This summer, my father and I took a baseball road trip - three cities, three games, two countries. We had a blast traveling to Toronto, across Canada to Detroit, down to Cincinnati, and then back home again.
We began our trip with a game in Toronto - my first time every watching a baseball game in a dome!
If you've never been to the Rogers Centre before, the stadium has a hotel around much of the outfield. My dad and I actually spent about an hour or so before the gates opened just sitting in the hotel (you can look out over the field from the hotel lobby).
As for the game itself, we saw the Blue Jays take on the Tampa Bay Rays. I believe it was my first game watching the Rays live in person - and possibly the first time I've seen the Blue Jays live as well (for some reason I feel like I saw the Jays play the Phillies in Philadelphia once). In case you are wondering, the game itself was a blowout: Rays 13, Jays 2.
For this game, we had seats in section 103R: Row 1, Seat 1 was my spot! Both my dad and I like getting row 1 seats in the outfield - you get a great view of the stadium and no one is standing up in front of you! Buyer beware though, you won't be catching many home run balls in Toronto with Row 1 seats - the actual outfield wall is a bit in front of where the fans sit, there's a gap where most of the home run hits land between the fence and the fans.
For me, I must say that it simply felt weird watching baseball in a dome. It actually worked out for us though because it ended up raining during the game (but we stayed nice and dry). I can't say that I'm dying to watch another game in a dome any time soon...but the drive to Toronto from my house is so easy I may end up going again next year!
From the beautiful city of Toronto, we hopped on the Queens Expressway and made our way across Canada and then down into Detroit. It must be said, Detroit is certainly not the prettiest place one could ever visit.
Both my dad and I had been to Detroit to a game before - we each found the ballpark to be nice but generally unmemorable. I do like the entrance gates though.
In Detroit, once again my Dad and I had front row seats - this time in Section 117.
Unfortunately, Detroit's seats in that section aren't angled properly to view home plate. As such, the people sitting next us (a father with a couple of little kids who wouldn't sit still...or sit period) kept blocking our view. When we could see the action, the seats were good but we missed a lot simply because that guy couldn't keep his kids under control.
Needless to say, Detroit wasn't a highlight on this trip. Heck, even the game itself wasn't great - it was the Tigers vs. the Twins...which the Tigers won 7-2.
After spending about 2 hours stuck in traffic while leaving the city (because of a fatal accident), my dad and I headed to Cincinnati, the site of our third and final game of our road trip.
Once again, both my dad and I have been to a game previously at Great American Ballpark, but it had been a number of years (and the ballpark was MUCH nice this time around compared to what I remembered).
Of course, when you go to Cincinnati you should arrive early so as to visit their awesome Reds' Hall of Fame. We spent quite a bit of time in the Hall - they had a pretty neat bobblehead collection on display (bobbleheads of all types, from all teams - and plenty of non-sports ones as well). I thought it was a great way to capture all fans' attention, not just Reds' fans!
After making our way through a variety of Reds' related displays (and practically throwing our arms out on the speed pitch), we found ourselves in the final stop of the Museum: The plaque room.
While I like many different Reds players, I had to take photos of my three favorite Reds' from my lifetime. Chris Sabo, Barry Larkin (duh), and Ken Griffey, Jr.
Luckily for my dad and I, the actual game was quite good for a pair of Cincinnati fans... Well, I should rephrase that.
Back in May, the Reds were atrocious. They went 8 - 20 in the month of May including an eleven game losing streak in the middle of the month. In the game that we say, the Reds were in the midst of that long losing streak...they ended up getting swept by the Indians in the "Ohio Cup" challenge by scores of 6-15, 1-13, 7-8, and 2-7.
We saw the only game of the four that was competitive (and, in fact, the Reds had the lead going into the ninth inning. The downside was the Reds' bullpen at the time was nothing short of a dumpster fire...and they gave up two runs in the ninth to allow Cleveland to tie the game (and then Cleveland won the game in the 12th inning).
Our seats for the game were in the first row of section 113 (called Row A in Cincinnati, rather than Row 1). We were able to talk with the on field workers quite a bit - and we had a great view of Eugenio Suarez's pair of errors. *sigh*
That does it for that road trip - it was an awesome adventure (though a lot of driving on my part)! I loved having the opportunity to take my dad along - and I think he had a lot of fun as well. I should mention that later in the summer I did a quick trip to Pittsburgh with my wife to watch the Reds play (and the Reds actually won)!
Four professional baseball games...plus one minor league game and one Little League World Series game meant that I had a packed summer full of baseball!
Now it's your turn, I'd love to hear your answer to the classic prompt: What I Did on my Summer Vacation - leave a link to your entry below if you want!