Sunday in Pittsburgh was a perfect day for baseball. The hometown Pirates are playing the best baseball in both leagues at the moment. The ballpark was packed with fans caught up in a pennant race. The weather was picture perfect with temps in the low 80s. And Pittsburgh’s PNC Park – #15 on my list of 30 MLB parks to visit by 2015 – is a terrific place to watch a game.
My request for this year’s “staycation” was to take a short road trip to Pittsburgh so i could check another ballpark off my bucket list of visiting all 30 Major League Baseball stadiums. We saw that the Rockies were in town to play the Bucs for a weekend series, and so I scored four tickets behind home plate and we set out to build a trip around my baseball pilgrimage.
This morning we all slept in a bit, and then after trips to the fitness center and showers, we took off for brunch at DeLuca’s – a Pittsburgh landmark in The Strip. Pancakes, blintzes, eggs, bacon…you name it…showed up at our table at this down-home diner. We decided we could easily skip lunch, and since food at most ballparks is overpriced and under-whelming that was an easy choice to make.
We walked over to the park from our hotel, and the excitement built as we joined thousands others crossing the Roberto Clemente Bridge at 6th Street. We found our seats, endured some sun for about 5 innings, and watched the Pirates’ A.J. Burnett toss a complete game 5-1 win before an enthusiastic crowd. I had a chance to explain some nifty baserunning by the Bucs’ Neil Walker to the family (once the third baseman steps on third base with the bases loaded, the runner – i.e., Walker – who had been on the bag could return there if he wasn’t tagged). Those baseball smarts – which our hometown Nats haven’t shown much all year – allowed the Pirates to score early in the game as they were building momentum. We checked out the stadium (good seats, terrific views – right up there with the best in baseball – but bad circulation, especially after the game).
A very satisfying day at the ballpark (except for the Nats loss to the Brewers) that took me to the halfway point in my quest. If you want to read the full “rules” I’ve set for myself, check out last year’s post linked above. If you want to help me get to see one of the 15 left on my list, let me know.
For those keeping score, here’s the ballparks visited list:
- Atlanta Braves – Fulton County Stadium (multiple visits in 1980s; still need to visit Turner Field)
- Baltimore Orioles – Camden Yards (multiple visits in 1990s and 2000s)
- Boston Red Sox – Fenway Park (1988)
- Chicago Cubs – Wrigley Field (1964, 2007, 2012)
- Colorado Rockies – Coors Field (2008)
- Kansas City Royals – Kauffman Stadium (2009)
- Milwaukee Brewers – Miller Park (2005)
- Oakland A’s – Oakland Coliseum (2008)
- Philadelphia Phillies – Citizens Bank Park (2008)
- Pittsburgh Pirates – PNC Park (2013)
- San Francisco Giants – AT&T Park (2012)
- Seattle Mariners – Safeco Field (2009)
- St. Louis Cardinals – Busch Stadium (old – 1993; new – 2012)
- Tampa Bay Rays – Tropicana Field (2012)
- Washington Nationals – RFK (multiple times) and Nationals Park (multiple times + part of a season ticket group since 2012)
And here are the ballparks remaining to visit list:
- Arizona Diamondbacks – Chase Field
- Cincinnati Reds – Great American Ball Park
- Chicago White Sox – US Cellular Field (I’ve seen it from the outside, but haven’t made a game)
- Cleveland Indians – Jacobs Field (I drove by this on a game day, but had to give a speech while the opening pitch was taking place. Darn those adult responsibilities!)
- Detroit Tigers – Comerica Park (Another park I’ve seen but haven’t made a game.)
- Houston Astros- Minute Maid Park
- Los Angeles Angels – Angel Stadium
- Los Angeles Dodgers – Dodger Stadium (This is the only park that a family member – Claire – has seen before I have had the opportunity. That’s just not fair!)
- Miami Marlins – Marlins Park
- Minnesota Twins – Target Field
- New York Mets – Citi Field (I think this is an easy one to do, but it never works out.)
- New York Yankees – Yankee Stadium (I know – how can I not have made it to Yankee stadium yet?! Just goes to show I’ve never been a big Yankees fan)
- San Diego Padres – Petco Park
- Texas Rangers – Texas Stadium
- Toronto Blue Jays – Rogers Centre
And here are some photos from the day.
More to come…