(Elkhart, IN) Hi 72 Lo 62 -- On Saturday we met for lunch with Andy, one of Dee's chat room friends. Andy's a young guy who has a small fifth wheel that he takes on weekend trips. He says he's currently "part time, sometimes, anytime" and hopes to eventually be "full time". It was great to meet him and share the joys of full timing with him. I had to keep an eye on Dee though. She says he's pretty easy on the eyes. :)
Yesterday (Sunday) I drove to Detroit to watch the Detroit Tigers take on the Texas Rangers at Comerica Park. It was a long 200-mile trip. I've attended many major league games during our travels, but I never had to travel more than about 100 miles, until now. The original plan was for Dee to come along. I was going to drop her off at Adrian, MI (a little over halfway) to spend the day with our friend Anna. However, Dee developed a pretty bad head cold, which she caught from me, and didn't feel up to making the trip. So I headed out myself.
It was an easy trip, mostly on I-94. I saw all kinds of warnings on the Detroit Tigers website about road construction around Comerica Park, which is on the edge of downtown Detroit. It turned out to be no problem at all. I took the first ballpark exit I saw, and parked in the first parking lot I came to, which was about 5 blocks from the stadium. That turned out to be smart because it only cost me $10 to park, and all the other parking lots around were $20-25.
I've heard all the scare stories about Detroit, and I always considered them exaggerated, or mostly having to do with certain suburban neighborhoods. The area I parked in wasn't the most attractive part of town, and I arrived very early so there weren't many people around yet, but I didn't feel particularly unsafe. But there were signs that Detroit, like many of our big cities, definitely has some social problems.
As I got closer to the stadium though, the surroundings got a lot more cheerful, with street musicians to entertain the crowd.
Comerica Park (Comerica is a bank by the way) is typical of the modern stadiums that are built to look old (retro) but have all the modern amenities fans expect.
I like the tiger statues.
They're all over the place.
Walking into a ballpark and getting the first view of that beautiful green field is always exciting to me.
A book I had years ago about ballparks was titled "Green Cathedrals". I think that title is very appropriate.
Comerica Park is the first ballpark I've seen that has a carousel. If you look closely you'll notice the "horses" are actually tigers. (Click on the image to enlarge it.)
The weather was beautiful, and it was a good game. The Rangers won 4-2, disappointing the home crowd. I did experience a little excitement though. A high foul ball came up and dropped fairly close to me. So close that this little guy a few seats away made a pretty impressive mid-air catch of the ball. He and his friend were so excited they jumped up and down and hugged each other while the crowd cheered them. It was beautiful to see such joy!
Here's a couple of views of the ballpark during the game.
I've now attended games in 23 of the 30 major league cities, 21 of them in the current stadiums. (I went to a game at the old Yankee stadium in 2004, and many SF Giants games in old Candlestick Park in the 80's). I don't know if I'll get to all 30 or not, but it sure has been fun making the attempt. It's interesting that I haven't been to a Miami Marlins or Tampa Bay Rays game yet, even though Florida is our home state. Makes sense when you consider we're never in Florida during the summer.
See you in a few days.