Sunday, July 25, 2010

Ballpark Bio

I'm sitting outside at a cafe wondering if I should subscribe to MLB Gameday Mobile so I can listen to Sunday games (as I don't spend free summer afternoons indoors) and I started thinking about the ballparks I've been to. I was shocked to think about how I've seen as many Nationals games at home as I've seen Reds games in my life.

I'm really just estimating, as there's no way of knowing how many Reds games I've actually been to (although I have nearly every ticket stub stored in Ohio.) I'm 33 years old, didn't move to Ohio until I was 5, and missed a couple of seasons due to hurt after the strike. As a kid we probably averaged about three games a season - the straight A tickets, my grandfather's friend's season tickets in the blue seats, and another game sometime at Riverfront. In high school it was a bit more - I remember feeling triumphant at having attended one game in every month of the season and vowing to do that for the rest of my life, having no idea of what real life is like. In my days at Miami U in the late nineties I went to maybe five games - none in 1998 or 1999. It took the signing of Ken Griffey, Jr. to return to fulltime Reds fandom. Then it was Army time. I squeezed a couple of games in June before heading off to Basic for the rest of the season and spent two years in Monterey, though I still managed to get back to Cincinnati to catch a couple of games.

I ended up in Washington, where I've mostly been since 2003, aside from 2008 in Ohio, 3 months iin Bulgaria, and 4 months in Beirut. But my time in Washington has been as an adult with an adult salary, so I've managed to get back to Cincinnati for three games every year, though I'm not going to get back there for this season unless it's for October baseball on account of saving up for a September trip to Paris and Beirut.

So that brings me to how many times I've seen the Reds at home. I'd estimate that I saw 50 games at Riverfront and 20 games at Great American Ball(p)ark for a total of 70 games in Cincinnati over the course of my life.

The Nationals came to DC in 2005. I went to 50 games at RFK over 3 years, missed 2008 because I was in Ohio, went to 10 games last year and have been to 4 games so far this year for a total of 64, but given that I'm sure to go to 4-5 more this year, that puts me about even with games in Cincinnati and RFK about a tie with Riverfront.

Because the Nationals weren't here when I first moved to DC, I got my baseball fix at Camden Yards for two seasons and have been back for one or two games a year since. I'd say I've been there 10 or 11 times. Next up is Giants ballpark, where I saw 8 or 9 games when I lived in Monterey, including a World Series game. It is followed by Jacob's Field, Citizen's Bank, and Wrigley Field at 4 games, though I saw a game at Municipal Stadium back in the day so Cleveland has the edge. Jack Murphy Stadium is next at 2 games, including my first Reds game ever at age 1, and Shea and PNC come in at 2 games as well. Old Yankee Stadium, Fenway Park, and Oakland are all 1 game a piece.

So that's my ballpark bio, typed on Blackberry. Is there any other game on the planet that could inspire such useless but ultimately nostalgically fun thoughts? I think not.

1 comment:

Dan said...

That's cool. Some years ago, when I first discovered (and now Baseball-Reference has all the box scores), I became obsessed with determining every single game I've ever been to. I got most from the ticket stubs I'd saved and others from remembering various things that happened (Len Dykstra hit an inside-the-park homer for the Phillies against the Mets at the Vet; Ron Guidry pinch-ran in a game against the Royals at Yankee Stadium, etc.) I'm now up to 170 games since my first in 1983 (a month before I turned 7) at 25 different ballparks, including both old and new Mets, Yankees, Orioles, Phillies and Nationals ballparks. Yeah, it's just a small obsession.