NYSEG Stadium-Binghamton, NY: Since it took us about half the time at the Hall of Fame than we expected, we decided to pick up an extra game in Binghamton. It rained all day in Cooperstown, and a little on our drive down, but turned into a beautiful night for baseball. Because heading down there was a last-minute decision, we didn’t get there real early and have as much time to poke around the park before game time. Someone was handing out vouchers outside of the stadium, too, for discounts, so we picked up our tickets for only $6.00 a piece, which is a great deal for baseball. NYSEG Stadium is a decent venue for Double-A (Eastern League), but we’ve been in better for Single-A. The crowd wasn’t as ‘baseball savvy’ as some of the other ones we’ve talked to on our trip, and they didn’t seem real into the game. Lots of people their drinking tons, which I have no problem with, but obvious they could care less about the game. You’d think they’re would be a better showing for the a matchup of the Mets and Yankees affiliates. Not real surprising to hear that this is the franchise rumored to be heading to Ottawa, Ontario in the future. I did like the fact here that there were plenty of vendors walking the stands, so you really could sit and not miss much of the game, and the concessions were reasonably priced. The mascots did a good job, too, of walking the stands and entertaining the kids. It was a chance for us to see more baseball, though, which is always a good thing. The Thunder really brought their bats this night and beat up the home team a bit. We’ll see if the Mets can bounce back the next night, as we’ll be back in Binghamton for the rematch. Final: Thunder 10, B-Mets 1.
Cooperstown, NY: The road to Cooperstown, New York may not be what you’d expect. In fact, it is almost a like travelling back in time, to a place without super highways and sky scrapers. The road is carved into the landscape of up-state New York, passing farms and classic homes. It’s a journey to a simpler time when baseball was king of all sports…as it should be. The town itself is quaint, with the feel of the turn of the century, but I didn’t see too much of it on the way there, as I was so excited to reach my destination…the National Baseball Hall of Fame…
The rest of the museum was sort of all over the place. It had no real flow to it, and you never really knew what you were going to see next. I’ve been to the Hockey HOF in Toronto, and I guess I was comparing that to the baseball one here in Cooperstown. I was disappointed to find that no other baseball was represented here other than MLB. Nothing on the Minor League, college baseball, international baseball (Olympics or WBC), Little League, Negro Leagues, or anything else. Even the display for the girls baseball was much smaller than I thought it would be. I did enjoy seeing some of the old memorabilia from the 1800′s and to see how the game evolved. There was plenty of room for more displays, though, and maybe recognizing some very good players and teams that will not make the Hall, but still meant a lot to the game of baseball. We had a fun time, and this was something that we just had to do to cross off our baseball bucket list, but I guess I was a little disappointed that there wasn’t more to it. And then seeing the prices in the gift shop simply just ticked me off a bit…
Cooperstown, NY: While in the Coop, checking out Doubleday Field is a must. It’s and old-time throwback stadium, but I really like it’s simplicity. They have a summer college team play there now, so it’s good to see it in use. It’s too bad I couldn’t have seen a game played here, though. We used the parking lot here, too, and just walked to the HOF.
Empire State Yankees vs. Durham Bulls
Frontier Field-Rochester, NY: While the Red Wings are away, the Yankees will play…in Frontier Field, that is. Due to a new stadium being built, the Scratnon/Wilkes Barre Yankees will be taking on the moniker of ‘Empire State’ for the season, and playing ‘home games’ in places such as Rochester and Syracuse while the home teams are out-of-town. This gave us a great opportunity to catch a game, and see two more teams, that we probably would not have seen otherwise. I found Frontier Field a very nice venue, and our seats could not have been better, front row on the third base side. The kids had a lot of fun watching this game on MiLB.TV, as they could see their daddy and papa quite a bit. The game itself flew by, as the Durham Bulls shut out the Yankees 1-0. Alex Cobb got the win on the mound for Durham, and I was surprised to see him pitching for the Rays when I turned the game on last night versus the Red Sox. We had a lot of fun here, and were excited about the fact we would be coming back in a few days to watch the Red Wings. I went right to bed after the game, though, as the next morning we would get up bright and early to get on the road to Cooperstown…Final: Bulls 1, Yankees 0.
Alliance Bank Stadium-Syracuse, NY: I know I’ve mentioned this before, but I love being at the ballpark early in the day. The grass still smells so fresh, and it just seems like the day was made for baseball, and nothing else. We were also blessed with another beautiful spring day to make us even more comfortable. Because of the noon start, eating lunch at the ballpark was essential. If you like hamburgers, this is the ballpark for you, as they have many different varieties, though they are pricey at $8 a piece. They offered good hot dogs, also, and a cold beer helped kick the day off. Since we sat in the front row for yesterday’s game, we decided to gain a little altitude and get a different perspective. One thing that I like about Bank Alliance Stadium, is that is does have a second deck to it, which is rare, even for Triple-A stadiums. The view of the game was fantastic, and in all honesty, if I had season tickets here, this is where they would be. I do like seeing at least a couple of games in the same ballpark, and getting a different feel for the crowds and seats. Syracuse cruised to another win, too. Final: Chiefs 6, Red Wings 4.
Syracuse University: While in the area, I always make time to visit the local colleges, especially when they have the prestige of the Orange of Syracuse. It is a very beautiful campus, and we also visited the gift shop/book store there as well. I didn’t realize how old the school was, but has some really stellar architecture.Photos property of Minoring In Baseball
Alliance Bank Stadium-Syracuse, NY: After almost nine straight hours on the road, we were finally ready to sit down and watch some baseball. Well, we weren’t thrilled with just sitting again, but being at a ballpark we’ve never been to before gave us a chance to walk around, explore, and mingle with the local fans. Alliance Bank Stadium is a decent venue, and the weather was perfect for a Mother’s Day at the ballgame. Don’t worry, I did call my mom and wish her a very happy Mother’s Day, and got her some souvenirs from our trip. Back to the game, it wasn’t a huge crowd, and the diehards can’t understand why people don’t come out and support the local team. I tend to agree, and think some people take it for granted. Living four hours from my ‘home team’ makes me appreciate the games that I am able to make it to. We had great seats in the front row down the third base line, just past the Chiefs dugout. The early game gave us a chance to get a good nights’ sleep, and be back at the ballpark the next morning…Final Score: Chiefs 4, Red Wings 2.
Yesterday two classic ballparks turned the century mark: Fenway Park and Tiger Stadium. The obvious different between the two, is that the Red Sox organization had the foresight to maintain and upgrade their classic stadium and make it a monument of the most historic sport in the country. Meanwhile, the Detroit Tigers opted to abandon their abode on the corner of Michigan and Trumble for a new, state of the art, corporate named stadium, in Comerica Park in 2000. I was only at Tiger Stadium a few times, but those memories will stay with me forever. I can even remember being 5 years old an at my first game ever. I get recall all of the sights, sounds, and smells. It was a glorious place. I’m sure when I take my kids to Comerica, they’ll love the carousel and merry-go-round, but they’ll miss out on ambiance that Tiger Stadium held. I’m not saying that Tiger Stadium was a palace, and that it didn’t have its problems in the later years, but renovation was possible, as it was with Fenway. Ahhh…Fenway.You don’t have to be a BoSox fan to appreciate what Fenway is. The experience of watching a baseball game there simply can take your breath away. This was something that was on my bucket list that I was lucky enough to cross off thanks to last years baseball trip. The ghosts don’t haunt you there, but they welcome you, and show you around. The best way to describe it, is that you never really leave Fenway Park. It’s like you leave a part of your soul there, and it’s constantly beckoning you back….
Well, it’s now April first, and that can mean different things to different people. If you’re a prankster, than April Fools Day is the day for you, to basically get away with just about any jesting and not get into too much trouble for it. If you’re my dad, then it’s your birthday, so the kids and I called him to wish him a happy one (between periods of the hockey game, of course). If you’re a wrestling fan, then today was WreslteMania, and one of my friends from work even took the night off to watch it with his dad. Nothing wrong with that. If you’re a fan of Detroit sports, though, the calender turn means something a bit more…April in the ‘D’. A term dubbed by Fox Sports Detroit, this is simply the time of year when Detroit sports fans can unite, as it means Stanley Cup playoffs for the Red Wings and the beginning of the MLB season for the Tigers. I’m honestly not sure how the Pistons are doing, but the NBA probably has playoffs coming up, too. This should be a great year for the Tigers, and I’m anticipating a lot of fun baseball for the kids and I. There are three reasons why being a Tigers fan puts us a step ahead of other baseball fans, and, no, those reasons are not Verlander, Cabrera, and Fielder. The reasons are Lauren, Allison, and now..Megan. Thank you Fox Sports for giving us the best of the best to represent Detroit, and all of Michigan!
You can follow these girls on Twitter @FSDetroit_Girls
Photos courtesy of Fox Sports Net
This may seem like just a formality at this point, with record highs here up north in the mid 70′s, but our tradition of burning the snowman took place anyway. This is the first time I can remember us seeing this without at least having on a winter coat and hat. I’ve been taking Lily and Trevor for about six years now, and this is Brian’s second time. In all, this was the 42nd annual Burning of the Snowman and it’s always a fun way to spend the afternoon. It takes place at our local college Lake Superior State, so lots of students and town folk turn out to see the snowman burn in effigy and usher in spring. We enjoyed some hot dogs and the kids each got a free t-shirt from the radio station. Kids love getting free stuff, really, no matter what it is. The event always seems to take place when the kids have a half-day of school, so luckily we’re able to come every year. I hope this keeps winter away this year for good, though, and living in Michigan anything can happen. We’ve already been outside playing some catch, and really hope we have this kind of weather next month when we start going to the baseball games down state. While driving through the campus, I made sure to blast some Def Leppard in the Town & Country just to prove to all of the college kids just how cool I still am…and my kids think I’m embarrassing…
League: International League (AAA)
Home Field: Alliance Bank Stadium
Location: Syracuse, New York
Notable Alumni: A.J. Burnett, Chris Carpenter, Carlos Delgado, Ron Guidry, Roy Halladay, Fred McGriff, Denny McLain, Thurmon Munson, Dion Sanders, Hank Sauer, and Stephen Strasburg.
Fun Facts: The first stop on our baseball trip this coming season will be in Syracuse. Lots of baseball history in this town, as they’ve been sporting professional baseball since 1877 with the Syracuse Stars. The Stars fielded to Major League teams, with one in 1879 (National League) and in 1890 (American Association). Syracuse was without a team sporadically, but was mostly able to field a team either in the Eastern League or New York/Penn League. The Chiefs name can be traced back to 1934, when the Jersey City Skeeters moved to Syracuse to become the Chiefs. The current franchise came in in 1961 when the Montreal Royals, and Syracuse has had a team ever since. There have been two players in history to have four home run games under their belts. Gene Locklear did it on July 14, 1977, while Michael Aubrey hit four over the fence on May 04, 2011 against the Durham Bulls.
Logos courtesy of the Syracuse Chiefs