Comerica Park will be my 21st major league park. For L, it'll be #22; she's been to all of my 20, plus Veterans Stadium in Philadelphia.
My first games in each park:
Fenway Park, August 22: Athletics 7, Red Sox 6 (11). I wrote about this game here.
Olympic Stadium, July 31: Dodgers 8, Expos 2 (10). Saw several games there as a teenager. Vermont Transit had a combination bus/game ticket deal (I think it was $25). That's also how I got to Fenway once per season in 1976-77-78. (Best game I've ever seen was at the Big O: August 23, 1989.)
Yankee Stadium, September 13: Yankees 11, Red Sox 6. This was the first game L and I went to together. It was also the game in which Jim Rice went into the stands to retrive his cap. I was off buying beer and missed it.
Shea Stadium, August 7: Mets 7, Cubs 1. I'm the only person I know who actually liked going to games at Shea. In my first years in New York, I'd often take the 7 train out to Queens for a weekday game. The park was usually quiet and I didn't care who won, so it was always a relaxing afternoon. I loved seeing the elderly ladies diligently keeping score (not on the scorecards sold in the park, but their own scorebooks that they brought from home).
Wrigley Field, May 7: Giants 2, Cubs 1. I wanted to see Wrigley Field before the lights were installed, so I flew to Chicago for a weekend. I screwed up on the departure time, yet managed to walk into Wrigley on Saturday right as the anthem was ending. Three innings later, San Francisco's Robby Thompson hit a foul ball directly at me; it smacked against the middle of my right hand and caromed away. I've never come closer to getting a foul ball. Spent the night in a youth hostel, got to the park before it opened on Sunday, and flew home after that day's game (Cubs 13-7).
Candlestick Park, August 16: Mets 13, Giants 6. During a vacation in San Francisco. Our B&B host insisted we take sweaters. She may have saved our lives. It was brutally cold. As Twain may have said, "The coldest winter I ever saw was the summer I spent in San Francisco." The Mets scored nine runs in the top of the 1st.
Camden Yards, June 19: Orioles 10, Yankees 7. Second half of a mini-East Coast Yankee road trip. After seeing two games in Boston (Yankees 4-3, Red Sox 5-4, thus avoiding a four-game sweep), we drove to Baltimore for the Yankees' first games in Camden Yards. Dion James tossed a ball to L by the 3B dugout. New York took the second game 9-5.
Kingdome, July 11: Mariners 5, Angels 4 (12). Before an RV vacation in Alaska, we spent a few days in Seattle. Worst park I've ever seen. Ugly, gray concrete. It looked and felt like a huge prison complex.
Three Rivers Stadium, July 20: Dodgers 8, Pirates 4. The initial stop on L&A's first baseball vacation -- a day game on the 14th anniversary of the day we met (we went to Fenway on our 20th anniversary). Got Claude Osteen's autograph on my scoresheet before the game.
Tiger Stadium, July 23: Tigers 14, Red Sox 5. Wanting to see Tiger Stadium in its last year was what prompted this vacation. We saw the Red Sox for three games (but no Pedro). The second night, the Sox hit seven HR (including three from Trot and two from Nomar) and won 11-4; Detroit won the third game 9-1. We talked to Tom Stanton, who was writing about the park's final summer; our story didn't make his book, but we're thanked in the acknowledgements. After watching Nomar before Game #1 and assuming he would go through the exact same pre-game routine, I was able to get autographs from him the next two nights. His signature on my battered Sox cap, however, was washed away with sweat within weeks.
Jacobs Field, July 26: Cleveland 6, Tigers 3. Manny played RF and batted 4th. He left the game after being HBP in the third. Gabe Kapler played CF for the Tigers, who we saw for the 4th consecutive day. A unintentionally funny sign on the outfield wall celebrated the "Era of Champions" -- though for Cleveland that meant Central divisional titles. Pfft.
Comiskey Park II, July 27: Yankees 5, White Sox 3. First of three between the MFY and CWS. Mariano Rivera signed L's cap before this game; he looked confused when she told him we were from New York. For one of the next two games, we had seats about 10 rows behind the 3B dugout, but it was near 100 degrees, so we chose to sit about 30 rows back in the shade under the overhang. ... We also saw a game at Wrigley on this trip.
County Stadium, July 31: Expos 4, Brewers 2. I have never seen people guzzle beer at a game like they did in Milwaukee. Vendors carried cotton candy and other stuff around on what looked like big white coat racks. Worst seats ever. All of Fenway is like an airplane's spacious first-class compared to our seats in County Stadium.
Safeco Field, September 17: Mariners 4, Rangers 3 (10). L&A's second baseball vacation -- down the west coast. Saw every team at home except San Diego. Safeco is a wonderful park, and the roof was open. We ate grilled salmon sandwiches that -- 6+ years later -- we still drool over. Game note: Ichiro saw 8 pitches in 5 plate appearances.
Network Associates Coliseum, September 22: Athletics 7, Rangers 5. We had seen Chan Ho Park in Seattle -- and here we saw his following start.
AT&T Park, September 24: Giants 12, Padres 3. Another beautiful new park, right on the bay. Much warmer than Candlestick! We wanted to see a Bonds home run - and he obliged. #612.
Edison International Field, September 27: Mariners 7, Angels 6 (12). The Angels were days away from facing the Yankees in the ALDS (this was regular season game 160). L wore a Yankees shirt and drew no comments. The Big A is a decent park, but it was packed with ignorant people waving rally monkeys and banging Thunderstix.
Dodger Stadium, September 28: Dodgers 14, Padres 2. Easily my third favourite park, after Fenway and Wrigley. A true baseball park, with (at the time) no blaring sound effects or commercials. ... I have a fascination with teams that score in every inning. All nine is ideal; that has been done only seven times -- all in the NL -- and only three times since 1898. Six AL teams have scored in each of the first eight innings at home and then not batted in the 9th. Through six innings, the Dodgers' linescore read:
232 113In the 7th, Joe Thurston (!) opened with a double (the second hit of his career), but was stranded there. Boo! LA scored twice in the 8th and won a blow-out.
Skydome, April 20: Red Sox 4, Blue Jays 2. Our applications to move to Canada had been filed the previous year, so we figured we should actually visit what would be our new home! Pedro outpitched Halladay. The Sox won for us the next night, 4-2 again, as the Stud hit two bombs.
Citizens Bank Park, July 8: Phillies 5, Mets 4. Bobby Abreu won it with a walk-off home run on John Franco's second pitch of the ninth inning.
Comerica Field, May 5: Red Sox/Tigers.
Also: We ordered (and received in the mail) tickets to see the Yankees at the original Comiskey Park (like we later did with Tiger Stadium, we wanted to see it before it was gone), but the 1990 Memorial Day weekend trip fell through for lack of money. ... In 1996, L was on a writing assignment in Atlanta and was offered tickets to a game at Atlanta-Fulton County Stadium, but declined. She could have been two parks up on me!