The Jewel of the West Coast: Safeco Field

If there’s one city on the west coast I could call home, it’s Seattle. The mild weather, the best coffee in the world, and the wonderful coast just make it a great place to live. The city’s ballparks are also something to cherish.

I’ve been to Seattle for baseball once. It was the final stop on my west coast baseball swing. We caught two games — a night game and a day game — before heading out of town. One thing that makes this park a great place to watch a game is the ease in getting there. We took public transportation (Sound Transit) and arrived at the park with ease. The stop for the light rail is literally called “stadium”, how much easier could it get?

As for the park, it’s settled in the SoDo neighborhood of Seattle, which means South of Downtown. The stadium opened in 1999, and it is true to Seattle. With a very open feel to the stadium, it empowers the feelings of the city that the Mariners call home. It’s a great place to watch a game.



Baseball History: Monument Park

In my post on Yankee Stadium (which you can read here), I discussed the tradition and history of the Yankees franchise, which you can delve into in Monument Park. Located beyond the fences in center field, Monument Park memorializes great Yankee players. It also has several monuments to significant moments in history, as well. Tucked into a corner of Monument Park is this reminder of the terrorist attacks that occurred in New York on September 11, 2001.


Image credit: Andrew Kivette

It serves as a great reminder to the victims of the attack. The inscription reads:

“We Remember
On September 11, 2001, despicable acts of terrorism were perpetrated on our country. In tribute to the eternal spirit of the innocent victims of these crimes and to the selfless courage shown by both public servants and private citizens, we dedicate this plaque. These valiant souls, with unfettered resolve, exemplify the true character of this great nation. Their unity and resilience during this time of distress defined American heroism for future generations.

Dedicated by the New York Yankees
September 11, 2002”

The Cathedral of Baseball: Yankee Stadium

Just a quick ride from Manhattan on the B or D trains take you to 161st Street. Home of 27 World Championships, the New York Yankees call the Bronx home.

I’ve had the pleasure of seeing games both in the old Yankee Stadium and the new Yankee Stadium, which opened in 2009. The first memory I have of a Yankees game is a good one — way back on June 13, 2004. It was heralded as the return of David Wells to the Bronx. Wells was pitching for San Diego in ’04, and I remember walking up to the ticket booth with my dad and buying two tickets on the very last row in the upper box in right field. There wasn’t a bad seat in old Yankee Stadium, and we had a bird’s eye view of David Wells’s return. The game, a Sunday 1 p.m. start, went extras and saw the Yankees walk off for the win, and spoil the David Wells reunion.

Fast forward to 2012 and my first game at the new Yankee Stadium. I had come up for a few days in the summer to see my Braves play for the first time in the new stadium, and was blown away. A few notes about the game: Sabathia threw a complete game, Robinson Cano and Mark Teixeira went yard, and Derek Jeter drove in the game-winning run to take the first game of the series against Atlanta, 6-2.

The game was simply a bonus to experiencing the grandiose stadium that is baseball’s cathedral.

A must-see is Monument Park. Talk about history. Monument Park, located beyond the center field wall, is where all the Yankee greats are honored if their numbers are retired. Greats like Ruth, DiMaggio, Maris, Mantle, Berra and Gehrig are never forgotten as they are forever cemented in Yankee lore in Monument Park. There are monuments to historic moments of the past not to do with baseball in Monument Park, as well. Popes that have visited Yankee Stadium are represented, and a moving monument to the September 11th attacks sits in the corner of the outdoor area.

If you get to the stadium early enough, make sure to stop by the Yankees Museum. A new edition for the new ballpark, the museum features rotating exhibits put together by the curator. A centerpiece of the museum is a wall that holds baseballs signed by nearly anyone to ever done the pinstripes. This is the largest collection of Yankee autographs ever, and caps a gorgeous museum that includes several World Series trophies and rings.

As for food, the stadium houses a steakhouse, but I opted for the Italian sausage. You really couldn’t go wrong here, as there is literally anything you could want in the stadium.