this ballpark, and you can kind of see the arch off in the distance. I mean, it's a pleasant ballpark, but it's just so red.
Its not a good sign when you're annoyed with the ballpark.
Right. Yeah. Okay. So we left from there. Next night we were in Philadelphia, but before, I mean, this is part of doing a baseball trip, I think, is not only just doing the ballparks, but experiencing at least a little bit of the cities that you're going to visit.
And before, what I remember is we got up in the morning and we went to a metro station outside of DC and we took that into the city. And this to me was another part of the trip, not only to see these games, but like you said, to see what the city had to offer because we were visiting some very historic and a significant American cities. And the one thing I did want to say, we spent a little time walking around dc We saw the major, we saw the White House and the Washington Monument and all the big pieces of it. But what really struck me, and I had been there before many times, but for some reason it was, this trip really kind of struck me in a different way. We went to the Smithsonian, or part of it, parts of it, I think the Air and Space Museum and the Museum of American History, I believe. And what I came away from that thinking, that was free. It was free. And
It's your tax dollars at work,
Your tax dollars at work. But it's something, there's a couple things I think we do right with National Parks being one and the Smithsonian Institute. And I would encourage anybody to go there because it, it's amazing what you see. It's kind of fun what you see and you know, could spend all day and not see it all. But I just came away with that with a real appreciation of that. And then knowing what we had ahead of us as well.
Right. Yeah, I mean, the cool part about Washington DC I think for anybody, whether they're American or they're coming from another country, is to know that most of the things that you can go to there are free to explore and just mean, enjoy the city, walk around. And the metro is a very easy way to get around. It's probably one of my favorite Subway systems to get around on.
Yeah, it's a very good system.
Yeah. So, alright, so on Philadelphia. And where was the first place that we had to go in South Philly.
So I remember you taking me to Pat Steaks.
Okay. And there was of course, those that are familiar right across the street, but Pat's was the place you wanted to go.
Well, to me is too glitzy. They got all the lights flashing and it's like, come here, come here. Don't go over to, no, I mean, they have nothing come over here. But the other part about that I love about Pat's is that, and of course I lived in Philly for a little while, and all my Philly friends are going, don't tell people to go to where all the tourists go. But to me the cool thing about Pat's B, besides the fact that he's the original king of stakes, and that's supposed to be where it all began, whether it is or not, I don't know. If you don't order properly, you're screwed. Yeah. You're going to the back of the line and there's a line. Yes.
Right. And I remember, I got to tell you, I remember walking up to order and I was incredibly stressed. And they do have signs to tell you how to order. And I remember you coaching me on it. But I remember being terrified. And I guess I wouldn't have been as Bo, they could have sent me to the back of the line. That's fine. But just the embarrassment, right? Yeah. That would've been the worst part. Get in the
Back of the line. Oh geez, I got to wait another 20 minutes for this steak whit. Yep. So yeah, that was fun. And actually it was the one time when I was really happy that you were driving instead of me, because driving around those narrow little South Philly streets was w w was a little tense.
It was a little tense, wasn't the most tense. We can we'll get to that. But yeah, it was tense and I was surprised the streets were fairly narrow. And that's the first time I've really been to, and I've been through Philly, but that's the first time I've really kind of spent any time in Philly.
So then we went down Independence Hall and kind of did a little walk around Center City, saw the
Bell. Yeah, I Were we getting photocopies or something? It seems like we had to go to a Kinkos or something.
So yeah, we did. So this is the part of the trip that I talk about was kind of a little on the fly scheduling wise, right? Because what we had to do was we bought tickets to the game on StubHub, and the only way we could get 'em printed was to go to a Kinko's and log in and to our email and print 'em out at the printer
There. I knew. See, it's so funny because this is what, seven years ago, and I'm sitting there thinking, I know there was a significant reason why we went to a Kinko's to get something printed, but I couldn't remember exactly what,
Yeah, now you can download the ticket on your phone and they scan it, but in those days you actually had to have a ticket way back
In the olden days, way back
In the olden days.
All right. So we ended up seeing Roy Halladay. Now is he Hall of Famer? Did he get in this year? I can't remember. I remember he was up, but I dunno if they voted the man. All right. No, no. So strike one for my keeping up with the latest of of Fame news. But we saw Roy Halladay and my, what's interesting is that we went to Citizens Bank, that's the current Phillies ballpark. And I had gone to Veterans Stadium many times, but this was my first time of going to Citizens Bank. And the thing I got to say is that I was so happy that you couldn't see the 30 yard line. Cause old, old Veteran Stadium was just one of those that they built in the seventies that was a multipurpose stadium. And you could always see the football stadium in print on the baseball field, and just never,
And by the way, looked a lot like Three Rivers, which looked a lot
St. Bush Stadium and Cincinnati. Yeah. Oh yeah. So I mean, right there already, citizen Bank blew away what I'd seen before. But I think the other thing that I liked about it was that you could see the Philly skyline. It was a bit distant down Broad Street, but I mean, it was a great place because we tend to sit behind home plate. And so you get that view out into the outfield and then the city out in the distance.
Yeah, I would agree with you. That was the thing that blew me away about that ballpark for sure, was where we were sitting. It was almost like, and clearly they designed it like this, but it was almost like they cut out a piece of the normally where you'd have maybe the jumbotron or bleacher seats, they cut all that out so that when you're sitting in that section or that part of the park, you see the skyline and it fits perfectly in between the seats. And it was, I actually remember taking a couple pictures, but the phone camera that I had at the time wasn't the best. So the skyline barely shows up in it, and it's not as impactful as it was there. But I do remember that making an impression.
So that was our day in Philadelphia. And then from there, I get really fuzzy. We headed to New York, but I don't remember how we rounded that.
How worked. So what I remember is that when we left DC and headed to Philadelphia, actually when we were done at dc I think we stayed at a hotel outside of DC and drove up to Philly in the morning, did all our Philly stuff during the day that we did, went to the ballgame that night. And then I want to say that we obviously obviously got into New York because we went to see the Yankees in New York the first game.
But see, we must have stayed somewhere in between because we ended up, I remember driving into Brooklyn and we parked the car in Brooklyn and rode up on the subway up to see the Yankee kid.
Yeah. See, that's what I'm having. I remember driving that. That's the Harry part that I wanted to bring up. Driving in Brooklyn I think was far worse than driving in Philly, by the way. I do remember driving up to Brooklyn and parking in that parking garage that you didn't know if you're going to get your car back or not. And then we got on the train and rode it into the city. But we go down to,
We did not do anything extra in New York on that day, I don't think. We went straight up, we
Went straight to the Bronx. Cause
It was a Sunday, and so it would've been a one o'clock game.
And I think we went
To, so we did stay when we left Philly, we did stay somewhere. I just don't remember
Where. I don't remember where either. That's, Hey, seven years happens.
Yeah. Yeah. We're getting old. All right.
So Yankee Stadium is a place that I wish I'd have seen the old one. Unfortunately, I never did get a chance to. So we went to the new Yankee Stadium, and when you walked up to it, my first impression when I walked up to it is they've just recreated the old stadium. This is going to be incredible. And then we walked in and I got a completely different feeling. It was kind of, I don't want to say it was sterile, but it was just so modern that it didn't feel, it's like I walked through history straight into current, present day.
You know what I would say? And I never went to the old Yankee Stadium. Well, what I would say is that it's remaking a good movie and updating it, but the updated remake just sucks.
Yeah. Okay. So do you remember the event that happened that kind of capped off the whole feeling about what we were thinking about?
Yeah. There was a fella above us that lost his lunch,
Had a little too much to drink, and again, it was hot. Yeah.
Excuse many times. Yes.
Lest we forget this trip. It was hot that day. And yeah, there was a gentleman who was imbibing a bit too much, shall we say, and lost his lunch. And the paramedics had to come and take him away and
That wasn't great.
So the other thing I remember is that we talk about all these great views mean even when we'd go down to Turner Field, you could see the of Atlanta when you were at Turner Field. And that was a nice view from behind home plate. Yep. You go to New York and what were we looking at it?
We were looking at the Bronx. It was
Like the worst part of the Bronx. I'm thinking, turn the stadium around, right? What point toward the city? What are we doing? Yeah,
Not a great view. I mean, listen, I will say, I basically said that the new Yankee stadium sucked. And I was trying to make a little joke there, but the thing about that bothers me about that is I'm very conflicted because there's a lot of history with the Yankees, although there's no history in that park. And it's almost like when they built it, they tried to transfer that history over, but it's not the same field. So you're like, you want to get into the history of it, especially if you're a baseball fan. And even if you just don't like the Yankees, somebody in this
Room, you being a Boston Red Sox fan. Yeah, yeah.
You have to appreciate the Yankees, just the history of the game and what they've done, how many championships they've won, the players that have played on that team, you know, can't ignore that. And so having that feeling, and then I guess, I don't know, I would've felt differently about it, I think if it were the original Yankee Stadium.
Yeah. I think that was part of my disappointment, was that me being such a lover of the history of baseball, it just was such a letdown. I don't know that it's bad of a stadium. I mean, I'm sure it's a fine stadium, but for some reason I walked in there with an expectation that it just could not meet.
Yeah. I think I was about ready to say, you and I are both enough baseball fans that we can appreciate. We're going to Yankee Stadium, and so the bar is set high, and when it doesn't meet it,
It's rough. So we left there, and you reminded me that we stayed somewhere in Connecticut, I guess that particular evening.
That was one of those things where, and we did this a lot on this trip. We kind of left and we kind of drove till, we just felt like we got to get some sleep, I think. And again, in this age that we live in, while we're driving down the road, I'm driving and you're in the passenger seat online booking us a room, finding us the hotel, reading the reviews
With an app that isn't really working for me. Oh, I had the worst. I was using the hotels.com app and I, I've never loaded that back on my phone. I still use that website, but I do not use their app because I just had such a bad experience.
I remember that as well.
I was ripping my air out. That was 70 years ago. I'm hoping they have a better app by now. So we ended up in Boston, which for you and me, I mean, I have a lot of history with Fenway Park myself. I've been there many times. I remember going there with my dad, it was the first introduction to Bizarre Behavior that I can remember. We had gone to see back when a B, C used to have Monday night baseball, and Al Michaels and Bob er were doing, and Howard Cosell were doing Monday Night Baseball. We were watching the Red Sox and the Tigers, and we were sitting right behind home plate, and the guy in front of us was smoking a cigar, which you wouldn't really see that happen anymore.
And you get tossed right out today.
Oh man. And then we're walking away from the stadium after the game's over, and apparently a disgruntled fan was mumbling and yelling to himself as he went walking solo by me and my dad. And I'm like, is this what baseball does to people? I'm not quite sure, but I've been to Fenway many, many times. And we ended up spending two days in Boston because we wanted to check out some stuff in Boston as well. I want to bring back to your recollection, do you remember the bizarre situation we had with the Batman movie? There was something very, very odd about the place we went to go see that Batman movie. It was the, yeah, there were
It wasn't just the guards, it was a furniture store.
Oh, that's right. You remember that. That's right. That's right. We walked, it was I, I remember now. We walked forever, right through a furniture store to get to the movie theater, and that was the only way to
Get in. It was an IMAX theater, but we're like, why do we have to walk through an entire showroom of a furniture store through the zigzag whatever, to just to get to see the movie, right? Yeah. Yeah. That was Dark Night Rises. Yeah,
The Dark Night Rises we saw together in Boston, and that, it was a tragedy had happened at that movie. So there were guards. I remember that too. And the only time I think I've ever seen Guards at the Doors going to see a movie, it was very strange. But the movie theater was packed. But yeah, that was weird. I had forgotten about that too.
But, so then that was in w Woburn, Massachusetts, which we got to know that town very well.
Because your knee was flaring up, I think, pretty bad at that time.
And this is the one, I still feel bad about this, even though I couldn't have controlled it, but I felt bad. We missed a day basically, because I had the rest. I had the rest my knee. But yeah, I think that's when we ended up going to see that movie.
And we sat in the hotel all day watching Hotel Impossible. You remember that? Yeah,
I do remember
That. Because I'd never seen the show before. And I remember watching the first two episodes and thinking, okay, what is this? And then it was basically part of my life, I think by the time we left there, because we'd watched the entire marathon. But that was good. I mean, we did get some time in Boston and had some time to,
Well, we went to the Bull and Finch, and of course that that's what you have to do. That I, I've got, actually, that's my Facebook profile picture is the picture you took of me
Standing outside. Cheers.
Standing outside of Cheers,
The real cheers, not the fake cheers that's on Boston, or is that fan Hall. Hall, yeah.
And then when you go inside, it's a little bit disappointing. No,
It's different. It's definitely not what you would expect it to be. Yeah. It's kind of a hole in the wall.
Well, the funny thing is, the first time I ever went there, and I went there probably, I want to say 91, 92 was the first time I ever went there. And what struck me, obviously it's much different than what they depict on the TV show inside. But once you go inside and you see how the building is positioned and how you walk down the stairs to get in, of course it's not going to look like what they had on tv. There's no way. Yeah. It's not physically possible. But I was surprised at how small it was.
Yeah. I mean, I remember the first time I walked in there and I'm like, are you kidding? Whereas the one that they had at fan hall, they tried to mimic what the right interior looked like, but it wasn't the original place. So still a great place to go get a beer though. Yeah. I mean, because you're sitting there with the locals, and I remember having a conversation with one guy in there at one time, and he said, oh yeah, I remember when the show was on. And we used to always kind of poke fun at it and that sort of thing. So let's talk about the ballgame, because I'm trying to remember, they were playing the Texas Rangers. I do remember that because Josh Hamilton, I think was making his comeback and he was playing with them at the time. It was either a nine to eight game or a six to three game. Which one was it?
What I remember nine to eight. But I'll tell you something why I am a little unclear about that, and this is one of those is times in our friendship, I think, where I get stubborn, but then I learn something from him.
I had been to Fenway, I don't know, half a dozen times or so, and I'd never sat in the bleachers, and I wanted to sit in the bleachers. So I got us tickets to that game in the bleachers. Right now, normally, like you said, we sit behind home plate, which is the best place to sit, let's be honest. But for some reason, I had it in my head. I wanted to sit in the bleachers. And I remember you saying to me, I don't know if that's a good idea. You're just so disconnected from the game. It's hard to follow the game. I was like, oh, come on in.
Stop your wine
And yes, stop your wine. And so we get out there and what happens? Can't follow the game. It's very disconnected. We're paying more attention to what's going on with the people sitting in the row in front of us,
Than we ever paid to that game. And so that's why I remember nine to eight, but I,
I think it was nine to eight, because I remember it was kind of a back and forth game, and then it was a really high score. So for me, I'm glad we sat out there because I've been to Fenway Park a million times, and I've never sat in the bleachers. Well, that
Was my thinking.
Yeah. So it was good for me. I survived.
Well, that's good. Just, and not to say we followed the game. It was hard. It was like sometimes you had to play catch up because it was easily to get easy to get distracted.
So Boston was great, enjoyed that. And then the next place on our list was to go back to New York, and this was our chance to actually do some going around downtown. And we were staying in Queens. You were a little nervous about our hotel though. As I recall. This was my booking. Everybody, everything else. We were Hampton in Hampton and Hampton Inn, or well, of course, we stayed in the Hilton in Woburn, which we got, we had to switch rooms the first night because the air conditioner wasn't working or something.
The air conditioning wasn't working. And again, it was hot, right?
Yeah. It was miserable in that hotel room. Very stuffy. We complained about it. They moved us. Apparently the air conditioning wasn't working on the whole floor or something. Anyway, they ended up moving us to a different room, and they actually gave us access to the super secret breakfast room. Do you remember that?
Oh yeah, that's right. I forgot about
That. So if you're a Hilton Honors member and you reach Diamond Club status, you get access. If you stayed at Hilton, you get access to the super secret breakfast room that no one knows about, right? No. The rest of the hotel didn't know this is going on, but there's some awesome buffet going on in the Hilton that you don't know about unless you're a dining member. But they gave us access to that because the air conditioning was broken. That was the only good thing about that
Hotel. I do remember that. I do. Although I don't know that I think about what I ate up there as I just remember, it was a really big room with a buffet. Yeah.
Yeah. I couldn't tell you what I ate either. But it was breakfast, it was buffet, it was free.
And by the way, everybody, we enjoyed this trip. So if it sounds like we're whining and complaining a bit, no, we actually really enjoy this trip.
We did. And I think that part of the enjoyment of the memory is bringing up the funny details and the tragedies, right? Sometimes that's what makes a trip is the tragedy, right? And you just kind of put it in perspective and hey, it was an adventure.
So here we are. We're in Queens now, and Drew's picked out the hotel and Pete's going on.
So yeah, I talked, actually, we talked about this, not that I'm snobbish about what hotels I'll stay in, but I am in one regard, and I have to feel like the hotel's clean beyond anything else. I mean, it can be a rundown ramshackled room as long as I know that it's clean. And when I walk into some hotels, I don't feel like it's clean and me, I'm not. Would you say I'm an OCD type person? No. Yeah. No. So this is just one thing hangup I have. And what's funny, I guess what made it worse was you'd mentioned we were watching that marathon on Hotel Impossible. And one of the things that the guy was doing was he was taking this test equipment into the bathrooms of the room and testing for bacteria. And as we walked into our room, that's exactly what they were doing. So it didn't inspire a lot of confidence.
Right. So I also remember that we had to go down to a convenience store or something to get to eat.
So what we ended up doing, we were in Queens. And so the, there's they're markets basically, I guess there's not really a convenience store in the neighborhoods we were in. It was just a market. We found one that was, I don't know, what was it, about six blocks away or something like that, right down to Queens Boulevard. We walked down there and got supplies for the night. So we could have a do it yourself notch in the hotel room. Yeah, just the local market. And I do remember that there was some guy sitting out on the sidewalk, probably, probably 50, looked like he was 70, wasn't wearing a shirt every bit of 300 pounds. And I just remember thinking, does this man have no shame?
I, and where has Drew taken us to?
You're in Queens, New York, for goodness sake. Anyway.
Yeah. And I didn't see Kevin James once.
No, no, I didn't see him either. All
Right. So then we hopped on the subway or the L I guess in this particular case, because it was above ground. And we rode into New York, and I put you through another brand of torture, of trying to walk from one end of Manhattan to the other, because we started at Grand Central.
Well, it was actually me. This was my doing, because we wanted to go to McSorley's.
And I know McSorley's is down by nyu, it's down by Washington Square Park,
Greenwich. Greenwich Village area, I guess in the
Greenwich Village area. And I didn't know how far away it was from where we were, but I just pulled out the phone, looked it up on the map, and I was like, oh, we can walk this. What was it, like 60 some blocks?
Yeah. Yeah. That wasn't the wise move, but we got there. We did. We got there. And they give you what, five, six beers?
Yeah. So when they're busy, you have to, and I listen, at the time it was the case, it may be different now, but if you walked in there and ordered one beer, they'd throw you out. They just basically say, we don't have time for this. And they make their own beer. You order a light or a dark, and they bring you four
And you can order eight, can order 16. And I think they're, they're small mugs. They're like eight ounces. Yeah. So you need four. Yeah,
But we sat in there for a little bit and drank some beer
And walked around.
But do you remember what happened at McSorley's when we tried to leave?
So this is something I can remind you about.
And every time I go to McSorley's, I forget this very thing. They only take cash. And who carries cash?
We didn't have any cash. Yeah.
I've learned since. But back then,
And so we had been sitting there for probably two hours, maybe drinking beers, ordering four at a time, eight at a time. And I can't remember what the tab was. And we had a little bit of cash on us, but I think we only had 10 or 15 bucks. But it wasn't nearly enough to cover the tab. This is how great the people at McSorley's are. They said, don't worry about it. Next time you're in remember us, and they let us go. Where else would you have gotten that kind of
Attitude? I am glad you reminded me of that, because next time I go to New York, I will make sure to go in there and give them some extra money for what I didn't pay the first time.
Well, I have done so too. So have you.
Okay. Yeah. But
Don't let that stop you. No, no. Again, I don't remember how much beer we ended up. I felt like the Blues Brothers in that movie, you boys drank $200, or we're going to pay you a hundred dollars, but you drank $200 worth of
Beer. Right. I was just in awe looking around at this bar that was built before the Civil War and seeing the stuff that was etched into the walls where, yeah. I mean,
Talk about history. The oldest continuously operated pub in the United States. Yeah, I believe. Or maybe North America.
And so if you're going to do a baseball tour, head into town and do some other stuff too, right? I mean, absolutely. That was definitely cool. And that was my first time seeing Grand Central too. So that
That was cool. We went by Wall Street. We went down to the Freedom Tower while they were still building that.
Right. I actually have a picture of that while it was still under construction. And they had not quite opened the nine 11 Memorial, but I think they had people going through kind of like a preview right. Tour maybe. Yeah. And I think I remember us discussing doing it, and we decided against it. Yeah.
Not much time.
Yeah. We were really pressed on time.
So the next day we went to the Mets game in Queens at City Field.
There's a couple things I remember about City Field. City Field was the first ballpark that we sat in behind Home Plate where I was looking out at the rest of the stadium, just kind of oblivious to the game. We were in the upper decks.
And so I think I was oblivious to the game because as a Phillies fan, I can't stand the Mets.
And as a Braves fan, I can't stand them either.
And then they were playing the Marlins again. Why are we chasing the Marlins?
Oh my goodness. So the only thing that I remember about that game, I don't remember anything about the game being played itself. Right. I do remember that I was impressed with City Field that I thought it was a nicer ballpark than Yankee Stadium was. I
Agree with you. Yeah.
What a surprise that was. But the other thing that always sticks in my mind is that there was something on the scoreboard that was misspelled.
I was wondering if you were going to remember this. Yeah. Cause I was going to bring it up if you had.
And so I decided, I was so bored with the game that I decided to tweet to the Mets that they had a misspelling on their scoreboard,
And they never fixed
It. They never fixed it. It was bad. Now we only stayed there for two hours and I mean, the game was probably two and a half to three hours. But I remember turning around looking at you and going, we were going to go see Baltimore play tomorrow night. Right. You want to just go now? Yeah.
Yeah. Another last minute change. But I remember that as well. We left the Mets game early so that we could get in the car to make it to Baltimore to see the evening game the same day.
And we did. The amazing thing was somehow we traversed the entire New Jersey turnpike with absolutely nothing slowing us down, including boredom to get there. So I remember we got back in the car and we just drove. And I don't know mean, we may have stopped for something to eat, but
We had to stop for gas because the one thing about going through New Jersey is you can't pump your own gas. It's illegal. They have to pump it for you. So when you're on the turnpike, they have these, what do they call, like refresh station or something like that? There's something they call, I can't remember, but you pull off and it's, it's a travel plaza. Basically. There's like two or three or four different fast food restaurants in there. There's gas, a convenience store, restrooms. So we stopped at, I think the first one that was convenient outside the city to fill up with gas. I think we bought some road food, went to the restroom, and then it was straight into Baltimore
And we made it
Did, which I didn't know that we were going to
Do. We got there, the game had just started, but we walked in, they were playing the royals. And this is interesting for me because I've been to Camden Yards before, but I went to Camden Yards in 19 93, 94 maybe. And my impression of Camden Yards was, I get it. I like the outfield and I liked the warehouse out there, but the rest of the ballpark I was sitting at, I was way over on the first base side in the outfield area, and I was looking back at home plate and it just looked like a round stadium on that side, and I wasn't getting a lot of view from the other side. So I was like, mean, this is nice, but I don't understand why everybody's going all crazy about it because they were already building other ballparks that I thought were outclassing what Camden Yards was. What I found interesting was when we walked in this time, I know they had done a remodel at some point or another, but whatever they did, I love that ballpark. After going in there and looking at it and seeing it the second time, I just got a completely different impression of Camden Yards. What was your first impression?
I was blown away by it, honestly. Yeah. I got to say, because that was the first time I'd been there. And in fact, other than Fenway, this trip, this was the first time I'd been to any of these parks. So it was a really neat experience for me to have that. But Camden, I remember was one of the first, we were talking about earlier, your typical ballparks in those days were those round multipurpose stadiums that every city had. And then they built Camden Yard, which was something different, kind of a throwback kind of, I guess, started was, or at least was part of the start of the whole revival baseball stadium revivalist movement. And at the time we went to see it, it was fairly old. I mean they, Fulton County Stadium was like 30 years old I think, when they demolished it. And when we went to Camden Yards, it was what, almost 20 years? Yeah.
So it was an old park, but it looked great.
Yeah. They really did a number on that park when they did the remodel.
What I liked about it, the concourses were big and I liked the view of the warehouse when you get up in the field and just the feel of the park itself. It was very reminiscent of all the, we've all seen them, these black and white photos of ball games from back in. The Golden of baseball was, to me, it was very reminiscent of that. And I loved the park actually. Yeah.
So do you remember who the player was that made his, now this is funny because we had decided we were going to go see the next game, the next day's game, but because we had made this change of plans, we ended up seeing this player have his first major league game. Who was that player?
And I knew you were going to ask me this and I was racking my brain and I can't come up with it. You don't know. I can't come up with it. I'll
Give you a big hint. He just signed a 30 million contract or $300 million contract.
Why am I drawing a blank?
That's right. I don't know why I was thinking, I don't know why I was thinking of someone else. What happens to me is my wires get crossed. I, I'm convinced that it's somebody else, but I know it's not that person. And then when that happens to me, I just cannot come up with the right
Answer. So it was Manny, right first game and his second hit bat, he hit a triple
And then the next hit bat, he comes up and he hit a single. And you and I were going, the dude's going to hit the cycle.
Yes. Because he got the hardest, the triple right.
He ended up getting all of them except
No, he didn't. Didn't hit a home run. He hit a home run the next night, but he didn't, he got
A single double and triple right. He
Went two for four. So, because I thought he got closer too. I thought he had hit a home run in that game. But that's just my imagination saying, oh yeah, we talked about a cycle. He must have been closer than he was. So the box, well
The fact that he had a triple in a single, I mean Yeah,
In his first game.
Yeah. That's like a no-hitter into the seventh inning you, or sixth inning, you start talking about it. Seriously.
Right. Yeah. So that was a lot of fun to get a chance to see that. So, alright. So after that we pretty much headed home, but we'd seen a lot during that trip.
We had that, I got to say that the longest leg of that trip was the trip home. I mean, we went down, if I remember correctly, I think we went down 81 through Virginia, the Shenandoah Valley. Yeah. And while that's a very beautiful drive,
It's very redundant. It's
Long drive. It is a long drive. Well thanks for the stroll down memory lane. And now we have actually a recording to, we'll never forget this stuff now.
That's right. We, we've got it documented.
Well, thanks for having me. This was fun. I got to tell you, there were a lot of things I'd forgotten about, but that was a really great trip. I'm glad we did it. Sometimes I get in the mode of where I really want to do something, but something keeps me know. I'm a little bit hesitant. Maybe that seems like a bit much effort or I don't know. But I'm glad we just made the decision and we just did it.
So when are we doing this again?
Well been for some reason, it's funny, I've been thinking that a West coast ballpark trip would be the thing to do. I actually have been thinking about that for a few months.
Well, it would clear off a lot of the rest of my list because the only ballparks I haven't been to that aren't west are the two in Florida, which I can get to pretty easily. Houston. And then everything else is on the West coast. So
We'll have to do that. And SunTrust. Well, it's so sad. This is the hard part about trying to count up your ballparks is they keep building new ones. And then I I've check
One off the list and now you got to go
Back. I know. I've been to Turner. I've been, what does Atlanta want? They just want my money.
Yeah. Again, I thought that the TED was a perfectly good ballpark. I don't know all the nuances about it. I don't know. I living in Atlanta, you know, see a lot of different opinion written about it. And I even saw some graphic in a newspaper that showed they colored parts of the town red where season ticket holders live. And it was a clear majority. They all lived on the north side of town. And when I say the north side of town, I mean, I'm talking way above the perimeter, not the north side of downtown. So the Turner Stadium was south of downtown. Their claim was, it's too difficult to get there. I never found it difficult to get there. There was a Marta stop there, it was near the crossroads of two major highways, interstate 20 and 75, 85 connector. And parking was great. I just don't get why they thought they needed a new stadium. Now having said that, the new stadium's awesome. Other than the parking, the stadium is awesome. And it's in Smyrna. Yeah.
Well, we're going to have to work that one out so that that'll knock me down to eight and then we'll go west coast.
Well, the thing that would be good about a West Coast trip is that when we did the Northeast, it wasn't just about baseball. We got to see a lot of history, a lot of US history, which we're both fans of, we both liked the show Turn. Yes, you were a fan of that show. Love
That show. Yeah, love that show.
So there would be a lot more to do, I think and see on the West Coast. And how awesome of a trip would it be to say, fly into San Diego, rent a car,
See Manny Machado,
See Manny Machado again, and drive up the coast to Seattle and fly back. Yeah. I mean, how awesome would that be? Yeah,
Absolutely. I've done it in small spurts, but that's an awesome drive to do that. We need a month.
Yeah. Well, I'd like to work that out. Sure, yeah. We'll see. We can throw Arizona and Colorado in there too. All right. I'm not been to either one of those.
Stay tuned. Very good.
All right. Thank you. Thank you
Yeah, thank you.
And there closes out another week of Travel Fuels Life. Head to the show notesPage@travelfuelslife.com slash podcasts. Search for episode number 15. And there you'll find a video with me and Pete counting down our individual lists of our top five favorite Major League baseball parks. So if you're planning a trip or like me, you just can't get enough baseball head on out there and check that out. And if you enjoyed today's show, make sure you subscribe using your favorite podcast app and that way you won't miss any episodes coming up and jump on twitter.com/travel fuels life. Ask me any questions you like about my favorite ballparks, and then tell me the ones that you love the best. I look forward to hearing from you and would love to know. And until next time, have a great week. Safe travels and thanks for listening to Travel Fuels Life.